Assistive Technology at Hawkeye
Student Accessibility Services provides various assistive technologies for students with disabilities at no charge to the student.
Assistive Technology is any device, piece of software, equipment or tool that helps people with disabilities improve, maintain or increase their functional capabilities. As a general rule, once a student receives an assistive technology accommodation, the student will check the equipment out from the Student Accessibility Services office and return it once the semester is complete.
The check-out process includes completing a contract regarding the use of assistive technology including the fee that will be due if the assistive technology is not returned. Due to the variety of technologies offered, some may require additional steps to obtain them.
Available Assistive Technologies at Hawkeye
If approved for the accommodation of alternative text, students will access their digital textbooks via Kurzweil. Kurzweil is a screen reading software that allows students to both listen and read the textbook at the same time. Students work with Student Accessibility Services to set up their Kurzweil account (free to the student). Books are placed into the students’ public folders for access throughout the semester. Kurzweil has multiple functionalities that can benefit students; however, the primary purpose is to allow for textbooks to be read aloud. If students want to learn about other functionalities, they can set up a time with Student Accessibility Services.
Audio Note Taking is a form of recording lectures provided by Glean software. If approved for audio note taking, students work with Student Accessibility Services to obtain access to the software program (free to the student). Once students have created a login and password for the program, they can begin recording lectures with their laptops or phones. Audio Note Taking also allows students to highlight areas of importance, record by PowerPoint slide, and take typed notes at the same time.
If approved for the accommodation of Smart Pen, students have the option to check out a Livescribe Smart Pen from Student Accessibility Services. Using a special pen and paper, students can record lectures while taking written notes. Students can then use the pen to locate specific sections of the recorded lecture based on their individual notes.
Basic Four-Function Calculator
Some students are able to handle quite sophisticated math concepts without being able to perform basic operations automatically. Students with specific learning disabilities, memory deficits, or cognitive impairment (among others) might specifically benefit from the use of a basic calculator.
Talking Calculator – Large Print Calculator
Some students with a visual impairment may benefit from a calculator with large print or a calculator that reads the numbers aloud.
Noise Cancelling Headphones/Ear Muffs
Some students benefit from the use of noise-cancelling headphones to further eliminate ambient noise. They can also be used to decrease overall sensory stimulation.
Magnifiers (Magnifying Glass, Digital Video Magnifier, Magnifying Lamp)
Students with visual impairments may benefit from the use of magnifiers whether it be a magnifying glass or something more sophisticated like a Digital Video Magnifier.
Personal FM System
A Frequency Modulation (FM) system may be used by students who are hard of hearing. FM systems transmit the instructor’s voice directly to the student at a constant level, ensuring that the instructor’s voice is heard above the level of background noise, regardless of the instructor’s distance from the student.
FM systems consist of a small microphone, a transmitter, a receiver, and some method of routing sounds from the receiver to the student's ear.
Captioning visually displays the text version of speech and other sound content of a television broadcast, webcast, film, DVD, live event, or other production. Captions not only display the words of spoken dialogue or narration, but they also include speaker identification, sound effects, and music description. Closed captioning refers to captioning that the user turns on or off; open captioning refers to captioning that is automatically on; and “real time” captioning refers to the captioning of live events or presentations. Hawkeye can provide captioning for recorded material as well as live “real time” captioning.
For students with auditory processing deficits, graphomotor difficulties, disorders impacting attention like ADHD and anxiety, learning disabilities, and other challenges, recorded lectures can benefit the students’ comprehension of material. A student may record lectures using a personal recording device or one checked out from Student Accessibility Services. Students who have this accommodation have been advised, and have signed an agreement with Student Accessibility Services, that recording lectures is for their personal educational use only. Recordings are not to be posted online or shared with other students.
Students with visual impairments may benefit from a software that allows individuals to zoom in on any computer program.
This accommodation has proved invaluable for many students with dyslexia, visual impairments, fine motor impairments, specific learning disabilities and more. Speech-to-text software is voice recognition technology that turns spoken words into written words. It can also identify and understand human speech to carry out a person’s commands on a computer.
Hawkeye typically utilizes Nuance Dragon software to provide speech-to-text accommodations. If approved for speech-to-text accommodations, students work with Student Accessibility Services to obtain access to the software program (free to the student).
If you didn't see an assistive technology that meets your needs, please reach out to Student Accessibility Services to discuss options.