Assistive Technology and Web Resources

The VIU library has an Accessibility Station that can be booked. It includes Kurzweil, ZoomText, Inspiration, Merlin Desktop Magnifier, and a scanner.

Computers and Devices

Many computers and devices have built-in accessibility features such as text to speech, voice over, voice recognition or Zoom:

Software and App Accessibility

Text to Speech

Programs will read text aloud from documents, emails, internet and more - many have natural sounding voices. Most software companies provide free trials.

Kurzweil is a comprehensive reading, writing and study skill software for students who struggle with reading and writing. VIU has purchased a site license, so all students and/or staff can access the software for free. Create a Kurzweil account and then follow the instructions in the email you receive. Please note that Kurzweil is not compatible with the latest Apple devices (with Silicone processors).   Kurzweil is also available at VIU Library Accessibility Stations.

Natural Reader is a free text to speech software with natural sounding voices. This easy to use software can convert any written text such as MS Word, Webpage, PDF files, and Emails into spoken words. NaturalReader can convert written text into audio files (MP3 or WAV).

Text Aloud3 software converts text from Word, Emails, Web Pages and PDF Files into natural-sounding speech. You can listen on your PC or create audio (MP3) files for use on portable devices like iPods, MP3 players and CD players. Highlights as it reads. $29.95 US.

Adobe Reader is not text to speech software, but comes with a free, built-in read aloud feature (under View Menu) that will read PDF documents aloud. The voice is quite robotic.

Speech to Text

Google Voice Typing is free, and works in Google Docs (Chrome browser)

Dragon Speech Recognition is speech recognition software that lets you dictate documents, emails, search the web and control desktop. $199.99 US. Dragon App also available.

Screen Magnification

ZoomText (Magnifier and Magnifier/Screen Reader) is commercial product that enlarges and enhances everything on your computer screen, making all of your applications easy to see and use. Available at VIU Library Accessibility Stations.