Assistive Technology

Assistive Technologies

LTS and Accessibility and Disability Resources (ADR) provide support for campus-wide assistive technology. Click here to view LTS accessibility resources.

 

SmartPens

For students with certain disabilities, SmartPens can be helpful.  A SmartPen is a special pen and notebook that can record all (or parts of) a lecture while a person is taking notes.  If the student’s written notes are limited or have gaps, the pen can easily play back the audio for a specific part of the lecture that the student may have missed and need to hear again.

 

ADR has SmartPens available to loan to students.  If you are interested in learning more about this technology, please email accessibility@wellesley.edu. Our Student Access Advocates are available to train you and answer any questions you may have.

 

Text- to-Speech

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 is literacy software with a Text-to-Speech program that can read textbooks, articles and the web aloud. Kurzweil also has tools for writing and study support. There are a variety of voices, reading speeds and languages. Kurzweil also has a dictation feature for hands free writing support.

Wellesley College has a Kurzweil 3000 site-wide license for full time students and employees of the College. 

Students/employees log-in to an account to access the Kurzweil software. Please either: 

  1. Login to an existing account hereor:
  2. Use the User Self-Registration to create an account.

After you have an account, you can choose between a web-based service or download the software directly onto your computer. We recommend the desktop version for the best functionality. 

Other ways to use Kurzweil:

User Guides: 

Product and Version Guides 

Kurzweil Academy

Kurzweil Academy YouTube Channel

 

Voice/Speech Recognition 

For those wishing to use voice/speech recognition software, Kurzweil (see above) has a speech recognition function. Alternatively, Speechnotes is a free and easy to to use app. Speechnotes can be found here.  

 

Captioning

To improve accessibility for all viewers, consider captioning videos that will be used in a classroom, or for the general public. 

Captioning assists many groups of people including individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, those with learning disabilities, and language learners. It is also helpful for anyone listening in a noisy environment.

There are many widely available tools that can enable you to easily caption short, previously recorded videos. For help on longer projects, please see the three resources below.

  1. You can use Amara to caption your own videos. Free Amara accounts can caption videos that become part of the Amara database (other users can view your videos and captions). Paid accounts can have videos unpublished/private. You can also pay for captioning through Amara.
  2. Rev is a fee-based captioning service the College often uses. Contact us if you are interested in options related to paid captioning.
  3. Depending on the video, the Student Access Advocates (SAAs) may be able to caption videos and/or provide transcripts, alt-text and other services. Please contact ADR through accessibility@wellesley.edu or the SAAs at studentaccessadvocates@wellesley.edu to see if they can help.

 

Converting Documents

As a Wellesley employee or student you can use SensusAccess (login and download like Kurzweil) to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media. This includes audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille. The service can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible formats. Click here for a guide on SensusAccess and more information.

 

If you would like to meet about using Kurzweil 3000 or a SmartPen, we can be reached directly at accessibility@wellesley.edu for further assistance. If you would like to talk to a Student Access Advocate, they can be reached at studentaccessadvocates@wellesley.edu.