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Assistive Technology Resources

Assistive technology supports your academic goals and ensures equal access to learning. These resources can be useful for many students, including those with physical disabilities, language processing challenges and attention issues.

Lending Materials

Saint Louis University provides assistive technology and equipment to students registered with the Office of Disability Services. Assistive technology includes items such as FM systems, lecture microphones and lecture recording devices. Students borrowing equipment from our office will be asked to sign an equipment loan agreement form that outlines roles and responsibilities. This form will be kept on file throughout the duration of the equipment loan.

Loan Agreement Form

Alternate Format Course Materials

Use of alternate format course materials is an academic accommodation available to students who need printed materials, including textbooks, in alternative formats. Alternate format course materials typically include the following file types: DOC, EPUB, PDF, RTX, TXT or XML. Exact availability depends on the material and the publisher of the material.

Students should be aware that it may take time for a request to be completed. Students may be required to surrender the textbook to create an alternate format text.

Prior to requesting texts in an alternative format, please review the following steps:

  1. Determine eligibility for AFCM accommodation through meeting with a member of the Disability Services team
  2. Complete the Alternate Format Course Materials Request Form
  3. Submit the form to the north campus testing center at
  4. Inform the north campus testing center coordinator of any course changes
  5. Receive email indicating that alternate format materials are ready

Because it can take 2-3 weeks to receive texts in an alternative format from book publishers, students are asked to submit their request forms at least two weeks prior to the start of the academic semester to avoid delays.

Adaptive Technology: Recommended Text to Speech Programs

 Balabolka is a text-to-speech program that uses the computer voices already installed on your Windows system. The on-screen text can be saved as a WAV, MP3, MP4, OGG or WMA file.
Central Access Reader
Central Access Reader is a free, open source, text-to-speech application designed specifically for students with print-related disabilities. CAR reads Word docs and pasted text using the voices installed on your computer. Available for Windows and Mac. 

Kurzweil 3000's digital literacy suite integrates several text and audio-based accommodations. Customizable reading, writing, study and test-taking tools are easily accessible from the program's floating toolbars. The stand-alone version does not require a subscription and access to program features will not expire.

NaturalReader is a text-to-speech software with natural sounding voices. It can convert any written text in digital formats (Microsoft Word, webpages, PDF files and emails) into spoken words. NaturalReader can also convert text into audio files such as MP3 or WAV for your iPod or smartphone. 
YUZU, through the SLU Bookstore

Many textbooks are now available digitally through the SLU Bookstore's e-reader, YUZU. You can purchase e-books directly from the site and get an access code emailed to you instantly that will allow you to download and read your book. YUZU has a web app and an iPad app.