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Assistive Technology


Effective and appropriate use of technology can produce major benefits for all learners, particularly those with disabilities. A wide range of equipment and assistive technology is available at each College. Below are some examples of equipment and technology that have been provided for students studying at Northern Ireland’s Regional Colleges .

Hearing Impairment


The conversor is an FM personal assistive listening solution for use with your existing hearing aid. It requires no direct connection to the hearing aid. This equipment can also be used by people with a hearing impairment who do not wear a hearing aid. Sound is input directly to the ears using headphones.

Loop System

Portable one-to-one amplifier system for use with T-setting hearing aids and induction receivers.


The SmartLink is a versatile, wireless, digital listener, suitable for hearing aid wearers on the T/loop setting. The MyLink receiver has an additional feature - when headphones are connected, it becomes a wireless headset for people without a hearing loss. It offers integrated Bluetooth technology, giving a digital link between hearing aid wearers and their Bluetooth mobile phones. It also includes three microphone options, as well as connecting remotely to your hearing aid(s). The SmartLink offers the standard transmitter features, but gives you added flexibility.

Visual Impairment

The college can provide course materials and any other information relating to your studies in alternative formats such as large print, braille or audio.

Screenreader Software


Fully integrated magnification and screen reading program that can enlarge, enhance and read out all on-screen information. This software enables large print users to magnify the contents of their computer screen, and listen to it read out in synthetic speech at the same time.


A powerful accessibility solution that reads information on your screen using synthesized speech. It provides many useful commands that make it easier to use programs, edit documents, and read Web pages. With a refreshable braille display, JAWS can also provide braille output in addition to, or instead of, speech.


Supernova is truly unique in its ability to provide independence to visually impaired people, irrespective of whether you are totally blind or have mild low vision. It includes a full (no compromise) screen reader, specifically engineered to provide access to everyone and boasts a fully featured screen magnifier complete with a flexible colour changer and a host of magnification styles and modes.

EASY Reader

EasyReader is an accessible software digital talking book player, allowing users to read and listen to content through a combination of text, speech and images. EasyReader can be used by absolutely anyone who enjoys reading books with highlighted text and speech. EasyReader is particularly useful for readers with blindness, low vision, dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities.

Magnification Hardware

A CCTV or video magnifier is a simple way of producing large text, images and maps for people with some useful vision. Printed material and objects can be placed under a camera and the magnified image is displayed on a screen. There are several different types of system to choose from and they vary widely in the features offered. The following are all desktop magnifiers:

  • CCTV
  • My Reader
  • SOLO

We also have a range of handheld or portable magnifiers including:

  • Quicklook Magnifier
  • Senseview

T3 Talking Tactile Technology

The T3 is a touch sensitive, multi-sensory device which provides instant audio feedback from tactile images. This combination of sound and touch transforms the way in which people can access graphical information.

Task Lights

Whether you are studying, working at a computer, sewing or completing other tasks these lamps provide the user with an additional light source that can be focused on the immediate work area for reading or working with equipment.

Physical Impairment

If you have a physical disability or a medical conditon which requires specialist furniture/equipment they can provide ergonomic furniture & equipment:

  • Chairs
  • Height Adjustable tables
  • Foot rests
  • Writing slopes
  • Non-slip mats
  • Supportive portable backrests


If you find using a computer difficult, uncomfortable or impossible then we have a range of solutions that may be of use. A few simple adjustments to your computer or some additional devices can make all the difference:

  • Adapted keyboards
  • Trackerball mouse
  • Wrist supports


They have a range of assistive technology designed to assist students with dyslexia.


Software designed to assist students and individuals of all ages who require extra assistance when reading or composing text. The software allows students to develop their literacy skills and enjoy greater independence.

Reading Pen

The Reading Pen features the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, containing over 240,000 words and definitions, hundreds of new words and phrases. The Pen has a British digital voice which can turn any text into speech. Scan over a typed word & instantly hear it aloud with built-in speaker.


The Pulse smartpen is an advanced paper-based computer, providing both audio and visual feedback, powerful processing capabilities, and substantial built-in storage. The smartpen captures and stores the notes you write. To capture your writing, the smartpen uses its built-in infrared camera to take digital snapshots of a special dot pattern on the paper as the tip moves over the paper while you write.


The Digimemo is a stand-alone device with memory that digitally captures and stores everything you write or draw with ink on ordinary paper. You can easily view, edit organize and share your handwritten notes in Windows.

Coloured Overlays

Coloured overlays are clear coloured plastic sheets that can be placed over a page in a book. They work by reducing the perceptual distortions of text (some dyslexic students say the words go fuzzy or move around). The appropriate colour for reducing distortion varies from person to person. To obtain the best effect, the colour has to be chosen with care and precision. Sometimes the colour gives an improvement in reading fluency and helps a person to read longer without eye strain.


If you are under 18 years of age you may be entitled to a travel pass. You should check with your local Education and Library Board to see if you meet criteria for this. If you have been approved for a Disabled Student’s Allowance through your local Education and Library Board, you can apply for support with additional transport costs, for example, a taxi to and from College.

Personal Care

Northern Ireland’s Regional Colleges do not provide personal care for students.  Students are required to contact their local Health and Social Care Trust (HSC) regarding the funding and provision of personal care throughout their studies.