UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Ability Services

Technology and Access

Alternate Text

The Ability Services office provides assistance to students who qualify for an accommodation to receive course materials, such as textbooks, electronic documents, exams, and other print materials in alternative formats. These formats are often used with literacy software, text-to-speech readers, or screen readers. Eligible students should submit their request to the Ability Services office.

Important considerations with requesting alternate formatted materials:

We work to provide you alternative format course material in a timely manner. We ask that you manage your accommodation requests accordingly.

In order to provide students with the best experience and access, we ask that book requests be submitted 3-4 weeks before the beginning of classes. Due to the nature of obtaining and converting print materials, this time window is essential in ensuring materials will be ready for the beginning of the semester. We recognize each professor may not have a finalized syllabus a month before classes, however, note that if requests are submitted late, Ability Services cannot guarantee completed alternate text by the start of the semester. As always, we work as quickly as possible to fill each request.

A helpful place to find information on course required textbooks is the UWRF Textbook Services

Kurzweil 3000 is an assistive technology text-to-speech learning tool that supports the concept of Universal Design for Learning. Students who are eligible to receive an alternate text accommodation may choose to receive textbooks in this format. Account access to the web-based software will be granted upon request for this accommodation. This is the preferred method of sharing alternative text for the Ability Services office.

You can open almost any electronic file type with Kurzweil 3000, including Word, PDF, HTML, and EPUB. For first time users of alternate text accommodations, review this video.  If you'd like to check out new features of Kurzweil or any updates, check out Kurzweil Academy

Students can also check the following resources to obtain alternative text formats on their own without having to go through Ability Services:

  1. VitalSource - An e-textbook platform that uses VitalSource Bookshelf textbook e-reader. Bookshelf apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. These applications are also industry leaders in accessibility for disabled students. Information about VitalSource and its accessibility can be found at the VitalSource Accessibility Support page.
  2. Project Gutenberg - Offers over 60,000 free, high quality e-books, digitized and proofread with the help of thousands of volunteers. Focus is on older literature where copyright restrictions have expired. Great source for historical reads. Accessible without proof of a disability.
  3. National Library Service - "Through the national network of cooperating libraries. NLS administers a free library program of braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail.

Remember all reformatted text is copyrighted by a book's publisher. It is a violation of federal copyright law and Ability Services policies to share, duplicate, or distribute alternate text media to individuals who have not met the eligibility requirements for an alternate text accommodation. Disregard for this regulation may result in legal action against the violator, or other sanctions or penalties.

Assistive Technology Resources

Assistive technology is any tool that helps students with disabilities limit barriers and do things more quickly and independently. It can be elaborate and expensive or simple and low-cost. 

Today, apps and tools are continuously being developed and introduced. It's a challenge to keep up. If you know another helpful tech tool that isn't listed here, please let us know! Links are provided for convenience and information purposes only.  The Ability Services office doesn't guarantee, approve, nor endorse the information or products available on these sites.

Read&Write (Mac and Windows)

ReadSpeaker (Mac and Windows)

NaturalReader (Mac and Windows)

Balabolka (Windows)

Voice Dream (iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch)

Speech (Mac)

Microsoft Learning Tools within Office 365

Central Access Reader (Windows)

VoiceOver (Mac)

NVDA Screen Reader (Windows)

CamScanner (iOS, Android)

Office Lens (iOS, Android)

Notes (iOS)

Scan using Google Drive (Android)

Voice Dream Scanner (iOS)

Screen Mask - Available in the Chrome webstore. It is a document reading tool that follows your mouse or touch pad to help eliminate page distractions so you can focus on reading one passage at a time, 

View Pure - Watch YouTube videos without comments, ads, or other distractions.

Mercury Reader for Chrome - Extension for Chrome removes ads and distractions, leaving only text and images for a clean and consistent reading view on every site.

These are options beyond the services we already provide through the Ability Services office. For information such as CART or ASL Interpreting, contact the Ability Services office.

Otter ai (iOS, iPad OS, Android)

Ava (Computer, iPad OS, iOS, Android)

Windows

Night Light

Windows 10 offers a Night Light feature, which reduces blue light based on when the sun sets in your area. Night Light is accessed through the Display category in the Settings menu. You can change the strength of the blue filter with a slider or switch between automatic and custom schedules for when to turn Night Light on and off.

f.lux

f.lux offers the same capabilities as Night Light, but it can be used with earlier versions of Windows. f.lux also offers different schedules with varying strengths at different times of day and even different screen colors. These different colors can work as screen overlays, which can assist with dyslexia

Ease of Access on Windows

To change the color setting on your computer:

  • Search for "Color Settings" in Windows search box
  • Go to "default windows mode"
  • Click DARK
  • Go to "default app mode"
  • Click DARK

To change the color filters on your computer:

  • Search "Ease of access color filters" in Windows search box
  • Toggle "Turn on color filters" to ON
  • Then choose Inverted, Grayscale, Grayscale Inverted, or any of the color blindness filters at the bottom
  • This allows screens in Canvas, Google, Outlook, Word to be reversed to help with eyestrain 

Mac/iOS

Night Shift

Apple offers this setting on both Macintosh computer and iOS devices.The funtionality is identical to Windows Night Light, with an intensity slider and automatic and manual schedules.

To access from your Mac computer, visit the Displays section in the System Preferences and navigate to the Night Shift tab. To turn on from your iOS device, either access the Brightness control from teh Control Center or go to Settings > Display and Brightness > Night Shift.

Enable Accessibility Features

  • Go to System Preference (click on the Applee icon at the top left of your screen)
  • Click Accessibility
  • Click Display
  • Click Invert colors or use Grayscale
  • This allows screen in Canvas, Google, Outlook to be reversed to help with eyestrain.

BeeLine Reader

BeeLine uses an eye-guiding color gradient which pulls your eyes from one line to the next. Currently free for stuent and teachers through Spring 2020, may be extended.


Android

Night Mode

Most Android devices offer a night mode which reduces blue light and is only readily available on newer devices. For devices running Oreo or above, select Night Light from the Display settings in the Settings menu. To access Night Light in phones running Android 7.0 or older versions, follow the steps in this guide, scroll down the page. 


Chrome

Color Overlay

Adds a tint to any webpage. By default, the setting is off and you you must enable it by selecting the icon near the search bar, switching it ON. From there, you can change the color and opacity of the overlay or select one of the six boxes underneath to save a preset overlay.

eyeCare

While it does not directly change the appearance of your Chrome, it offers reminders over a set period to take a break. This period can be set between 0 (no reminders) and 60 minutes, in 5-minute intervals. You can also configure eyeCare to display a notification, show a page containing eye and lower back exercises, or flash the eyeCare icon five times for each reminder.

BeeLine Reader

BeeLine uses an eye-guiding color gradient which pulls your eyes from one line to the next. Currently free for stuent and teachers through Spring 2020, may be extended.

Accessible Technology

for Everyone

 

This technology is available to all users, beyond students with diagnosed disabilities. Depending on the computer equipment you have, accessiblity features may include Closed Captioning, Automatic Transcripts, Keyboard Accessibility, Magnifier, and Screen Reader supports.

Accessibility for Google Software

Read&Write for Chrome

Accessibility for Microsoft Products

Accessibility for Apple Products

Accessibility for Zoom Meetings

Equal Access for Students

Fostering Independence, Reducing Barriers, & Promoting Inclusion

 

Ability Services

715.425.0740
ability.services@uwrf.edu
Confidential Fax: 715.425.0742
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
123 David Rodli Hall