Read&Write Gold (RWG) is a program to assist with reading and writing. It will read aloud digital texts—including Word documents, Web pages and PDFs, and has features to assist with outlining, research citations, proofreading, vocabulary-building, and more. RWG works with a floating, customizable toolbar where users can adjust the settings to their preferred voice and speed and even convert written texts to an MP3 audio file to save to iTunes.
Video explanations of many RWG features, tailored for both PC and MAC users, are available at the tutorial section of TextHelp's website. TextHelp also offers public webinars where users can obtain additional free training.
RWG is available for free download to all members of the Dickinson community! Access to the download is through Gateway, via the "Academic Resources" page. Students can also find Read&Write Gold on the computers in the following locations in the Waidner-Spahr Library: Alden Room, Information Commons, IC Classroom, and the Reference Commons.
Converting Books and Texts to Audio
Students who would like to convert their books to audio format should contact the Office of Disability Services to determine whether they would be eligible for enrollment in Bookshare, which hosts a collection of books in digital format. ODS can also write to book publishers for eligible students to request a copy of books in digital format.
Built-in Assistive Technology for MAC Users
Students who use a MAC computer have assistive technology available already! Every MAC comes equipped with text-to-speech software, dictactation software, and Audionotes (which allows a student to record a lecture and type notes simultaneously). Please be advised that computer use in class and the recording of class lectures is not permitted without first consulting with faculty. Failure to obtain proper consent may result in a violation of Pennsylvania's wiretap statutes.
ODS has a limited number of LiveScribe Smartpens available for checkout for students with a note-taking accommodations. Smartpens record audio while the user writes notes, linking the audio with the time when the notes were written and allowing students to replay what was said. Please remember, there are restrictions placed on students' use of a recording device in the classroom and you must consult with faculty before making any recordings in class. Failure to obtain proper consent may result in a violation of Pennsylvania's wiretap statutes.
For students who wish to use a program that will type the words they dictate, ODS has dictation software available to loan for both Mac and PC users.
Individuals with dyslexia may want to consider downloading and using Dyslexie--a font designed to assuage the challenges often posed by reading traditional fonts. This video provides a demonstration of its use.
Disability Services has a Farview portable magnifying system available for loan. A CCTV Clearview+ Magnifying System that enables users to zoom in on small print materials is located on the upper level of the library. This 19” full-screen magnifying system allows patrons to more easily view small print materials, providing up to 56x magnification. These Clearview+ video instructions demonstrate the magnifier's ease of use and highlight the Always-In-Focus technology, adjustable monitor, and easy glide reading platform.
Resources on Library Computers
The Waidner-Spahr Library provides a variety of assistive technology resources available to all Dickinson students. Adobe Acrobat Reader 9 and Microsoft Windows 7 Ease of Access Center are installed on all computers in the library. Both contain a read-out-loud feature, as well as several other helpful attributes.
In addition to the RWG software noted above, Ghost Reader, another screen reading software, is available on two Mac computers located in the Alden room on the lower level of the library, near the back wall. Ghost Reader will read aloud PDFs, text files, and Microsoft Word documents to its user.
For more a more detailed description on any of the above information, please contact ODS via email or by telephoning (717)245-1734.