Assistive Technology

Assistive technology supports the success of all students with tools to provide various formats of written text and audio presentations.

While some programs are specifically geared for students with disabilities, many resources are free and available to everyone. Below are tools available and links to better understand how they can help you.

WCC students may contact the Assistive Technology Specialist in Learning Support Services (LSS) with questions about assistive technology tools.

Text to Speech

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a type of assistive technology that reads digital text aloud; also called “read aloud” technology. TTS will take words from a computer or other digital device and convert them into audio. TTS is very helpful for students who struggle with reading.

Free Resources Available to Everyone

WebReader and DocReader within Blackboard

Allows students to read aloud course content (free for current WCC students).

Within Readspeaker:

  1. WebReader allows text content on a website (HTML) to be read aloud
  2. DocReader is a cloud based tool that displays and reads aloud online documents includes: PDF, PowerPoint and Word

ReadSpeaker TextAid within Blackboard

ReadSpeaker TextAid is a Web-based platform with text-to-speech (TTS) technology to translate written documents into spoken language. It is a tool that helps students overcome accessibility challenges while reading, writing, and studying.

Natural Reader Online

Natural Reader Online converts any written text to audio. It allows you to listen to text instead of reading it on the screen and translates from DOC, DOCX, RTF, HTML and accessible PDF files.

iOS, Android

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 reads text aloud from pdf files, Word documents, eBook and ePub files. It can synchronize with mobile devices. It allows making notes on files with various tools.

iOS, Android


EquatiO is a tool designed to support students in mathematics and STEM courses. With this tool the user has the availability to type, write, and dictate expressions and equations. It also can predict expressions and transform your handwritten expressions into text. It also allows the user to grab an equation and transform it into digital text. Users can take a picture of a written equation and upload it into a digital format.

Immersive Reader with Microsoft Lens

Microsoft Lens and Immersive Reader with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, will read scanned text, decode complex text, and focus on the text in documents out loud with simultaneous highlighting along with other special features.

Office 365 (free for all students with a ”.edu” email address) | IOS, Android

Text to Speech for Reading Web Pages

Kurzweil Read the Web extension

The Kurzweil Read the Web extension for Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Chrome allows you to have web content read aloud.

Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge Browser

Immersive Reader in Microsoft’s Edge simplifies web page layouts, removes clutter, and helps you customize your reading experience in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Free for all students.

Speech to Text (Dictation)

Speech-to-text is a type of software that takes audio content and transcribes it into written words in a word processor or other display. This type of speech recognition software is extremely valuable to anyone who needs to generate a lot of written content without a lot of manual typing.

Free Resources Available to Everyone

Dictate in Office 365

Dictate is an Office add-in for Windows Outlook, Word and PowerPoint that converts speech to text using speech recognition behind Cortana and Microsoft Translator.

Office 365 (free for all students with a ”.edu” email address).

Google Voice Typing in Google Docs

Google Voice Typing lets the user dictate using your computer’s microphone.

Free for current WCC students. iOS, Android

Speech Notes

Speech Notes is a voice recognition software that enables speech to be converted automatically into text.

Screen Reader

A screen reader is a form of assistive technology (AT) that provides text and image content as speech or braille output. Screen readers are essential to people who are blind and are useful to people who are visually impaired or have a learning disability. Text must be specially formatted to be read with a screen reader.

Free Resources Available to Everyone

ChromeVox Screen Reader

ChromeVox is a screen reader created by Google that allows users to browse the Internet with the aid of synthesized speech played through their speakers or headphones.

Free Chrome plugin.

NVDA (Nonvisual Desktop Access)

NVDA is a free and open source, portable screen reader for Microsoft Windows.


VoiceOver is the free built-in screen reader available on all Apple computers running Mac OS X Tiger or later.


Narrator is a screen reading program built into Windows 10 and 11.

Free for all students.

Screen Magnifiers

Enlarge screen content making the information accessible to students with visual disabilities/low-vision users.

Free Resources Available to Everyone


The magnifier makes part or all of the screen larger.

Windows 11, 10, 8.1 SSS.and 7

Zoom feature on Mac

Zoom is a screen magnification accessibility tool available on all macOS and iOS products. Enable the feature from the Apple menu.

Note Taking

Instructor permission is required for recording unless an approved accommodation by LSS.

Free Resources Available to Everyone

Otter records and takes classroom lecture notes in real time providing automated transcription with summary keywords, highlights, and full audio transcripts (Free: 300 minutes per month or 30 minutes at one time).

iOS, Android


Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users' notes, drawings, screen clippings, and audio commentaries.

Office 365 (free for all students with a ”.edu” email address) | iOS, Android

For Purchase (All Students)/Loan from LSS (Qualified Students)

Livescribe Smart Pen

The Livescribe Smartpen may be purchased by anyone. WCC students may borrow equipment if eligible as a student with a disability. Contact Learning Support Services.

The Livescribe Smartpen records what the user writes, draws and hears. A camera tracks what is written or drawn and the built-in microphone records the audio.

Digital Recorder

A digital voice recorder is media-free. It converts sounds to digital files and doesn’t require a cassette, CD, or another type of media to store the files. Instead, the files are saved on small, lightweight memory cards that you can easily remove from the device.

Captions for Video

Free Resources Available to Everyone

Live Caption in Chrome

Closed captioning is a method of presenting sound information to a viewer who is deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Closed captioning provides a text display of the spoken part of a video presentation for viewers who are deaf or have difficulty hearing. It is also useful when learning to speak a non-native language or where audio is difficult to hear or intentionally muted.

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