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Assistive software

What is assistive software?

Assistive software can be helpful to lots of people, but can be particularly useful to users with a disability, such as people with dyslexia or mental health difficulties as well as visually impaired users.

What kind of software can I access at the University?

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping software allows you to visually organise tasks and brainstorm ideas without worrying about structure and order.

On every University computer, there are three different programs for mind mapping. These programs are MindView, Mind Manager and MindGenius.

These programs have similar functions such as creating a mind map, exporting to Word, adding notes and links to your files and websites. But all three have their own unique features too.

  • Mindview can create Gantt charts and a time line.
  • MindGenius can export to PowerPoint to create your presentations and Internet Explorer to create your websites.
  • Mind Manager can link your tasks with Outlook.

All three programs look visually different, so we would recommend using all three at least once to see which works best for you.

Readback Software/Spell Check

TextHelp and ClaroRead are both programs that can carry out text-to-speech, spell check and check homophones. They can also turn documents into mp3 audio files, mask your screen and scan text. They have their own individual functions as well.

  • TextHelp Read and Write has a highlighting tool which will allow you to highlight information both online and on documents. It can read accessible PDFs and import the highlighted information, together with details of the location of the information, into a Word document. TextHelp also has many controls in its scanning and screen masking function. In its scanning function, you can select individual pages to scan and save as a PDF or Word document. In its screen masking you can mask your full screen, leaving only the line that you’re working on viewable.
  • ClaroRead has its own screen ruler which slightly magnifies the line you’re reading. It also has a tool called Claro Capture, which enables you to put information from multiple files and websites in a Word document together with its location, link and time stamp.

Windows Accessibility

  • Microsoft Ease of Access Centre contains a narrator, magnifier, on-screen keyboard and speech recognition. The narrator is Windows own screen reader and the magnifier will enlarge what’s on your screen. The on-screen keyboard will allow you to type using your mouse or, if you have a touch screen, with your fingers on screen.The speech recognition will train the computer to recognise your voice so with a microphone you can control your computer, and write documents and emails, with your voice

Where can I access this?

The university has a range of assistive software available to all users on the university computer network. You can access this on any university networked computer.

How do I find the software on a university networked computer?

When you’re logged in in a computer cluster, the easiest way to find any of the programs is to click on the Start button and then type the name of the program that you’re looking for, such as Mindview or Read and Write, into the Search box.

How can I access software that isn’t available at the University?

If you require assistive software that isn’t readily available on the University’s network, contact us to discuss.