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Community Observatory Invites You
The goal of Folsom Lake College DSPS is student succes. We therefore invite our students to explore a variety resources that are available to help access both academic and non-academic material. Remeber that some of these accomodations require that you have been provided specific accomodations 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
On Campus 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 is several tools in one. This program will read PDF Daisy and other formats aloud in a variety of voices, as well as highlight the text being read aloud as it goes. Kurzweill can read PDF documents and produce audio files of the text. Kurzweill also has note taking, highlighting and other features that make it a powerful learning aid.
Jaws is the most tried and true screen reader on the market. 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 throughought 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.
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.
Voice Dream Reader | iOS |
Voice Dream reader is feature rich Mobile screenreader. 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 interchangably. Use evernote to record voice memos, notes, photgraphs, 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 dowload the Web clipper extension here
Free to use PC and Mac Software
Here you can find a variety of free applications, plugins and extensions to make reading, writing and browsing even more acessible on or off campus.
BalaBolka is a free alternative to kurzweil3000. Balabolka has many of the same functions, and can deal with the same file types, however it may be optimal to OCR documents in Adobe Acrobat before use in BalaBolka.
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.
Thunder Screen-Reader | PC |
Thunder Screenreader is another free screenreader for Windows. This Screen reader is currently available in 12 languages including english, french, spanish, italian, german, arabic and Czech.
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.
Cobra 10 | PC |
Cobra is a free screen reader, screen magnifier and braille producer that is designed to work with Windows XP, Vista and 7. Cobra is designed to work effectively with Microsoft office 2010.
ChromeVox | Mac | PC | Chrome OS
Chromevox is a flexible and simple program to use for web browsing and screen reading. ChromeVox will work on any PC, Mac, or computer that is running an up to date version of Google Chrome. With Simple to use controls and a pleasant reading voice, ChromeVox makes webpages accessible in moments.
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, intead of enlarging an entire page. Additionally, ChromeVis has options for high contrast display of selected text. Good for users with dimished vision.
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 accomodations. The livescribe pen records the notes you write and can also record lectures simultaneously. The 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,
Embossed Document Printer
DSPS is capable of producing embossed documents for those students who have a difficult time interpreting printed material. A student with accomodations 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.
Video Walkthroughs and Tutorials
This section is a collection of internally produced video tutorials. If you need help installing programs, accessing Learning Ally or All of the above please check out this section.