Northland provides some assistive technology for students in the Academic Success Center on both campuses, including screen magnifiers, mouse scanners, and recording pens. Please refer to Policy 2035 for information about the college’s accessibility policy, including definitions of disabilities and what reasonable accommodations can be made. Information about common assistive technologies is included below (see “Assistive Technology for Students”). Northland also supports faculty efforts to design accessible content for all students. Resources for faculty and web content designers can be found under “Universal Design”) below. At the bottom of the screen, you will find general tools and resources related to assistive technology (“Tools and Resources”).
In addition, students are encouraged to visit the Academic Success Center to discuss their individual needs and preferences for assistive technology. While the college does not provide extensive assistive technology, it will work with students to recommend technology on a case-by-case basis. The purchase, installation, and maintenance of assistive technology is generally the student’s responsibility. Students are encouraged to contact outside agencies such as Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Veterans Administration for possible funding.
Assistive Technology for Students
This section is updated frequently so please check back. If you have suggestions about technology or helpful websites, please forward your suggestions to the webmaster for consideration.
Speech to Text/Text to Speech Software and Tools
- Dragon Naturally Speaking -- from Nuance, one of the highest rated speech to text software packages
- JAWS Screenreading Software -- from Freedom Scientific, one of the highest rated commercially available screen readers
- KURZWEIL -- Encourage independent learning with web-based accessibility to content and supports including audio text-to-speech, proof reading suggestions, comprehension aid.
- NVDA -- Non-Visual Desktop Access, free screenreader for Microsoft PCs
- Window-Eyes -- from GW Micro, a free license for its Window Eyes screen reader for people who are blind, visually impaired, or print disabled, requires a licensed version of Office 2010 or later to download the software
Pointing Tools/Touch Screen
This section provides information and links to assist faculty and web content designers in creating accessible content. It is frequently updated and suggestions can be submitted to the webmaster.
Definitions and Background
- CAST Universal Design Homepage -- a nonprofit research and development organization for universal design
- D2L Accessibility -- information on how universal design principles are incorporated into the D2L learning environment, including resources for course designers
- IT Accessibility in Illinois -- homepage for the state of Illinois, which has adopted statewide standards for accessibility in elementary, secondary, and higher education levels
- Section 508 -- section of federal ADA code that applies to universal design requirements and includes professional development training in the 508 Universe section
- Assistive Technology Industry Association -- a nonprofit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of technology-based assistive devices and/or services
- Great Lakes ADA Center -- homepage of the parent organization for QIAT, providing information, materials, technical assistance and training on the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- QIAT-PS -- homepage for Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology-Post Secondary, including resources
- Accessible Technology Bulletin -- signup site for Great Lakes ADA Newsletter--good source of information and software reviews, archived newsletters available at ATB Archives
Tools and Resources
These tools and resources are updated frequently. Suggestions can be submitted to the webmaster.