Accessible Technology

Academic Support Center

Technologies to Facilitate Learning

Alternative Text Formats

Students with alternative text accommodations have several options to access books. Accessibility resources staff will assist students in the process of getting books in alternative format if this accommodation is determined. Our students generally use Bookshare to listen to audio or text-to-speech books and Read&Write software to have materials read aloud. Finding books in alternative format can take time, so it is beneficial to request books as soon as possible, a request form is emailed before the start of each semester. Braille and Nemeth Code (a Braille code for mathematics) will also be made available if required.

TextHelp Read&Write

Read&Write Gold is literacy software that supports reading, writing, study skills, and research. It can be used to read text aloud from Microsoft Word, Adobe Reader, and the four major web browsers. You can download a free 30-day version via a Google Chrome Extension to try it out!

Features include: text-to-speech, word prediction, mind mapping, screen masking, dictionaries, and highlighters. Read&Write has many how-to videos available in drop downs within the program. Please make an appointment with the ASC (507-933-7227) if you would like to have an ASC staff member give you a tutorial, answer questions, and install a full version of this program. 

For more online information visit:


Bookshare® is an online ebook library that makes reading easier. People with reading barriers can customize their experience and read in ways that work for them. Choose from text to speech or audio versions. Accessibility resources staff can set up an account and add books to your Reading List for you.

RedShelf and VitalSource

These two digital textbook sources provide read-aloud as well as several other features that assist with comprehension including word definitions, highlighting, creating flashcards and study guides, as well as citation generators and the ability to print selections. Students also find that these ebooks are often less expensive than hard copies.

Smart Pen

Smartpens record lectures while you take notes. Students can listen to recorded lectures and go back to what was spoken when they wrote notes. Accessibility resources staff has a limited number of these pens to loan out to students each semester.


Apps, apps, and more apps! There are so many apps that can help ALL students! Here are just a few that our Peer Academic and Peer Accessibility students have found helpful. If you find one that is fabulous, let us know to add to our listings.

Individual Success Apps

A list of apps for each of the following: Organization, Relaxation, Study Help, Motivation, Language, Reading and Writing.


Inspiration is software that helps people organize thoughts and ideas, brainstorm and visualize ideas with maps and diagrams, make sense of complex concepts and projects, build critical thinking and reasoning skills, organize for studying, and build study skills and note taking skills.

This software is available for anyone to use on the 9 iMacs on Level 1 of the library. It is also on the computers in the Mattson Lab; this lab is available to all students.

Rescue Time

Rescue Time is a free app that can be used as a time management tool. This app tracks and reports how time has been spent on the computer.