Assistive Technology

Providing tools and devices in an accessible environment which aims to help students with disabilities.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is a term for any device, piece of equipment, system, or software that allows an individual to perform a task they would otherwise be unable to do, or increases the ease and safety with which the task can be performed. In GMIT libraries it is used to support independent learning and to increase the accessibility of materials; the following is relevant to the Galway campus library.


Four Personal Computers (computers for use by one person at a time) are reserved for students with disabilities, with low vision and other specialist software installed.  All PC’s have 19 inch flat panel monitors, for a larger then customary viewable area.

All PC’s in the library are accessible to students with disabilities for accessing the Internet and utilizing Microsoft office.

The Library is wireless-enabled, if you wish to bring your own laptop and software.

Aladdin Genie Pro CCTV Reader

The Aladdin Genie Pro is a low vision reading system designed to magnify text and photographs for low vision readers. It can be used as a stand-alone system to view books, documents and many other print items, and it also connected to a PC with a 19 inch flat panel monitor. You can use the PC’s SVGA monitor to display both your computer information and the video magnified image.

Roller/Tracker Ball and Joystick

These devices are available for those with sensory and mobility difficulties using a mouse.  The roller/tracker balls facilitate minimal hand movement as they are stationary and the user moves the ball with their fingertips to input instruction to the computer.  Joysticks are used for students with limited hand function as they can find them easier to use than a mouse.

Flatbed Scanners

Two scanners for converting printed documents, books or photos into an electronic format.  These scanners have a flat plane of glass where the item being scanned is placed.

QuickLink Pen

The QuickLink Pen is an electronic highlighter that allows you to copy and store printed text, web links, tables and charts, from books and documents, and transfer the data to your computer.

Olympia Portable Hand Held Magnifier

This lightweight device magnifies text and pictures. This portable magnification system allows for freedom on the move.

Special Keyboards

Three special keyboard provide enlarged and bold printed keys to assist persons with low vision and mobility problems.

Earpiece Headsets

Headsets are useful for users with restricted use of arms or hands. Three headsets are available with microphones and loudspeakers so users can speak and hear. Headsets are also drawn on when using voice recognition software.


A black & white printer is attached to the four PC’s in the ILU; printing is free from these PC’s for registered students of the ILU.

All PC’s in the open plan area of the library are attached to both black & white and colour copiers, if students wish to print in colour they are asked to log-on to a PC in the open plan area of the library.

Available Software

Kurzweil 3000

Capable of reading any scanned document or electronic file using synthetic speech. Words are highlighted in a contrasting colour to the document background, for ease of use when reading. Kurzweil 3000 is a scanning, reading and writing programme designed to assist people with Specific Learning Difficulties. The main focus of this programme is to increase reading speed and comprehension.

Kurzweil 1000

A scanning, reading and writing software programme for use by people who are blind or visually impaired. Text is scanned into a pc using a scanner and is read aloud by synthetic voice.

TextHelp Read and Write Gold

This software is for people with reading and writing difficulties. A word processing package designed for users with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. It will highlight, read and speak text and offer word correction and completion.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Voice recognition software which allows a user to enter text and control most computer functions using speech. It is beneficial to people with Specific Learning Difficulties and allows for individuals with mobility impairments, who might have difficulty with a traditional keyboard or mouse, to effectively use a computer. Modern voice recognition software operates in a continuous speech mode, which allows users to speak in a normal conversational tone and speed.

Features include:

  • Create email, Instant messages and documents just by speaking
  • Surf the web by voice
  • Dictate directly in to almost any Microsoft application
  • Play back your dictation for easier correction and proofing
  • Control menus and dialog boxes by voice in almost any Microsoft application


ZoomText level 2

Magnification and screen-reading programme designed for people with low vision.

Features include:

  • 2X to 16X magnification
  • 8 different zoom windows for full and partial screen enlargement
  • Command interface for Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Speaks all text, including menus and dialog boxes
  • Echoes keyboard typing by word or character

Microsoft Office

A set of interrelated desktop applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access are available on all PC’s in the library.