Assistive Technology 

Assistive technology is assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative tools for people with disabilities.  These tools can be either in the form of hardware or software.

If you feel that some form of assistive technology will help to reduce any barriers you are encountering or if you would like more information regarding assistive technology, please schedule an appointment by contacting the Office of Accessibility Resources and Accommodations (ARA) at (989) 964-7000.

ARA will provide certain assistive technologies if a student meets the appropriate accessibility requirements.

Assistive Technology Provided by SVSU

The software available in our testing rooms are Natural Reader and Jaws.  Natural Reader is a text to speech software product and Jaws is a screen reading software product. 

Students, faculty, staff and SVSU visitors may check out an amigo from Zahnow Library for assistance on campus. Please click here to learn more about the steps for checking out an amigo at SVSU.

An FM unit can be checked out from the circulation desk in Zahnow Library.  If you opt to use this device, please ask for a Supervisor's help.

Assistive Technology for Personal Use

Students can purchase software or equipment for their personal use. 

Writing & Editing Programs

Writing and editing programs offer with the writing process.  These can include, but are not limited to, prewriting and editing papers. Different programs can help with advanced spell checks, homonym checks, grammar tips, brainstorming or organizing. 

Popular Examples Include:

  1. Ginger 
  2. Writer's Workbench 
  3. Grammarly 

Voice-Recognition Programs

Voice-Recognition Programs are speech-to-text programs that allow students to dictate papers into the computer.

A Popular Example:

Screen Readers

Screen readers are text-to-speech software programs that enable the computer to read what is on the computer screen. Some allow the text file to be converted into an audio file for use on an iPod or MP3 player.  

Widely Used Devices Include:

  1. Natural Reader 
  2. Text a Loud 
  3. Wordtalk (A free add-in for Microsoft Office Word) 

Visual Impairment Programs

Visual Impairment Programs specialize in capable technology that assists in teaching those with visual accessibility requirements. 

Widely Used Programs Include:

  1. JAWS 
  2. ZoomText 


Multi-function Software & Tools:

Multifunction software and tools consists of programs or tools that are used for more than one function.

Popular Examples Include:

Recording & Note Taking Devices

Taking notes is an essential part of the learning process. Therefore, finding the right recording or note taking device will help in converting audio to text transcriptions or recording live feed.

Popular Examples Include:

  1. Livescribe Echo Pen 
  2. Audio Notetaker
Assistive Technology Fund


Ann Coburn-Collins, Director of Academic Support Programs
Wickes 260
(989) 964-7000

Shawn Wilson, Associate Director of Accessibility Resources and Accommodations
Wickes 260
(989) 964-7000

Debbi Abeare-Jacobs, Administrative Secretary
Wickes 260
(989) 964-7000