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Assistive Technology: Overview


Assistive technology is specialized equipment, devices, applications, or software that help people with or without disabilities perform their daily activities (Government of Manitoba, n.d.). 

ACC offers a wide variety of assistive technologies for students, including:

  • Read and Write Gold
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • LiveScribe Pens
  • Alternate Format texts
  • Ergonomic Chairs and Workstations
  • Digital Recorders
  • Mind Mapping Software

Please visit the staff at the Learning Curve for an overview of our services, or instruction regarding any type of assistive technology. Please visit your Student Success Advisor for more information about Accessibility and Disability Services



Government of Manitoba. (n.d.). What is assistive technology? Retrieved August 9, 2018, from


The Learning Curve team is available to help with assistive technology!


Text-to-speech technology converts text on a screen and reads it out loud to you. This can be helpful to you in a few ways:

  • It can improve your literacy skills, including word recognition, definitions, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

  • It's great for proofreading papers! Listening to your written work being read out loud helps you catch grammatical and spelling mistakes.
  • It's great for reading research articles! Use text-to-speech to read articles out loud to you. Research shows that listening to information can help with comprehension and recall.

Text-to-speech can be used with:

  • PDFs
  • Microsoft Word documents
  • Emails
  • Web pages
  • and more!
Note: If you're a student with accommodation for alternate format textbooksbook an appointment with the Learning Curve. 



Read and Write Gold

Read and Write Gold is an example of both a text-to-speech and a speech-to-text tool. As a student or staff member, it's available to you for free! 

Read and Write Gold has many useful tools for reading and writing, including:

  • Highlighting what's being read out loud while it's being read
  • Changing the font size on documents that you want read out loud
  • Changing the sound of the reading voice, including pitch, volume, and the length of pause between words
  • Changing word pronunciation with the "say like" function
  • Customizing how the text looks when it's read out loud - you can have it read by word, sentence, text box, or within the document itself
Note: To download a copy of the software to a college computer, follow the directions linked below. If you want a copy for your personal computer, please use the request form linked below.



Read and Write Gold Toolbar Tour


Read and Write Gold Speech Tour


Other Text-to-Speech Tools


Speech-to-text technology uses voice recognition to type out what you say. You can use it to dictate:

  • Writing assignments, like essays and papers
  • Emails
  • To-do lists
  • Notes

You can use speech-to-text technology on your:

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Computer
Note: If you're a student with an accommodation for speech-to-text, please book an appointment with the Learning Curve to discuss your options.



Read and Write Gold

Read and Write Gold is an example of both a text-to-speech and a speech-to-text tool. As a student or staff member, it's available to you for free!


Read and Write Gold Speech-to-Text Tutorial

Dragon Naturally Speaking

With Dragon Naturally Speaking you can create documents (e.g. Word, Excel, emails) and even control your computer! Simply dictate what you want the program to write or do.

Note: You must buy a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking in order to use it. There are many different versions to choose from. We recommend you look at the features list below and then book an appointment with the Learning Curve before buying the software.



Introduction to Dragon Naturally Speaking


Other Speech-to-Text Tools


Taking good notes is essential for your learning. There are apps and programs that can raise your note-taking to the next level! First, though, it's important to understand note-taking and identify a strategy that works for you.


Taking Notes: Crash Course

Guidelines for Use

Many note-taking apps and devices include a video or audio recording function. If you're interested in recording content, you must review and follow Assiniboine's Use of Recording Devices policy.

If you need to record content for accommodation purposes, you're allowed to use recording devices to assist in accessing lectures or other learning resources, as outlined in Assiniboine's Academic Accommodations policy. If you require this accommodation, you must meet with your Student Success Advisor before recording.

Microsoft OneNote

As an ACC student, you have access to Microsoft OneNote, a program that helps you organize and gather notes and information. With OneNote you can:


OneNote Introduction


Evernote is a desktop and mobile program that allows you to collect, organize, and share notes. 


How to Use Evernote in College


Other Note-Taking Tools


The following apps and programs can help make studying more effective and interesting.