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Assistive Software

What software is available to support my studies?

Mind mapping software

  • Visually plan and  your assignment or project. 
  • Can transform mind maps into a structured essay outline.

Inspiration Mind-mapping software is available on dedicated PCs in the library

Reading and writing software

  • Listen to text aloud to support comprehension
  • Change the background to help with visual stress
  • Speech dictation, to enable speaking instead of typing


This is a free which assists with reading online:


This software can convert documents into a more accessible format. This includes text to audio files and digital Braille.

Adobe This software will read the text content of PDFs into your PC headphones. Headphones are available from the Enquiry Desks at Clifford Whitworth and Allerton Learning Space.
EndNote   your own library of references, add citations and a reference list to word documents. It is available on all open access PCs and Macs at the University.
My Study Bar

This is a toolbar which can be used for screen masking, talking dictionary, mind mapping, text-to-speech and save text to MP3. The MSB icon is on the desktop of PCs in the Library.

This software can convert documents into a more accessible format. This includes text to audio files and digital Braille.

Speech-to-text Dragon Professionally Speaking is a speech-to-text dictation software. Please contact Disability & Learner Support if you would like to discuss using text-to-speech softwares.

Google documents, Microsoft Word and Apple all have voice typing functionality.

Screen reading and display enhancement software

  • Make printed and electronic text accessible

CCTVCCTV machines are available (Extension) Allerton Learning Space. CCTV is used to enlarge text or 3D materials on-screen. Printed materials, images or 3D materials are enlarged and reflected onto a monitor. The resulting image can be displayed in contrast and / or enlarged as per your requirements. Instructions on how to use are located next to the equipment.  

ZoomText software can magnify and read out text. It is available in the Allerton Learning Space on a selected PC. Headphones are available from the Enquiry Desks in the library if required. 

JAWSScreen reading software designed for people with visual impairments. Headphones are available from the Enquiry Desks in the library, if required.

Organisation and time-management

Google Calendar Google Calendar is an electronic calendar that can be programmed to send email or text message reminders for events to aid time management and organisation. It can be used across multiple platforms.

My Computer, My Way

There a number of accessibility features available on devices. AbilityNet provides help to make your device easier to use.

Where can I access the software?  

The university has a range of assistive software available to all students at the library sites (

Where can I get a copy? 

Some of the software is free or part of the accessibility features available on frequently used applications and devices. 

You may be eligible to apply for funding for additional support, which can include software and equipment.  

We also have a limited number of digital voice recorders and laptops with assistive software available. If you would like to request an equipment loan, please contact Disability & Learner Support