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Implementing Academic Accommodations

A guide for course instructors/departments/schools on implementing common academic accommodations in post secondary

Assistive Technology Software Accommodation

Who uses assistive technology in exams?

Some students have an accommodation to use specific software to lower barriers to reading, writing and navigating print.

What assistive technology software is available at CAL for students writing exams?

  • Kurzweil 3000: Reads digital or scanned exams aloud in a synthetic speech voice. It has tools to identify potential errors in spelling, grammar, confusable words and homophones.
  • JAWS, NVDA or VoiceOver: A student who does not have functional vision can use a keyboard to navigate entire Windows and Mac computing experience with accompanying synthetic speech feedback to read digital exams and answer exam questions using a word processor or the web browser interface in D2L or other online collaboration software.
    • Screen readers for non-sighted users are technical to operate and require much longer timeframes for completion of D2L and other online exams due to the amount of navigation by keyboard and listening required (typically, more than double time). Certain functions (for example, buttons) within D2L, Collaborate, Zoom, etc. can be tricky for non-sighted users to navigate to quickly. Extra time must be given to find and activate the controls they need.
  • ZoomText: Zooms size of digital exam up to 32x and also reads aloud in a synthetic speech voice.
  • Voice recognition (Dragon Naturally Speaking): Student dictates exam answers by voice and that dictation is recognized by the software as typed words into a word processor or into the D2L exam browser environment.

*CAL exam computers are monitored throughout exams by invigilation staff through ABTutor and in person to ensure students are not accessing unauthorized resources through the network or online to ensure exam integrity.

Instructors can find more information about these assistive technologies on a forthcoming CAL resource. Until that resource is developed, please refer to the UVic guide to popular assistive technology products for post secondary.