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Home >  Student Services >  Student Aid >  DSPS >  Student Resources

Assistive Technology Resources

The goal of Folsom Lake College DSPS is student success. We therefore invite our students to explore a variety resources that are available to help access both academic and non-academic material. Remember that some of these accommodations require that you have been provided specific accommodations by DSPS. If you need to make an appointment with DSPS. you can do so here   

Need help studying? Check out Andrea's Top Ten Study Tips

Need a place to study, or a tutor? Try the Folsom Lake College Reading and Writing Center

Looking for Career Guidance and info?  Try The California Community College Virtual Career Center

Assistive Technology Resources

Folsom Lake College provides our students with access to a variety of assistive software and hardware on Campus. Students can access these from multiple locations across campus. See the map for computers equipped with this software.

Kurzweill 3000 + Firefly

Kurzweill 3000 is a document reader that students can now access from school workstations, their personal computers, as well as their mobile Devices. If you're interested in learning more about Kurzweill 3000, you can view a video HERE.

Students who wish to utilize Kurzweill for their studies should contact the DSPS office and schedule an appointment with the Assistive technology Specialist, or contact them directly at (916) 608 - 6992


Tutorial Video #1 - logging in, uploading documents

Kurzweil3000: The Basics part 1 (opening documents, navigating, note-taking)

Kurzweil3000: The Basics part 2 (using highlights, exporting highlights, creating study guides)


Jaws is a commercial Screen reader that allows users with little or no sight to navigate a desktop computer effectively. JAWS supports a wide variety of peripheral hardware for braille, and has support for a large number of other proprietary programs like iTunes, Microsoft office and others

Dragon Naturally Speaking 12

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a powerful Speech to text tool that is available to students at various workstations throughout the campuses. Using a microphone, students are able to input text using only their voice. As a student uses dragon more frequently, the program will accustom itself to a user's voice to increase accuracy. This software is incredibly useful to students who have limited fine motor control, or other conditions that make typing difficult. To schedule a training appointment, please inquire with the DSPS office @ (916) 608 - 6611. 

Mobile Applications

Learning Ally |iOS | Android

Learning Ally is a very versatile tool for those individuals who find reading text based material difficult. Learning ally allows you to access audio recordings of Text books and novels for use in academic programs. If you are interested in using Learning ally in your studies as a student of DSPS, please contact our department.  

Moon Reader | Android | 

Moon Reader is a feature rich mobile based text-to-speech document reader for Android devices. Moon Reader allows the user to highlight and annotate documents, as well as read documents aloud to the user. Free and Premium versions are available. Try it here for free!

Voice Dream Reader | iOS | 

Voice Dream reader is feature rich Mobile screen-reader. Voice Dream reader has a polished professional GUI and will read aloud almost anything that you throw at it. The full version is not free, however it costs only 9.99 in the app store. You can try the "lite" version here for free. 

Dragon Dictation | iOS| 

This is a simple and straight forward speech to text program. This application is useful if you find it difficult to compose messages on mobile phone with your hands.

Nuance also provides a "virtual assistant" application that allows control of your phone through voice using it's voice recognition software. 

Evernote | iOS | Android | OS X | PC

Evernote is an incredibly versatile and useful note taking tool for any student and can be used on computers and mobile devices interchangeably. Use evernote to record voice memos, notes, photographs, and web pages. Evernote will sync your notes to every device so you can take it wherever you go. You will need to sign up for a free account before using. 

You can download the Web clipper extension here

Free PC and MAC software

Here you can find a variety of free applications, plug-ins and extensions to make reading, writing and browsing even more accessible on or off campus.  

Central Access Reader |PC | MAC |

Central Access reader is an open source document reader that has been developed by the Central Washington University. Highly recommended for students struggling to read and comprehend printed text. Highly Recommended!

Natural Reader | PC | Mac |

Natural Reader is a document reader that has both free and premium versions. This basic application will read documents aloud on your desktop computer, but lacks the full functionality of the premium paid version. Very basic, but useful nonetheless.

BalaBolka |PC | Mac |

Balabolka is a powerful document toolkit for producing audio files from text, and contains many useful tools for text extraction and other tasks. Good at handling large processing jobs and also works with all SAPI voices. 

NVDA 2014 | PC | 

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free screen reader developed for the blind, similar to JAWS. This open source software is a powerful screen reader that has many different voice options and features. NVDA runs in the background and reads aloud any text on the screen. NVDA is controlled by simple Keyboard shortcuts. NVDA is also capable of producing braille on braille output devices. 

Voice Note - Speech to Text |PC| 

Voice Note is a free extension for Google chrome that will translate speech to text on the fly. The voice recognition is quite accurate and utilizes a predictive text formula to guess what your were trying to say when words are not recognized completely. Overall this is a very useful and small program that is ideal for students with physical impairments, or slow typers. 

Speakit!| Mac | PC | Chrome OS

Speakit is an extension to Google Chrome that allows a user to have text on the page read aloud. Simple controls make this useful for D2L, online research, email, or social media. 

ChromeVis | Mac | PC | Chrome OS

ChromeVis is a browser extension for Chrome browser that allows the user to select text with the mouse to magnify. This differs from other Features in that it's specifically for use in your Chrome browser and enlarges text that you select, instead of enlarging an entire page. Additionally, ChromeVis has options for high contrast display of selected text. Good for users with diminished vision. 

Assistive Hardware

Livescribe Pen

The Livescribe pen though not available for checkout is an educational device that DSPS recommends and can train students to use as part of their academic accommodations. The livescribe pen records the notes you write and can also record lectures simultaneously. TLoan5he pen uses a special notebook that allows the user to playback a lecture by selecting notes that were taken at a specific point in time. For example, if your professor says, "We will now discuss Economics in Chile" you could write down "Economics:Chile". To play back the specific segment, all you need to do is "click" on the words "Economics:Chile" and the lecture will play back from that point. 

The Livescribe Pen is now in it's 3rd generation design and comes in a variety of features and storage capacities. Older refurbished versions are available at an affordable price for students on a budget.  

*NOTE* Android Users should purchase the SKY version, since the echo does not have Android mobile support

Pocket talker pro

The Pocket talker system is an assistive device that aids student who find it difficult to hear a lecturer or teacher during class. The Pocket talker transmits audio directly from a microphone worn by the speaker to the headphones of a student listener. If you have hearing loss, or find it otherwise difficult to hear during class, 

Personal FM receiver/transmitter

Some students may prefer a direct audio connection to their instructor, or communication partner. A personal FM receiver and transmitter combination allows a student to listen directly to an instructor's voice without amplifying any background noise. The speaker wears a microphone which transmits to the listener's device, allowing the listener to sit anywhere in the room and still hear a speaker loud and clear. 

Embossed Document Printer

DSPS is capable of producing embossed documents for those students who have a difficult time interpreting printed material. A student with accommodations from DSPS can request documents to be printed using the embossing printer, which creates a document that raises the areas that are printed in ink, resulting in a document that can be interpreted through touch as well as sight. This is ideal for graphs, diagrams and other documents that contain spatial information. 

D2L Accessibility 

D2L is the online learning portal for Folsom lake College. Some students with disabilities will encounter difficulties navigating the web portal. If you're finding that reading, navigating and understanding content within D2L is difficult, please make an appointment with the Assistive Technology Specialist for DSPS. 

DSPS recommends that students utilize NVDA, a free Screen Reader, to navigate through D2L and access their academic content. NVDA works best with the Mozilla Firefox browser, therefore students should use these two programs together when working on course material in D2L. Below you will find links to download both NVDA and Firefox Browser. 

NVDA download link (Windows Only)

FireFox Browser

Disabled Students Programs and Services

Folsom Lake College (916) 608 - 6611

El Dorado Center (530) 642 - 5630

El Dorado Center Location

Folsom Lake College Location

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