Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

The following assistive technologies are available for use at any Houston Community College.

The list is in two sections, software and hardware. To locate assistive technologies on campus, contact the Ability Support Services office at your campus or the Assistive/Adaptive Technology technicians: John London at 713-718-6629 or Norma Jean Brand at 713-718-5604. Some of the hardware can be checked out through the Library.

Software

Text-to-Speech

Dragon Naturally Speaking – this software allows the user to create and edit documents and E-mail, fill out forms and streamline workflow – all by speaking! Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional version is section 508 certified, and offers complete hands-free use of the PC for users with disabilities.

Blind/Visually Impaired

JAWS® for Windows® - the most popular screen reader worldwide works with your PC to provide access to today’s software applications and the Internet. With its internal software speech synthesizer and the computer’s sound card, information from the screen is read aloud, providing technology to access a wide variety of information, education and job related applications. JAWS also outputs to refreshable braille displays, providing unmatched braille support of any screen reader on the market.

MAGic® Screen Magnification Software - Low vision? Take control of Web and software application pages. MAGic magnifies your PC screen up to 36x. Customize the screen contrast, tinting, brightness, and more for your personal vision.

ZoomText® Magnifier/Reader -The world's best magnification and reading software for the vision impaired. Whether you're surfing the web, creating a document or mailing your friends, ZoomText lets you see, hear and use all of your applications easier than ever.

Kurzweil 1000 - Kurzweil 1000 makes printed or electronic text accessible to people with blindness and visual impairments, speaking text aloud in a variety of natural-sounding voices that can be modified for individual preferences, combining traditional reading machine technologies such as scanning, image processing, and text-to-speech with communication and productivity tools.

Learning Challenges

Kurzweil 3000 - an assistive technology, text to speech, learning tool that supports the concept of Universal Design for Learning with a suite of powerful reading, writing, test-taking, and study skill tools that makes curriculum accessible to all students. It is particularly appropriate for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, those who require reading intervention, students struggling with reading comprehension and English Language Learners (ELL).

Hardware

Available adaptive equipment includes:

  • Headsets for use with voice output for computers (screen reader software with sound card)
  • Computer screen enlargement software and large monitors
  • Mouse alternatives such as trackballs, touchpads and joysticks
  • Ergonomic and other special keyboards
  • ALD/FM loop assistive listening devices
  • Video magnification systems (desktop style CCTVs) (portable Topaz CCTVs can be checked out through the Libraries.)
  • Alternative classroom furniture, including adjustable height desks and/or chairs
  • Alternative keyboard arrangements for single-hand typing

Some equipment, such as hand-held magnifiers, tape recorders, electronic spelling aids and wrist rests are considered personal equipment. Ability Services can help you identify sources for such equipment.

The HCC libraries have 25 (twenty five) ADA laptops available for current HCC students, in good standing, to check out and use either at home or on campus. The ADA laptops are also available to check out by day or class time, and then checked back into the library at the end of class or day, based on availability. This program is funded (in part) by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

You must submit an accommodation letter prior to checking out laptops and Topaz CCTVs.