Assistive technology is a device or system that enables someone with a disability to perform a task
Assistive technology offers practical solutions to everyday life activities. Such technology includes simple products to help people with disabilities to open jars or doors; equipment to help with mobility, such as wheelchairs or canes; software, such as zoom magnifiers to view large print; or hardware, such as non-standard keyboards or voice-activated technology.
In the University’s digital environment, assistive technology is most commonly utilised in relation to features of hardware or software for computing and mobile devices.
Some common digital assistive technology includes:
- large computer monitors (so that images and text are bigger but still readable) and large print keyboards to assist people with vision impairments
- screen-magnification software, which can magnify an area of the screen continuously, smooth jagged edges of characters at larger magnifications, alter the colours on the screen to suit viewer preferences and change the size and colour of the mouse pointer
- screen-reader software (for example, Jaws), which allows users to change the rate, pitch and tone of the voice synthesiser to modify how a voice synthesiser pronounces symbols, characters or words; to move the mouse pointer using keyboard controls; to read out the whole computer screen; or to read out a document from start to finish.
- Literacy software such as Read and Write Gold to assist people with learning disabilities.
Students can access assistive technology labs on each campus. Equipment varies, but may include screen-reading software, zoom text applications and magnifiers, scanners and Braille embosser.
Access Plus is an automated service for the conversion of documents to a range of formats to assist people with print disabilities.
You can use Access Plus to convert documents into a range of alternative formats including digital Braille, MP3, DAISY and e-books. The service can also be used to convert otherwise inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files or scanned images into more accessible formats.
Sonocent is audio-notetaking software that can help students to highlight key information in lecturers and tutorials and help review content. Students with a disability, injury or health condition can access Sonocent software from the Disabilities Service.
It is also useful for academic and professional staff for taking notes. A free 'Sonocent Link' app is available fr your smartphone.
Literacy software Read and Write is available on all common-use computers.
This software was developed to assist people with learning disabilities but may be a useful tool for all students.
Read & Write Training Sessions
Training sessions for Read & Write
- 10th July 10am to 11am Gold Coast campus
- 18th July 10am to 11am Gold Coast campus
- 18th July 12:30pm to 1:30pm Gold Coast campus
Come and find out about the common features of Read & Write will be demonstrated. Training is appropriate for both PC and Mac computers, no prior knowledge of the software is needed. The venue will be confirmed via email.
At this stage we are offering Gold Coast training sessions with Brisbane options to be announced.
The first training session is at our Gold Coast campus please register using the link below.
If you would like to go to the Brisbane seminars please use this same form to express your interest.
These useful links illustrate the benefits of designing materials with screen readers in mind.
They also show what can go wrong if accessibility is not a consideration in the structure of your materials:
- What are the benefits of testing web content with screen readers?
- Good and bad screen reading
- Screen reader demo
- Vision Australia - screen reading software