Assistive Technology

What can the library offer students with learning difference?

IT Tralee library is committed to providing all our users with high quality services and supports.

Our Assistive Technologies (AT) room has three student networked PCs on electrically height-adjustable tables/desks. There is also a table-top magnifier on a fourth, manually height-adjustable table. The AT room can be booked at the library service desk.

Below are lists of specialists equipment and software available in the library.

Specialist Equipment

The Fusion portable magnifier comes in a case with a power lead. It can be used flat on text and effortlessly glides over text on its discrete rollers. The clam shell designed screen can be tilted at the optimum angle for user comfort. When required, the integrated mouse can then be removed and used to access awkward reading areas like the spines of books or files.
Compact and easy to move, the Eclipse offers full colour and continuous auto focus with semi-colours, line-markers and overview mode.
For users who requires distance and close-up viewing on a laptop or PC. The base of the unit sits under the keyboard to minimize footprint. The flexible camera flips up to look at presentation and flips back again for close up reading and writing. The Opti Verso will be available for issue for longer than two hours and can be taken out of the library.
The idea behind a mini keyboard is that it reduces the need to reach. They can be ideal for users with restricted movement.
The trackball acts as an alternative mouse that assists users who have reduced or restricted movement in their arms or hands.
Users whose arm or hand movement involves shaking many inadvertently hit unintended keys or several keys at once. The key guard ensures that only the intended key is hit.
Supports your hand in a relaxed handshake position, eliminating arm twisting. Left handed and right handed versions. The Evoluent Mouse III has been designed to use with your hand positioned to avoid the twisting of your forearm and allowing a healthier and safer way of working through the day.
The Roller II Trackball is easy to operate with your finger-tips. It features three buttons, which are guarded with a removable finger guard which helps locate the correct switch, support the hand and avoid pressing wrong keys. A useful latching ‘drag-switch’ is also fitted.
The Traxsys Roller Plus Joystick is one of the most adaptable mouse substitutes on the market. It has six buttons that support left and right click, double click, drag lock, horizontal and vertical lock and cursor speed control. A flashing light indicates the drag button has been activated.

Specialist Software

A richly featured mind-mapping and text outlining tool. Students can use their visual thinking skills to create graphical representations of their ideas, simply by picking from the large palette of images and symbols provided. Inspiration 8 supports multiple learning styles with three unique environments for creating diagrams, outlines and mind maps. Inspiration’s controls are speech enabled, and the speech facility can be used to read back the entered text to the user.
Anyone who prefers to think visually rather than textually may find mind mapping software useful. Dyslexia users may find it particularly useful.

View a three-minute guide to Inspiration.

Word shark has 55 specially designed games to teach and to reinforce reading and spelling using 9,000 pre-recorded words grouped in specially selected word lists. The numerous permutations of games and word lists create both variety and motivation. Word shark includes a high quality phonics approach to reading based on ‘Letters and Sounds’. Different games include blending sounds into words for reading and also segmenting into sounds and syllables for spelling. All common letter patterns and auditory patterns are covered, also spelling rules, homophones and alphabet and dictionary skills.
Word shark is especially useful for students with dyslexia as well as for general use.
It is available on each of the three PCs in the AT room. There is an icon to Word Shark under Start/Programs.

Learn more about Word Shark 4

Wordswork uses graphics, voiceovers, colour and humour to develop a variety of language skills which dyslexic students (and others) need to address. Using a “learning style” approach, students are encouraged to identify and use their strengths to overcome areas of weakness. The program includes many exercises to involve users in interactive learning.
Words Work is aimed at Dyslexic Students and is available on each of the three PCs in the AT room. There is an icon to Words Work under Start/Programs/Brind Arena.

Further information on WordsWork

The worlds best selling speech recognition software, Dragon Naturally Speaking turns voice into text. Dragon works with most popular applications, including Word and Internet Explorer. Just about everything that users would do with a keyboard can be done by speaking with Dragon, which can also open and close applications, order the desktop or operate the mouse.
Dragon is intended for anyone who would prefer to use their voice to interact with a PC, but especially visually impaired users.
It is available on each of the three PCs in the AT room. There is an icon to Dragon under Start/Programs. There is also an icon in the icon tray in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. Please note that running Dragon on the middle PC, when running JAWS will cause a conflict.

View a brief demo of Dragon

JAWS provides speech technology that works with the Windows operating system to access popular software applications and the internet. It uses an integrated voice synthesizer and the PCs sound card to output the content of the computer screen to speakers. JAWS also outputs to refreshable Braille displays.
JAWS, which is intended for visually impaired users, is available on each of the three PC’s under Start/Programs. It opens automatically on the PC furthest from the door, so JAWS will read out what is on the screen once the PC is turned on.
A ten-minute demo of JAWS
A simple to use toolbar that floats on top of any open application, TextHelp Read and Write Gold features include Spelling, Speech, Homophone support, Scanning and Word Prediction.
Intended for visually impaired or dyslexic users, Text Help is available on each of the three PCs in the AT room. There is an icon to Read & Write under Start/Programs.
Please view this five-minute Guide to Text Help. Each option on the Read and Write Gold Toolbar comes with its own video guide.
Magnification and reading software, Zoomtext is intended for visually impaired users and is available on the two PCs furthest away from the door. There is an icon to Zoom Text under Start/ Programs.

Please view a seven-minute Guide to using Zoomtext.

Your Content Goes Here
Kurzweil 1000 makes printed or electronic text readily available by combining accessibility, communication and productivity tools to ease and enhance the reading, writing and learning experience. The software speaks text aloud in a variety of natural-sounding voices that can be modified to suit individual preferences. In addition, it provides users with document creation and editing as well as study skills capabilities for note taking, summarizing and outlining text.
Aimed at visually imparied users, Kurzweil 1000 is available on the two PCs furthest away from the door. There is an icon to Kurzweil under Start/Programs
T3 – A touch sensitive, multi sensory device that provides instant audio feedback from tactile images. This combination of sound and touch transforms the way in which people who are visually impaired can access graphical information.
The T3 is connected to a standard PC or laptop computer via a USB connection and the self-installing programme CD is inserted. To activate the system all that is needed is a T3 tactile diagram overlay to be placed on the surface of the device and touched by the operators finger. When a user presses on various parts of the tactile diagram they hear appropriate descriptive audio feedback.
This package includes a tablet and a special printer for printing raised tactile images. It is currently available on the PC furthest away from the door. There are links to the T3 software under Start/Programs.
EasyConverter quickly creates Large Print, MP3, DAISY and Braille versions of learning materials that can either be scanned from paper, or input from Word, PDF, HTML, Nimas, Kesi, DAISY Xml, text or image files. EasyConverter is simple to use for those with no altformat creation experience, and is equally suited to experienced professionals looking for a single flexible high quality altformat creation tool to meet the needs of dyslexic, visually impaired and learning disabled students.
Intended for Dyslexic, visually impaired and learning disabled students, Dolphin is available on the PC furthest away from the door only. There is a link to Dolphin under Start/Programs.

Watch a six-minute overview of Dolphin Easy Converter on YouTube.

Provides translation and formatting facilities to automate the process of conversion from regular print to braille (and vice versa), and also provides word-processing facilities for working directly in the braille as well as the print. “Fonts” are used for displaying the braille.
Duxbury is available on the PC furthest away from the door. There is a link to Duxbury under Start/Programs.

Watch a five-minute video on Duxbury.

For more information on Assistive Technology, please contact:

Angela O’Connor Desmond
066 719 1837
Angela.OConnorDesmond@staff.ittralee.ie

Siobhan MacGarry
066 7191678
Siobhan.MacGarry@staff.ittralee.ie

Valerie Moore
066 7191682
valerie.moore@ittralee.ie