Assistive Technology

Miami University has a variety of resources available to assist students. These resources can be helpful for all students, regardless of accommodation needs. Our hope is that all Miami University students will take advantage of the various resources available so they can make the most of their college education.

How could assistive technology benefit me if I don't have a disability?

Would you like to have software that reads text to you? What about a program that allows your computer to type the words that you speak? You can also use technology to ensure access for others. Check out some examples of Assistive Technology (AT), including Read&Write and mobile apps that help with note-taking. Providing software free of charge is one of the ways Miami assists students.

Accommodations

Students at a classroom table looking at their laptops

Miami's Miller Center for Student Disability Services (MCSDS) provides a number of support services and reasonable accommodations to qualified students with physical, medical, psychological, and learning disabilities on the Oxford campus.

To be eligible for accommodations, individuals must self-disclose disability information to MCSDS and may be asked to provide documentation from a qualified professional supporting the accommodation request. All students are expected to meet with the director or a staff member of MCSDS, to complete an intake interview and finalize registration with MCSDS prior to the delivery of accommodations.

Libraries

Do you visit the library often? Miami has Accessible Technology stations with various tools available for student use.

Center for Information Management (CIM) Lab, King Library 112
Open computer lab.  A list of hours can be found on the Center for Information Management (CIM) website.  The software described below is available in the CIM.  The CIM staff will be happy to assist you.

Book scanners
B.E.S.T., King Library, and the Art and Architecture library have KIC book scanners available for faculty who need to quickly scan pages from books. KIC scanners will email a .PDF file that will then need to be made accessible using Adobe Acrobat Pro.

MovieCaptioner
A captioning software that will loop video 4 seconds at a time to make captioning easier. It also has many other features to support the addition of captions to digital video. MovieCaptioner is available in the CIM lab.

Adobe Acrobat Pro
Available in CIM, use Adobe Acrobat Pro to make .PDF files accessible.

Accessible workstation
Located along the north wall in our public computing area, this workstation has JAWS, Read&Write, and NVDA installed.

Questions about Library resources? Contact Katie Gibson via email or call 513-529-0190.

Assistive Technology

Whether or not you have documented accommodations, assistive technology can help you get the most from your studies. Would you like to have software that reads the text to you? What about a program that allows you to talk to the computer and type? Along with various mobile apps, you can take advantage of free tools available to Miami students. You might not be aware that even your PC or Mac provides built-in technology with various forms of assistance at your fingertips. Discover how assistive technology can help you.

What is Bookshare?

Bookshare is the world’s largest library and the most extensive collection of accessible ebooks in the world, spanning 70 countries, containing nearly one million titles. Students registered with the Miller Center for Student Disability Services (MCSDS) that qualify for accessible text accommodations are eligible to use Bookshare.  Accessing ebooks are free for all qualified U.S. students and schools thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).  

What are the benefits of using Bookshare?

  • No need to submit alt format requests to MCSDS, or show proof of purchase
  • Instant download of available text
  • Read on the device YOU chose
  • See text and follow along with word-level highlighting
  • Read as many books as you want: FREE for qualified U.S. students

Bookshare ebooks provide more reading options than other ebooks or audiobooks and make it easier to read. See how Bookshare works.

If you have any questions about Bookshare, please contact the AccessMU Center at AccessMU@MiamiOH.edu or 513-529-0200.

Read&Write is a free literacy software available for all Miami students, faculty & staff. The toolbar contains many features that integrate with your daily programs, such as Word, Adobe Reader, internet browsers, and more. Contact the AccessMU Center for training to see which features are right for you!

Training Videos

Read&Write for Google Chrome Training Videos

Features

  • Text-to-Speech (Have documents and books in PDF/Word read out loud)
  • Digital Highlighting (Highlight notes in documents with multiple colors)
  • Speech Maker (Create an MP3 audio file from a document)
  • Word Prediction (Makes writing papers easier and faster)
  • Language Translator
  • Scan Hard Copy Documents to Word, PDF, or HTML files
  • And more!

Read&Write supports the following:

  • Different learning styles (Example: Auditory & Visual)
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing & Studying skills
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Research and more!

Installing and Using Read&Write for Google Chrome

Read&Write for Google Chrome provides support tools for the web and common file types accessed through Google Drive, including Google Docs, Google Slides, Web Pages, PDFs, and ePubs.

This is a quick overview of how to access the product.

Adding Read&Write for Google Chrome

To begin using Read&Write for Google Chrome, you must first add it to Chrome through the Chrome Web Store. This will install the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension to be used in Google Docs, web pages, ePubs, and PDFs. 

Please also see the Extensions required for Read&Write for Google Chrome.

Google Docs/Slides

When the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension is installed, you should see a tab with the purple puzzle piece icon whenever you open a Google Doc or edit in Google Slides.

Click on the purple puzzle piece icon on the tab, and the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar will drop down for use. 

Pin your Extension to Your Toolbar

If you do not see the purple puzzle piece icon on your Chrome toolbar, click the Chrome puzzle piece to show unpinned extensions. You can pin the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension icon on your Chrome toolbar by clicking the Pin button.

To open the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar, click the purple puzzle piece icon on your Chrome toolbar to open the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar.

To retract the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar in Docs and Slides, click the up arrow button on the right end of the toolbar.

Web Pages

When the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension is installed and you open a web page, you will see the purple puzzle piece icon next to the Chrome Bookmark star on the address bar.

Click on the purple puzzle piece icon, and the Read&Write for Google Chrome floating toolbar will appear.

Click the purple puzzle piece icon again to hide the toolbar.

The toolbar must be opened any time you navigate to a new page or a new tab is opened.

Note: Read&Write for Google Chrome works with most web pages. If you find the floating toolbar does not appear or the purple puzzle piece icon is grayed out, then you are on a web page that does not support the use of Read&Write for Google Chrome.

PDFs and ePubs

Your Miami University premium subscription of Read&Write for Google Chrome will give you access to OrbitNote, Texthelp's new PDF Reader. It also supports ePub files in Google Drive. Simply right-click on the ePub and choose open with "Read&Write." 

For installation information, please see Getting Started with OrbitNote.

Follow the How To Set The Default PDF Viewer In Drive instructions and set it as default.

For ePubs, please see Using the Texthelp ePub Reader.

Removing the Read&Write for Google Chrome Toolbar

If you want to uninstall these features, go to How can I uninstall the extension?

Livescribe echo smartpen.

Notetaking pens and applications allow users to enhance the quality and comprehension of written notes. The Livescribe Pen is a notetaking pen used by many Miami students. The device uses specialized paper to capture written notes while also recording corresponding audio. Many people with disabilities also use note-taking applications such as Evernote or OneNote as assistive technology to assist them with note-taking.

Livescribe Smartpens are available for Miami students if they are registered with Student Disability Services and have the digital notetaking pen accommodation.  If you think you would benefit from using a Livescribe Smartpen, please contact your Student Disabilities Coordinator.

Apple includes assistive technology in its products as standard features — at no additional cost. For example, iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac OS X include screen magnification and VoiceOver, a screen-access technology, for the blind and visually impaired. To assist those with cognitive and learning disabilities, every Mac includes an alternative, simplified user interface that rewards exploration and learning. And, for those who find it difficult to use a mouse, every Mac computer includes Mouse Keys, Slow Keys, and Sticky Keys, which adapt the computer to the user’s needs and capabilities. Visit the links below for more information on Apple’s products & play the videos below for iPad Accessibility demos.

Mac OS X Accessibility

Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

iPad/iPhone Accessibility Features

Use Voice Control on your Mac

Evernote app

Evernote is a free app available on all Apple and Android devices as well as your PC and Mac. It lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable on all your devices, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. You must create a free Evernote account to start using the app. Visit the Evernote Website to download.

Audio Note Lite app icon

Audio Note Lite is a free app for Apple devices that will allow you to take recorded notes as well as written notes. It’s great for recording classroom lectures, homework assignments, and reminders. Visit the following link to download: AudioNote Lite Download

Android Accessibility Suite Logo

Android Accessibility Suite is a collection of accessibility services that enable people to use an Android device eyes-free or with the use of a switch device.

Android Accessibility Suite includes the following services:
•The TalkBack screen reader adds spoken, audible, and vibration feedback to your device.
•Switch-Access lets you control your device with a switch.
•Select to Speak lets you select something on your screen and hear it read or described aloud. Visit the following link to download: Android Accessibility Suite Download.

Bookshare

What is Bookshare?

Bookshare is the world’s largest library and the most extensive collection of accessible ebooks in the world, spanning 70 countries, containing nearly one million titles. Students registered with the Miller Center for Student Disability Services (MCSDS) that qualify for accessible text accommodations are eligible to use Bookshare.  Accessing ebooks are free for all qualified U.S. students and schools thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).  

What are the benefits of using Bookshare?

  • No need to submit alt format requests to MCSDS, or show proof of purchase
  • Instant download of available text
  • Read on the device YOU chose
  • See text and follow along with word-level highlighting
  • Read as many books as you want: FREE for qualified U.S. students

Bookshare ebooks provide more reading options than other ebooks or audiobooks and make it easier to read. See how Bookshare works.

If you have any questions about Bookshare, please contact the AccessMU Center at AccessMU@MiamiOH.edu or 513-529-0200.

Read&Write

Read&Write is a free literacy software available for all Miami students, faculty & staff. The toolbar contains many features that integrate with your daily programs, such as Word, Adobe Reader, internet browsers, and more. Contact the AccessMU Center for training to see which features are right for you!

Training Videos

Read&Write for Google Chrome Training Videos

Features

  • Text-to-Speech (Have documents and books in PDF/Word read out loud)
  • Digital Highlighting (Highlight notes in documents with multiple colors)
  • Speech Maker (Create an MP3 audio file from a document)
  • Word Prediction (Makes writing papers easier and faster)
  • Language Translator
  • Scan Hard Copy Documents to Word, PDF, or HTML files
  • And more!

Read&Write supports the following:

  • Different learning styles (Example: Auditory & Visual)
  • Reading comprehension
  • Writing & Studying skills
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Research and more!

Installing and Using Read&Write for Google Chrome

Read&Write for Google Chrome provides support tools for the web and common file types accessed through Google Drive, including Google Docs, Google Slides, Web Pages, PDFs, and ePubs.

This is a quick overview of how to access the product.

Adding Read&Write for Google Chrome

To begin using Read&Write for Google Chrome, you must first add it to Chrome through the Chrome Web Store. This will install the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension to be used in Google Docs, web pages, ePubs, and PDFs. 

Please also see the Extensions required for Read&Write for Google Chrome.

Google Docs/Slides

When the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension is installed, you should see a tab with the purple puzzle piece icon whenever you open a Google Doc or edit in Google Slides.

Click on the purple puzzle piece icon on the tab, and the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar will drop down for use. 

Pin your Extension to Your Toolbar

If you do not see the purple puzzle piece icon on your Chrome toolbar, click the Chrome puzzle piece to show unpinned extensions. You can pin the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension icon on your Chrome toolbar by clicking the Pin button.

To open the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar, click the purple puzzle piece icon on your Chrome toolbar to open the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar.

To retract the Read&Write for Google Chrome toolbar in Docs and Slides, click the up arrow button on the right end of the toolbar.

Web Pages

When the Read&Write for Google Chrome extension is installed and you open a web page, you will see the purple puzzle piece icon next to the Chrome Bookmark star on the address bar.

Click on the purple puzzle piece icon, and the Read&Write for Google Chrome floating toolbar will appear.

Click the purple puzzle piece icon again to hide the toolbar.

The toolbar must be opened any time you navigate to a new page or a new tab is opened.

Note: Read&Write for Google Chrome works with most web pages. If you find the floating toolbar does not appear or the purple puzzle piece icon is grayed out, then you are on a web page that does not support the use of Read&Write for Google Chrome.

PDFs and ePubs

Your Miami University premium subscription of Read&Write for Google Chrome will give you access to OrbitNote, Texthelp's new PDF Reader. It also supports ePub files in Google Drive. Simply right-click on the ePub and choose open with "Read&Write." 

For installation information, please see Getting Started with OrbitNote.

Follow the How To Set The Default PDF Viewer In Drive instructions and set it as default.

For ePubs, please see Using the Texthelp ePub Reader.

Removing the Read&Write for Google Chrome Toolbar

If you want to uninstall these features, go to How can I uninstall the extension?

Livescribe Smartpen

Livescribe echo smartpen.

Notetaking pens and applications allow users to enhance the quality and comprehension of written notes. The Livescribe Pen is a notetaking pen used by many Miami students. The device uses specialized paper to capture written notes while also recording corresponding audio. Many people with disabilities also use note-taking applications such as Evernote or OneNote as assistive technology to assist them with note-taking.

Livescribe Smartpens are available for Miami students if they are registered with Student Disability Services and have the digital notetaking pen accommodation.  If you think you would benefit from using a Livescribe Smartpen, please contact your Student Disabilities Coordinator.

Windows 10

Mac OS/iOS

Apple includes assistive technology in its products as standard features — at no additional cost. For example, iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac OS X include screen magnification and VoiceOver, a screen-access technology, for the blind and visually impaired. To assist those with cognitive and learning disabilities, every Mac includes an alternative, simplified user interface that rewards exploration and learning. And, for those who find it difficult to use a mouse, every Mac computer includes Mouse Keys, Slow Keys, and Sticky Keys, which adapt the computer to the user’s needs and capabilities. Visit the links below for more information on Apple’s products & play the videos below for iPad Accessibility demos.

Mac OS X Accessibility

Mac OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

iPad/iPhone Accessibility Features

Use Voice Control on your Mac

Apps

Evernote app

Evernote is a free app available on all Apple and Android devices as well as your PC and Mac. It lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable on all your devices, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. You must create a free Evernote account to start using the app. Visit the Evernote Website to download.

Audio Note Lite app icon

Audio Note Lite is a free app for Apple devices that will allow you to take recorded notes as well as written notes. It’s great for recording classroom lectures, homework assignments, and reminders. Visit the following link to download: AudioNote Lite Download

Android Accessibility Suite Logo

Android Accessibility Suite is a collection of accessibility services that enable people to use an Android device eyes-free or with the use of a switch device.

Android Accessibility Suite includes the following services:
•The TalkBack screen reader adds spoken, audible, and vibration feedback to your device.
•Switch-Access lets you control your device with a switch.
•Select to Speak lets you select something on your screen and hear it read or described aloud. Visit the following link to download: Android Accessibility Suite Download.