Office for Students with Disabilities
Assistive Technology Services
Assistive Technology Procedures and Training
To be productive and successful, students may need to utilize assistive technologies. Julie Balassa, the Assistant Director of the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), is the supervisor of Assistive Technology Services.
Assessment of the student's needs and recommendations for appropriate assistive technologies will be done by
- a review of the student's documentation by a qualified OSD staff member (an OSD advisor, the Director, and/or the Assistant Director) and
- an interactive conversation among the student, an OSD advisor, and Julie Balassa.
Training in the use of assistive technologies is available
Available Assistive Technologies
The college offers the following assistive equipment college-wide on a first-come-first-served basis. Some equipment is stationary, some is delivered to the classroom, and some can be checked out with the student's Valencia ID (VID) card.
- distance camera systems for viewing materials at a distance (e.g. whiteboard, blackboard, screen)
- CCTVs for viewing materials at close range, stationary and portable - check out portable CCTVs from library or AV department to use on campus
- laptops for remote speech to text services (Cprint and CART) - check out from library or AV department to use in classroom
- Portable DAISY players for accessing DAISY books - check out from library or AV department to use on campus
- Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) - check out for the term from the OSD
- talking calculators - check out from OSD and available in some math centers to use on campus
- trackball mice
- headset mics
- adaptive keyboards
- Braille keyboards
- standalone scanner-readers (SARA or Kurzweil Reader)
- scanners at Kurzweil 3000 Color Pro stations
The college offers the following assistive software collegewide, some of which is available on most computers in most labs and some on a more limited basis:
- Jaws (screenreader)
- MAGic (screen magnification)
- Kurzweil 3000 (screenreader and screen magnification with study skills tools)
- Kurzweil 1000 (screenreader)
- Easy Reader (software player for DAISY books)
- Dragon Naturally Speaking (speech to text dictation software)
The college offers the following alternate formats college-wide, depending on the student's documentation of disability, student preference, effective alternatives, content and volume of the material, date of the request, and current resources:
- DAISY (full text and audio if produced in-house, audio only if from Learning Ally)
- PDF (edited for accessibility)
- HTML (mainly for use with Jaws)
- HTML/MathML (mainly for use with Jaws)
- MS Word/RTF (edited for accessibility)
- Kurzweil 3000 (full text and audio)
- Large Print
- MP3 format (audio)
How to Request Textbooks and other Course Materials in Alternate Format
Students qualifying for this accommodation are strongly encouraged to purchase individual memberships with Learning Ally; click here to navigate to the Learning Ally website.
Materials not available through Learning Ally may be made available by the OSD through other means such as Electronic text (e-text), Braille, or Large Print. If a requested textbook is not available from the publisher in electronic format, the OSD may have to chop the spine off the student's book in order to scan the book to an electronic format that will then be edited for accessibility.
To receive course materials in an alternate format from the OSD, students must be registered with the OSD and be enrolled in the course for which alternate format materials are being requested.
To make a request for alternate format materials:
Inform your advisor that you have registered in classes and will require alternate format materials.
Meet with Julie Balassa for a discussion and demonstration of alternate format options (especially important for all new students).
- Discuss questions or concerns about alternate format with your advisor or with Julie Balassa.
Your advisor will then submit the alternate format request form for you unpon request.
Please keep in mind that production of alternate format materials can take up to 20-30 business days from the date the material is available for production. Materials received less than 30 days prior to the start of a term will be converted and delivered as quickly as possible but are not guaranteed to be delivered by the start of classes. There is a SARA or Kurzweil Reader in each campus library that can be used to access textbooks and other course materials until alternate format materials are available.
The OSD makes every effort to provide the format the student prefers but we cannot guarantee that the preferred format will be available. In that case, an effective alternative will be provided.
Request for Alternate Format:
Request that your OSD advisor submit the order for materials in alternate format on the link below: This may be by phone, in person, or by email. Be prepared to assist the advisor with the proper book information, syllabus if available, and receipt of textbook when needed. Your advisor may go ahead and order your alternate format textbooks prior to your request if he/she knows you need it but don't relay on this. If they don't know you are coming or you change classes, etc., they will not be able to order your books effectively. So please meet with them to ensure you have the appropriate materials in time for classes to start.
Online Alternate Format Request Form
Resources for Alternate Format
The National Library Service for the Blind
and Physically Handicapped
for Free Library Service: Individuals
The American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
Adobe Acrobat Accessibility
Web Accessibility Tools
Accessibility utilities for Dreamweaver and Fireworks
Bobby, (Web page accessibility evaluation too)
A-Prompt Toolkit, (Web page evaluation and repair tool)
S.S.B. Technologies (Web accessibility software products)
MAGpie,(Captioning tool for Web or CD-ROM videos)
Dive Into Accessibility