The Student Accessibility Services office works closely with students, faculty, and campus partners to ensure the accessibility of coursework at Iowa State. All Iowa State students have access to a variety of accessible tools through their student accounts. Students who require more specialized technology can meet with our office to discuss the options available to them.
Accessible Technology for All ISU Students
Read about the resources and accessible technology available to ISU students below
Microsoft Learning Tools
All students at Iowa State have access to the Microsoft suite. Microsoft has made significant strides in ensuring that its learning tools are accessible to all users. Their suite of tools, including Microsoft Office and OneNote, have features like immersive reader and dictation that can help students with reading and writing difficulties. Additionally, Microsoft Teams offers live captions and transcripts during meetings, making it easier for students who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate. With these accessibility features, Microsoft's learning tools can provide college students with a more inclusive and equitable learning experience.
OneNote and Notability are both note-taking applications that can help users organize their notes and stay productive.
OneNote is a digital notebook that allows users to create and organize notes in a hierarchical structure. It supports multiple note formats, including text, images, audio recordings, and even handwritten notes with a stylus or finger. OneNote also integrates with other Microsoft Office applications, such as Outlook and PowerPoint, making it a useful tool for students and professionals who need to take notes, organize ideas, and collaborate with others. Iowa State students have access to this application for free through the Microsoft Suite.
Notability, on the other hand, is a note-taking app designed specifically for the iPad and Mac. It also supports handwritten notes, but its main feature is its ability to annotate PDFs and other documents. Users can import documents into Notability and annotate them with text, images, and drawings. Notability also allows users to record audio during lectures or meetings and sync the audio with their notes, making it easier to review later. Notability is not provided to students by Iowa State University but is available at a cost through the app store.
Writing and Grammar Technology
Iowa State students receive a premium account to Grammarly, which is a cloud/browser extension that offers advanced grammar and spell check for the user. Grammarly is a writing tool that offers a range of benefits for college students, including catching errors that they may have missed on their own, improving writing over time, and helping to write more effectively and efficiently. Grammarly identifies common grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors, and provides suggestions for better word choices and tips for improving sentence structure. With these benefits, students can spend less time proofreading and more time focusing on the substance of their writing, making Grammarly a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their writing skills.
Students with visual or learning impairments can benefit from free access to assistive technologies like ZoomText, JAWS, and Fusion. These tools help users to access and interact with digital content more easily, providing a more inclusive learning experience. ZoomText is a magnification and screen reading software that enlarges and enhances on-screen text and images. JAWS is a screen reader that reads aloud the content on the screen, allowing users to navigate and interact with their computer without relying on sight. Fusion combines both magnification and screen reading capabilities into one software, providing a more versatile solution for users with multiple needs.
Students may also benefit from utilizing built-in computer software that is available on all Microsoft and Apple computers. Check out the links below for more information.