Assistive technology

At Metropolitan State University we recognize that not all students have the same level of access to assistive technology and therefore we provide many options at no charge through loans of equipment or access to software.

The Center for Accessibility Resources (CAR) has an assistive technology room located in the library building on the Saint Paul Campus (LIB 318) where students can access some of the options available in a quiet, semi-private space. Other technologies are available for check out from the library or are installed on all university computers. 

Assistive technology resources

All campus computers:

  • Read&Write: Log in to D2L Brightspace and scroll down to the Read&Write widget for download links for both PC and Mac.

LIB 318:

Hardware available for checkout from the library (up to one semester at a time)

  • LiveScribe Pen: assists students with note taking by making an audio recording and visual recording of the notes written in the notebook provided.
  • Digital Recorders: assists students with note taking by making an audio recording.
  • iPads: assists students with note taking through the use of a note taking app of the student's choice.
  • FM System: assists students by amplifying audio and transmitting the audio to the student through an earbud or neck loop.
  • Computer microphone: assists students using speech to text software programs.
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV): assists low vision students.
  • Victor Reader Stream: a media player for blind and low vision users that plays DAISY, MP3, MP4, EPUB and other media formats.

See the Library Loan Policy for details.

Text to Speech

  • Read&Write 
    • Free Licenses available for both Mac and PC.
    • Log in to D2L Brightspace and scroll down to the Read&Write widget for download links for both PC and Mac
    • Listen to materials you have scanned, text you have written, emails or internet material
  • Balabolka - Free Text-to-Speech program
    • Download to PC or to USB drive for portability
  • Central Access Reader
    • Free Text-to-Speech program
    • Works on both Windows and Mac operating systems
  • Capti Voice - Capti Narrator is free
    • Install on Windows, Mac and Chromebook computers or use the online version of Capti Narrator
    • Apps are available oi the App Store
  • TextAloud
  • Kurzweil

Apps for iPad/Android

  • Search for "Text-to-Speech" or "Reading" apps in the app store for your device. There are many which are free and some pay versions as well. Since the apps offer different interfaces and options, it's best for you to do your own research on apps. Read the reviews and decide on the best fit for you, as you do for any other software you download/purchase.
  • One app you can look at to get you started is VoiceDream Reader, available for both iOS and Android.

Voice recognition

Speak to the computer to write papers, emails or control the computer. Voice training is recommended to use this program.

Word prediction/homophone checker

Predicts words/phrases as you type, providing assistance with spelling and/or amount of typing. Check for homophone errors. For example: He threw the ball vs. He went through the tunnel.

  • Kurzweil
  • Read&Write: Log in to D2L Brightspace and scroll down to the Read&Write widget for download links for both PC and Mac

Concept mapping

Software for visual outlining/concept mapping to assist with the writing process.

Screen overlays

Color masking tools may make reading on a computer screen a bit easier.

Screen magnification 

Enlarge the screen for visually impaired individuals with limited speech reading capabilities.

Screen reader

Reads all information on the computer screen, allowing access for visually impaired individuals.

Braille translation

Convert text into a Braille format to be embossed.

Additional resources

Metropolitan State University library

The university library has many of the same programs offered at the CAR.

Digital book resources

  • Learning Ally (Formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic)
    • Library of digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles
    • Membership is $99 per year and includes unlimited access to the full library.
  • Bookshare
    • Free for all U.S. students with qualifying disabilities
    • Offers digital books, textbooks, periodicals and assistive technology tools
  • Project Gutenberg
    • Free ebooks (copyright expired): choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online