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Thu Phan took Wynn Wizard literacy software for a spin Thu Phan, a DSP alum, took Wynn Wizard literacy software for a spin; it allows students with reading disabilities to read electronic text and web pages, write papers, and create notes and study guides. (Kim Steinbacher photos)

A clean, well-lighted — and enabling — place

Assistive Technology Center opens new lab

12 May 2009

The grand opening of an expanded Assistive Technology Teaching and Learning Center, for use by students in the campus Disabled Students' Program, was celebrated on Monday, May 11, with a ribbon-cutting and open house. The  bright and spacious new facility in 22 Wheeler improves on the resources available to disabled students in its former Moffitt Library location, a windowless space that users called "the Cave." The center’s state-of-the-art technology — including software for literacy, speech recognition, organizing, and visual assistance, as well as a Braille embosser and media to convert textbooks into accessible formats on demand — will promote the academic success of students with disabilities.

Following remarks by, among others, former DSP director Ed Rogers and VC for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri, students were able to road-test many of the center’s hardware and software offerings.
Peter O'Connell demonstrated the Kurzweil 3000 literacy softwareMobility-access officer (and DSP student) Peter O’Connell demonstrated the Kurzweil 3000 literacy software, which uses text-to-speech and optical character recognition to provide ways for students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia and ADD to access printed material, while providing brainstorming and workflow tools help them prepare papers and other written assignments.