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Computer Lab Accessibility Tools

Use accessible software in Temple's computer labs.

Overview

Temple University is committed to the goal of universal access in computing. This site will describe the adaptive software and hardware equipment available at Temple’s computer labs and at Disability Resources and Services (DRS) with the aim of providing a comfortable and productive working environment for all students.

You can use the adaptive computer equipment and software programs during regular computer lab hours. To reserve equipment, call the computer lab in advance. 

Accessible Software

In most of Temple's PC-based computer labs, a desktop icon opens a menu of specialized software programs to assist persons who use screen readers and screen enlargement software programs. The following programs are currently available in a number of computer labs on campus.  The software can be found on the desktop of the computers in a folder titled Accessibility Tools with the following icon:

  • JAWS
    JAWS (Job Access with Speech) is a screen reader program for Windows computers developed to allow persons who are blind to listen to printed text on a screen. It can read documents, websites, it is compatible with many software programs that can be adjusted for several languages. See the instructions to log in to a computer with a screen reader.
  • Kurzweil 1000
    Kurzweil 1000 (K-1000) is scanning software for Windows computers where students can scan in materials and then have the materials read back to them. The software is designed for students who are blind.
  • ZoomText Level 2
    ZoomText is a screen enlargement program for Windows computers with optional speech. It can adjust font size and color backgrounds according to the preference of the user. See the instructions to log in to a computer with a screen magnifier.
  • Read & Write
    Read & Write is a multi-purpose text to speech program for Macintosh and Windows computers designed for persons with print reading difficulties, such as dyslexia. In addition to typical screen reading functions, the Read & Write can highlight specific words, sentences or paragraphs and can be used as a dictionary and thesaurus. In combination with voice recognition software, it can also be used to create study guides.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS)
    Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) is voice recognition software that enables a person to dictate into a computer program without the use of a keyboard. In laboratories with high noise levels, DNS may not be effective without acoustic masks.

Accessible Hardware

  • Raised Workstations
    Raised workstations are available for persons who use wheelchairs in most computer lab locations.
  • Book Edge Scanners
    These scanners are able to scan books up to the spine of the book so the entire page is readable.
  • Alternative Keyboards and Mice
    Alternative keyboards and mice can be used by anyone who experiences difficulties with using the standard keyboard and mice.
  • Ergo-Rest Arm Supports
    These arm supports may look strange, but they are designed to support your upper body and reduce the risk of Repetitive Motion Injuries.  To use them, place your forearms in the pads, and adjust so that the pads “float” over your keyboard and mouse.  The height adjustment is a small dial just in front of where they clamp to the desk

Support

For general computer-related questions, contact the Help Desk through Help Chat or the Request Help tab on the cs.temple.edu home page. You can also call 215-204-8000.