Assistive Technologies

Assistive Technologies are intended to provide students with disabilities alternative access to material and/or to a variety of tools that will assist in their studies. Students registered with the ALC are able to receive services either on an ongoing or on an as needed basis.

Services available include:
  • Performing individual student technology assessments
  • Technology training determined on a case-by-case basis
  • Research and recommendations for technology purchase
ALC Preferred Technologies
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking (Speech to Text)
  • ZoomText
  • Kurzweil 3000 (Text to Speech)
  • Humanware
  • Olympus Digital Recorders
  • Echo Livescribe Smartpen

The ALC will also liaise with staff and faculty regarding accessibility and assistive technology-related issues and provide training to those who work with students using assistive technology.

The Library at the University of Lethbridge has a private access Assistive Technology Room. The room is open during regular library hours and is available on a drop-in, first come, first served basis. 

Assistive technologies are typically a funded support; please contact the ALC to enquire further.

Understanding the AFT Process

Some students have recommendations for Alternate Format Texts, which are digital copies (PDF copies) of text books that can be used with assigned text-to-speech technologies. The Accessible Learning Centre works with domestic and international publishers to obtain these files, however this process comes with no guarantees of accessing these files. It is important for students to request digital files before add/drop each semester, the turn around on these can range from one day to never. The ALC will do their best to provide as many AFT copies of texts that they can, however if a publisher refuses a request (or simply does not respond), the ALC has worked with the U of L Copyright office to ensure we can legally create our own digital format through printing services. Please note if you add or drop courses after making your AFT request, it is important to update the ALC to ensure we are requesting the correct texts for you.

AFT Process

1. Book lists are retrieved from the Bookstore
2. Requests are created for each book
3. Student provides copy of textbook receipt(s) from the Bookstore or another retailer. AFT requests cannot be made to publishers without confirmation of purchase, in keeping with Copyright Law.
4. Requests are sent to publishers
5. Received files are distributed to students
6. Files not received can be created into a digital format by the student allowing the ALC to cut/scan/rebind the text (1-2weeks processing). This process requires that the student owns the text (cannot be renting).

Canadian copyright law permits reproduction of published work for people with documented print disabilities. Print disabilities include:

  • vision loss or blindness or the inability to focus or move one's eyes
  • inability to hold or manipulate a book
  • reading disabilities

Obtaining textbooks in alternative format is a time-consuming process, please contact the ALC to enquire further.