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Assistive technology

Assistive software is installed on computers across our libraries and open access areas. Some software can be be installed on other University-managed PCs by request.

Go to the PC's Start menu and search for software by name. Please consult the help menus within the software programmes. Links to online training videos for some software provided below.​

Program Description
ClaroRead Pro

Multi-sensory software for reading and writing, which speaks on-screen text aloud and integrates with Microsoft Word.


Inspiration  (Windows)

For visual mapping, outlining, writing and making presentations. Inspiration is very useful for structuring your thoughts and visually communicating concepts to strengthen understanding.

Mindview (Windows)

MindView is a professional mind mapping software that allows you to visually brainstorm, organize and present ideas.


Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional (Windows)

Dragon speech recognition offers fast, accurate dictation and transcription, advanced customization, seamless integration across devices.

At each campus, the following assistive technology is available at dedicated AT workstations:​

  • JAWS - screen-reading software that can read out any text on-screen for visually impaired users
  • MindManager - mind mapping software which can help plan and organise ideas. Mind mapping is a good technique to use to develop and structure assignments.  A ‘mind map’ can also be exported to Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
  • ClaroRead – this software can support students with reading and writing. It can read out text and has spell check, dictionary, highlight and scanning features. It is very useful to read back typed work to help with proof reading.
  • SuperNova - screen magnification software that magnifiers the screen and retains the clarity even at the highest level of magnification. It can also change the contrast and cursor settings on the screen
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking – speech recognition software which turns spoken words into text
  • Enlarged screens with ergonomic keyboards and mice
  • Ergonomic chairs and adjustable tables
  • A desktop video magnifier is available on our West London campus for visually impaired users to magnify books

A dedicated AT workstation is located on each floor of the Paul Hamlyn Library at Ealing, the Student Study Space on Floor 2 at Paragon House and in the Library on Floor 9 at the Berkshire Institute of Health in Reading.

Note: Although our Assistive technology software is available to all students on campus. JAWS software may be useful to have on your personal device such as your laptop or computer, as it will be able assist in reading out documents as well as be able to change the Fonts and colour of the background to make it easier to view and read. Assistive software such as this may be available to you through the disabled student allowance (DSA). For further information please see the link below regarding DSA:

Alternatively, please contact the disability team for further information about disabled student allowance.

Laptop Loans

The Paul Hamlyn Library also has 12 laptops with additional technology, matching that of the Assistive Technology workstations as listed above. These laptops can be borrowed by students with agreed extended loan rights. They can be found in bay 'AC' of the lockers on the first floor of the library.  

These laptops are loaned for a maximum of 5 hours with an overdue charge of £0.50 an hour, up to a maximum of £10.00.

They are subject to a minimum replacement charge of £650 if they are lost, damaged or cannot be returned immediately. If you fail to return the laptop by the next day a replacement charge of £650 will be added to your library account.

To access these laptops, you will first need to be registered with the Disability and Mental Health Team.​