2020 applicants

Assistive technologies for students

Adjustable monitor arms

Monitor arms allow you to adjust the height of the computer monitor as well as of the viewing and focal distance from the screen. Positioning the monitor screen at the correct viewing height eliminates strain to the neck and upper back of the user, as well accommodating users seated at different heights, for example in a wheelchair.

Adjustable monitor arms are available in the following areas:

  • Colchester Campus: at least one computer in most IT labs, Albert Sloman Library (most floors)
  • Southend Campus: at least one computer in IT lab 1, IT lab 2 and in the Open Study Area.
  • Loughton Campus: at least one computer in each of the computing rooms at East 15

Screen readers, magnifiers and literacy aids

Windows Narrator

Windows Narrator is a basic screen reader that reads what is displayed on the screen, for example the contents of the active window, menu options, or text that has been typed. Narrator is designed to work with Notepad, WordPad, Control Panel programs, and Internet Explorer. It also allows users to customize the way screen elements are read.

  • Available on all Windows computers.
  • To access, click Start → and then search for Narrator.

JAWS Screen Reader

Jaws is highly specialised screen reader which features advanced spell checking, homophones support, word prediction and thesaurus. You will need to bring your own headphones to make use of the audio features of this package.

TextHELP! Read & Write Gold

TextHELP! Read & Write software aims to assist users with dyslexia or other difficulties which affect their English reading and writing abilities. It is a vocabulary support package which talks, types, checks spellings, and can even predict what the user wishes to type.

It can be used with word processors, spreadsheets, databases, email and Internet. It provides a simple toolbar that "floats" on top of any open application waiting to provide assistance when called upon. You will need to bring your own headphones to make use of the audio features of this package.

  • Available in all IT labs.
  • Site license.
  • To access, click Start → All Programs → Accessibility → TextHELP!

Visual aids, graphic and drawing tools

SmartDraw

SmartDraw is a graphics tool that assists users with mobility difficulties to create vector graphics with ease, for example business charts, technical drawings, and other diagrams.

  • Available in all IT labs.
  • Limited to 10 concurrent users.

Inspiration 9

Inspiration is an organisational and study skills tool that helps students learn to think. Students can use Inspiration to create a visual map of ideas using pictures, colours, shapes and relationships. Inspiration is especially useful for students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

  • Available in all IT labs.
  • Limited to 10 concurrent users.

Microsoft Ease of Access Center

In the Windows Ease of Access Center, you'll find quick access for setting up the accessibility settings and programs included in Windows, and other tools including Magnifier, Narrator and On-Screen Keyboard.

  • Available on all Windows computers.
  • To access, click Start → Control Panel → Ease of Access Center.