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Assistive technology

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

These types of technologies can range from colour tint apps, to mind-mapping software, to screen magnifiers, so there’s a huge range. For each of the areas below we’ve identified a few apps and tools that might help. You can also find out more by following the further reading links at the bottom of the page.

Reading, writing & spelling

Reading and writing can be a real challenge for learners, whether they have SpLD or not. Fortunately there are many tools available that can help.

Norwich University of the Arts has a subscription to the below specific software which is available on computers across campus:

  • Apple Text to Speech and Dictation
    This enables your Mac to read out loud text that is on the screen.

There are also many free tools available, for a full list see the VLE pages here

Microsoft Speak
Feature in Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and OneNote which will read text out loud to you.

Change Microsoft colour themes
You can change all the default colours of Office applications which may help you with reading on screen.

Google Docs speech-to-text
This means you can speak into your microphone and Google will convert it to text for you (very handy if you are good at thinking out loud, but not so good at typing!)

Chrome text-to-speech web extension
Just select the text you want to read and you can listen to it.

If you find reading from a screen challenging, this guide shows you tools and apps you can use to colour or tint your screen.

AI text to speech app with a choice of voices.

An online article summarizer tool, it can read research articles, reports and book chapters in seconds and break them down into bite-sized sections.

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