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Assistive Technology Services

Under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and related laws, the College is required to provide electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

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

All requests for accommodations due to disability are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and, therefore, accommodations other than those listed here may be provided as needed and as consistent with the documented disability.

While students requesting accommodations must first register with the office of accessibility resources and services, assistive technology services are provided and supported by our instructional technology department.

Request Accommodations

Kurzweil 3000

Hampshire has licenses available for Kurzweil 3000, a powerful text-to-speech program that also has speech-to-text capabilities and numerous useful study tools. Our Kurzweil system includes Mac and Windows versions as well as access to the new "Firefly" web version, which can be used online or on an iPad. Students using Kurzweil can access the program on their own personal computers or in one of our study carrels (or both!).

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Students can use Dragon Naturally Speaking in the assistive technology carrels in the library and the advising offices. Check with disabilities services for access. You can also purchase this program at a discount for a personal computer and we can assist with set-up and training.

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

Print alternatives are coordinated by our instructional technology office.

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.

Online File Conversion Service

The Robobraille file converter 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

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Technology for Teaching and Learning
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
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