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Student health 101

Assistive Technology


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Students needing assistive technology should:

Assistive Technology Consultation and Training

The DRC Assistive Technology Specialist offers consultation and training on the following technologies. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list as there may be other technologies identified during a consultation that would best serve a student's needs:

Visit Notetaking Technology Comparison for a detailed look at the three notetaking technologies (Livescribe Smartpen, Glean, OneNote) that are typically recommended for students who need them. 

AT consultation and training appointments can be made from 10:00 am--6:30 pm Monday through Friday. To request a consultation or training, please talk with your access specialist.

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Tech Exploration Lab

The following assistive technology is available at the DRC for exploration and training, or for use during alternative testing by eligible students:

  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Mac OS Dictation (speech recognition software)
  • JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver (screen-reading software)
  • ZoomText Magnifier/Reader (screen-magnification software)
  • Read & Write (text-to-speech reading software)
  • MathType (math word processor)
  • ZoomText Large Print Keyboard (includes hotkey buttons to control ZoomText)
  • Merlin Plus 24" LCD CCTV (desktop video magnifier with adjustable magnification and color contrast options)
  • Alternative keyboards (e.g. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000)
  • Trackballs (Kensington Expert Mouse and Orbit)
  • USB microphone headsets and Buddy Desktop Mic (for use with Dragon or Mac OS Dictation)
  • iPads/iPods with assistive apps (e.g., spell-checker, white noise, talking/large button calculator)
  • Franklin Collins Pocket Spellers (electronic spell-checker)
  • C-Pen Exam Reader (portable pen scanner that reads printed text aloud)
  • Motorized adjustable workstations

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Technology Checkout

The DRC can loan certain devices and software licenses to DRC students to use while they are enrolled at Cal Poly. The following technology is available for loan to eligible students:

Students can also borrow AT devices for free on short-term loan (30 days) from the NATADS Device Loan Library, California's statewide AT device lending library. The Central Coast Assistive Technology Center (CCATC) in San Luis Obispo is the local branch of this device lending library and has a large and diverse inventory of assistive technology that students can check out. 

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Getting Good Grades with Gadgets

AT Specialist John Lee conducts Getting Good Grades with Gadgets workshops throughout the academic year (e.g., for ResLife, TRIO Achievers, Mustang Success Center). Information shared during these workshops can be referenced at Getting Good Grades with Gadgets.

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Kennedy Library Assistive Technology

Accessible Computer Workstation Locations

Check out the map that shows where Accessible Computer Workstations are located in Kennedy Library.

Available Technology

The following technology is available at Kennedy Library for use by library patrons:

  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech recognition software)
  • JAWS (screen-reading software)
  • ZoomText Magnifier/Reader (screen-magnifying software)
  • Read & Write (text reading software)
  • ZoomText Large Print Keyboard
  • Kensington Expert Mouse Pro (trackball)
  • USB microphone headsets
  • Motorized adjustable workstations
  • Dual LCD monitors with monitor arms

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Funding for Assistive Technology

The DRC does not purchase assistive technology for students to own; however, there are several funding sources that can assist students in acquiring the assistive technology they need. Listed below are a few of those funding sources:

  • CA Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) - Contact Maria Flores-Jimenez (Maria.Flores-Jimenez@dor.ca.gov), our campus liaison for DOR, to setup an appointment to determine eligibility for assistance.
  • Wolverton Fund - Provides funding for technology needed by students with visual impairments. Contact Jen Donaldson (jdonal01@calpoly.edu) for information on how to apply.
  • Orion Fund - Awards grants (up to $3,000) to California college students under the age of 30 who have a serious illness or injury affecting their ability to stay in school. 

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For consultation and training on any of the above technologies, contact the DRC Assistive Technology Specialist, John Lee, at 805-756-5972 or jlee245@calpoly.edu. (back to top)

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Location: Bldg 124 (Student Services, across from Spanos Stadium)
Phone: 805-756-1395
Fax: 805-756-5451
Email: drc@calpoly.edu

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