Assistive Technology 

Assistive Technology can be defined as any piece of software or hardware to assist you in completing a task.

Scott MacLeod is the Assistive Technology Specialist at SVSU. He works with students to identify appropriate software or hardware and assists students in learning how best to utilize the program for academic success. To schedule an appointment with Scott MacLeod or for more information on assistive technology, contact the Office of Accessiblity Resources and Accommodations (ARA) at (989) 964-7000.

If a student meets the appropriate accessibility requirements, then the ARA will provide them with certain assistive technologies.

Assistive Technology Provided by SVSU

Students can request that a computer and scanner, in the open computer labs at SVSU, be equipped with OCR software. This software allows students to scan in syllabi or chapters from books. The text can be saved on the students jump drive. If the student chooses to listen to the materials in the lab, they are responsible for bringing their own headphones. Headsets with longer cords are recommended. The request is good for the entire semester.

This screen reading software can be loaded on any classroom computer for a student who is legally blind.

An FM unit can be checked out from the circulation desk in the library on a daily basis.

This software can be loaded on any classroom computer for students with low vision.

This software program is available in the ARA for students with dyslexia. Students should schedule a time to use.

These screen reading software programs are available in the ARA for any student to use. These programs also convert text to audio files. Students should schedule a time to use.

Students who are blind may have tests, syllabi and short documents embossed on campus. Textbooks and larger documents are sent off campus.

A screen reader, Natural Reader, is available in the alternative testing room for students who are eligible.

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

Assistive Technology for Personal Use

Students can purchase or download a copy of the below software or equipment for their personal use. 

Writing & Editing Programs

Writing and editing programs offer a variety of assistance with different parts of writing which 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 the teaching of those with visual accessibility requirements. 

Widely Used Programs Include:

  1. JAWS 
  2. ZoomText 


Multi-function Software & Tools:

Multifunction software and tools are defined as a program or tool that is use for more the 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 devices that will either convert audio to text transcriptions or record live feed may help those in need of assistance. 

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

Scott MacLeod, Assistant Director of Accessibility Resources and Accommodations
Wickes 260
(989) 964-7000

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