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Assistive Technology at York St John

Todays blog post is a guest post by Helen Varley, Assistive Technologies Trainer in the Learning Support Team in Student Services.

Assistive Technology

Did you know that York St John has assistive technology available to everyone on campus?
By accessing the student desktop on campus, or via the VDI, you can use various pieces of software that can assist your studies.
You may think that this software is only for people with disabilities or specific learning difficulties, but it can be helpful for anyone; students, academic staff and admin!
The software currently available is: Audio Notetaker, Global AutoCorrect, Inspiration, MindView and Read&Write.

  • Audio Notetaker is a fantastic tool for managing audio recordings. A lot of people struggle with note taking along side effective listening, but;

“With Sonocent Audio Notetaker you can capture everything you hear in lectures as an editable recording. You can highlight the key audio in colour, as you listen. And you can add slides, images and text notes to the same visual, interactive workspace.

Go straight to the information you have highlighted when you revisit your recording – no rewinding or fast-forwarding. Type summaries alongside the audio in your own words to create your notes.” (Sonocent.com, 2015)

  • Global AutoCorrect corrects your spellings as you write. This removes distraction and helps ideas to flow. It can work across all platforms and programs, and also lists the errors you’ve made so you can work on improving.
  • Inspiration and MindView are both mind mapping tools. They both allow you to visually organise your thoughts and ideas, be that for assignments or to do lists. By making a mind map digitally, you have a lot more flexibility in terms of moving things around and deleting ideas you don’t need. The great advantage of these two pieces of software, is that they export to both MS PowerPoint and Word in a linear format, creating the building blocks of your work.
  • Read&Write is a toolbar with many helpful features, it…

“…gives extra confidence to students with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It’s also a big confidence booster for English Language Learners, and anyone who needs a little extra help with their reading and writing.

Read&Write makes the web, documents and files more accessible. It’s a friendly, intuitive toolbar that assists students at all levels with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work.” (Texthelp.com, 2015)

If you would like to know more about these pieces of software, watch out for future posts on the Study Development blog or email learningsupport@yorksj.ac.uk.

Disability History Month

UK Disability History month (UKDHM) takes place between 22 November and 22 December each year, visit the York St John Equality website for more help, information, advice and events.

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