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.

Lending Library

The Student Accessibility Centre is pleased to offer an assistive technology lending library. Students can try out a particular tool before making a purchase, reducing the financial burden for those who are exploring new supports.

How to Borrow

Submit your request online where you will be prompted to identify the type of technology you wish to borrow.

You will receive an automatic confirmation of your request. The Centre will contact you to arrange a time to pick up the device/software.  The lending period is currently 2 weeks with the option to renew.

Examples of assistive technologies

The Centre’s assistive technologies represent a small amount of what is available for free and for purchase. Tools are also available through the “accessibility” preference on your computer or tablet.

See below for a list of the Centre’s inventory.

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.

Text to speech software (Read&Write)


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

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 or to schedule an appointment with our technology advisor.