Assistive Technology Services

Kurzweil 3000 and Firefly

Kurzweil 3000, a powerful text-to-speech program, is available to all current Hampshire students, faculty, or staff. Our site-wide Kurzweil license includes Mac and Windows versions as well as access to the web-based "Firefly" product, which can be used online or on an iPad. Students using Kurzweil can access the program on their own personal computers.

Learn more and register

Online File Conversion Service

The Robobraille file converter is also available to the entire Hampshire community. It does a great job of converting documents into accessible formats with computer-readable text. It converts many different file types into a variety of formats: for example, from a PDF to a text-to-speech MP3 audio file.

Convert a File


The following services are available only to students who have requested and been granted accommodations through the office of accessibility resources and services.

Request Accommodations

Dictation Software

Students can use Dragon Naturally Speaking in the assistive technology carrel in the advising office. Check with OARS for access. You can also purchase this program at a discount for a personal computer and we can assist with set-up and training. We also suggest that Mac users first try the built-in dictation on their computers, which is quite good!

Smart Pen

Records audio, takes notes, records what you say or write, and will play it back. Available for loan from the instructional technology office.

Alternate or Digital Formats for Print Course Materials

If you have been granted accommodations by our disabilities services office and require print materials in digital format, we will provide your course materials in the format that works for you: for example, digital text, audio files, etc. If you are a Kurzweil user, we can place reading materials directly into your Kurzweil account for direct access.

We are set up to obtain digital versions of readings from a variety of sources. These can be delivered directly to students or placed in the course website for them to access.

  • Bookshare: Accounts can be set up so students can access materials themselves
  • AccessText
  • Direct from the publisher (in which case, we will often need your proof of purchase of the textbook)

Self-Service Options

  • If a text is available commercially in an accessible format, we do recommend that the student purchase it from the publisher or through a bookstore.
  • Students can be set up with Bookshare access under the College's account.
  • Kurzweil 3000 has a built-in free library of classic literature.
  • The library has a book scanner available for students to use.

We can also provide alternate audio/visual materials as needed, such as captioning or descriptive services.


Stay In Touch
With The Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS)
Snail Mail
Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS)
Mail Code AC
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone + Email