Discover how to maximise your learning and find accessible solutions for your study needs.
How to get assistive technology as a student
If you are a UK student, you can get hardware (such as headphones, laptops, recording equipment and printers) funded by Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA).
You can also get software (including screen-readers, speech-to-text programs and mind mapping solutions) for free through the same process.
If you do not qualify for DSA, there are some free and cost-effective options to help you study.
Tip: You can use assistive facilities available in the Library or book an assistive PC study session (log-in required).
Assistive technology on your computer
Your computer has built in accessibility settings.
Depending on your computer’s system, check:
- Windows accessibility guidance (Windows 10, 8 and 7)
- macOS accessibility guidance.
Extra software you can download
There are many assistive software options for students with, and without, recognised needs.
These can help with:
- reading (using, for instance, a screenreader or a coloured overlay)
- referencing and notetaking
- typing (using voice recognition)
- checking spelling, punctuation and grammar
- concentration and time management
- managing anxiety and regulating your mood.
You can download the following free assistive software from IT Services:
- ClaroRead Pro – a multi-sensory solution for reading and writing
- MindView – software to visually map and organise ideas
- NVDA screenreader – reads out the content of digital documents
- ZoomText – enlarges and enhances everything on your computer screen, making all of your applications easy to see and use.
There are many hardware solutions to support your study needs, from laptop stands to specialist input devices.
- digital recorders and microphones
- headphones, headsets and earbuds
- ergonomic keyboards and braille displays
- pointing devices, such as a mouse, track ball or trackpad
- eye-tracking cameras
- ergonomic chairs and adjustable desks.
The cost of these items can vary. If you qualify for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), these costs are usually covered by funding.
If you don’t qualify for DSA, you can search online to find equipment that suits your needs and budget.