Assistive Technology

Assistive technology comes in many forms, including e-readers, voice-recognition software, smart phones, screen-enhancing magnifiers, and FM systems. Assistive technologies are designed to reduce or remove barriers to students’ learning.

A lending library is available to those who wish to try certain products. Please complete an online request form if you would like to borrow any of the following items:

  • iPad
  • Apple Pencil
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Livescribe
  • Noise Cancelling Headphones

We have limited quantities of each item, and the lending period is three weeks.

See below for a list of assistive technologies that may help to remove barriers you’re experiencing.

Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil can be used with an iPad to write notes, markup documents, and draw diagrams. The Apple Pencil is compatible with built-in iPad apps as well as apps that can be downloaded from the app store.

C-Pen (text to speech portable)

Shaped like a highlighter, the C-Pen works like a highlighter. The C-Pen is a compact, hand-held device that reads aloud by simply scrolling across hardcopy text. Students can upload content to a Mac or PC which requires no additional software. 

Dragon Naturally Speaking (dictation software)

Dragon is a speech-to-text software that allows you to verbally control computer functions and to dictate papers and assignments. You’ve likely used a speech-to-text app—have you ever asked your smartphone to take a note or sent a text hands-free?  

Ergonomic Equipment

Our inventory includes keyboards, ergonomic mouse, laptop stands.


The Centre carries three types of headphones: noise cancelling, noise isolating, and microphone equipped.

Livescribe Smart Pen (recording device)

The Livescribe Smart Pen has an embedded computer and digital audio recorder. It allows you to record everything you hear and write which later synchronizes to your notes. Notes can be uploaded to a computer, phone or tablet. Replay any audio by tapping the notes on compatible Livescribe paper.


Our Samsung tablets and Apple iPads are available with built-in and downloadable apps to help enhance students’ educational experience.

Read&Write (Text to speech software)


This software comes in the form of a customizable, easy-to-use toolbar that works with most computer applications and programs. Read&Write highlights and reads text aloud while enabling you to control the type of voice and speed. The software (both Mac and Windows versions) is available for free to all Dalhousie students, staff, and faculty.

  1. Go to
  2. Download and install Read&Write
  3. Sign in using your username and password

Click here to watch our helpful tutorial on Read&Write tips, tricks and troubleshooting.

ZoomText (screen magnifier)

ZoomText is a screen magnifying software. The software allows users to customize zoom levels and is functional with most touch-screen devices. ZoomText now offers new command keys and a contemporary tool bar.

Interested in learning more?

Please contact us for further information about the above technologies, or to discuss potential disability funding to help support the purchase of assistive technology.