Assistive Technology

Student Disability Services (SDS) provides a wide range of assistive technology for students. Some examples include:

Text to Speech (TTS) Software

Text to speech software converts written text to audio. Many TTS software programs also include a variety of literacy support tools (e.g. concept mapping, picture dictionaries). Read & Write is an example of TTS software available for use by the Miami community. All laptops purchased through the Miami Notebook Program have Read and Write installed.

Speech to Text

Speech to text software, also referred to as voice recognition software, allows users to dictate spoken word into writing. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a commonly used speech to text software used by people with a variety of disabilities, such as mobility impairment or dysgraphia.

Magnifier/Reader Software

Magnifier/Reader software is commonly used by people with visual disabilities. The software allows users to enlarge screens to their personal preference and also has the capability to read text aloud. Many products can zoom-in upwards of 20 times enlargement. Zoomtext is available for use by the Miami community.


This type of software provides audio output allowing users to independently navigate computer screens, web pages and also read text aloud. A wide variety of screen reader options are available. For example, JAWS is a widely used commercial software and Non-Visual Desktop Access is an open source screenreader available internationally. Mac operating systems also include built-in voice over capability that can be beneficial for users who are blind or have low vision.

Notetaking Pens and Applications

Notetaking pens and applications allow users to enhance the quality and comprehension of written notes. The Livescribe Pen is a notetaking pen used by many Miami students. The device uses specialized paper to capture written notes while also recording corresponding audio. Many people with disabilities also use note taking applications such as Evernote or OneNote as assistive technology to assist them with note taking.

Roger Pen

Used by people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have auditory processing disorder, the Phonak Roger Pen is a wireless mic that transmits sound to personal hearing devices (e.g. hearing aid, cochlear implant). It is particularly useful when users are in noisy environments or sound is being transmitted over distance.