The Library

Disabled and Dyslexic Users

Assistive software

There is a range of assistive software available in the Library. We try to ensure that we have all the software you may have been recommended by Disability Advice.  

More information about the software, including tutorials and guides, is available below. 

Assistive software workshops are also sometimes available. If no workshops are currently available please register your interest.

The Library Learning Support Officer can provide support and training to students and staff on the assistive software.  

Mind mapping software

Inspiration is mind mapping software which can be used to create concept maps, flow charts and mind maps to help to organise ideas in a visual way. It helps with organising and structuring ideas prior to starting written work such as reports and essays.  It can also help to show the relationships between ideas or concepts. The mind map can then be easily converted into a written outline or presentation.  

Inspiration is available on all Library PCs.

Video tutorials and a user guide are available on the Inspiration website.

Assistive software workshops are also sometimes available.

MindView is a visual learning mind mapping tool designed to help you develop and organise ideas. It aims to enhance creativity, clarify your thoughts and improve memory and is a good study and revision tool.  

MindView has functions which allow you to undertake tasks that are more involved than just simple mindmaps; for example creating time lines, setting calendar reminders and creating tables of contents.

MindView is available on all Library PCs.

Video tutorials and a user guide are available in the MindView website.

Assistive software workshops are also sometimes available.

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Study Skills software

Read & Write supports your study skills through a toolbar which works alongside other applications such as Microsoft Word, email and the Internet. It is designed to provide support for people with writing, reading and spelling difficulties.  

Here are just some of the tools available:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages and documents aloud
  • Dictionary - gives dictionary definitions of words
  • Spell checking - check your spellings with definitions and example sentences
  • Sounds like and confusable words - check and correct your use of words such as their and there or weather and whether
  • Speech Input - types as you speak (requires a microphone)
  • Screen Masking - change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read
  • Highlighters - highlight useful text and then collect these into a new document, which is useful for taking notes

Read & Write is available on all Library PCs.

Video tutorials and user guides are available on the TextHelp website.

Assistive software workshops are also sometimes available.

Read & Write for Google Chrome is a toolbar which offers many of the functions of the full Texthelp Read & Write software within the Chrome web browser.  It works with webpages and files accessed through Google Drive such as Google Docs, Google Slides, PDF files and ePub files.

Here are just some of the tools available:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages or Google Docs files aloud.  
  • Dictionary - gives dictionary definitions of words
  • Speech Input - types as you speak (only available in Google Docs and requires a microphone)
  • Screen Masking - change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read
  • Highlighters - highlight useful text and then collect these into a new document which is useful for taking notes

Installing the Read & Write for Google Chrome extension

In order to access all of the features you will need to be signed into Google with your Leeds Beckett student email account.  If you access it with a different Google account you will only be able to access the text-to-speech tool.

  1. Go to Google and sign in with your Leeds Beckett student email account and password (you may need to sign out of other accounts first)
  2. Go to the Chrome Web store Read & Write for Google Chrome page
  3. Click on the + Add to Chrome button
  4. Click on the Add Extension button
  5. Once installed you will see the purple Read & Write for Google Chrome icon on your Chrome toolbar.  Click on this to access the toolbar.

Video tutorials and a user guide are available on the TextHelp website.

ClaroRead supports your study skills through a toolbar which works alongside other applications such as Microsoft Word, email and the internet. It is designed to provide support for people with writing, reading and spelling difficulties. 

Here are just some of the tools available:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages and documents aloud.  
  • Spell checking - check your spellings and look up dictionary definitions 
  • Homophones - check your use of words such as their and there or weather and whether
  • Screen colour- change the colour of the whole screen to make it easier to see and read

ClaroRead is available on all Library PCs.

Video tutorials and user guides are available on the ClaroRead web site.

Assistive software workshops are also sometimes available.

ClaroRead Chrome is a toolbar which offers some of the functions of the full ClaroRead software within the Chrome web browser.  It works with webpages and files accessed through Google Drive such as Google Docs and PDF files.

It provides:

  • Text-to-speech - it will read the content of web pages or Google Docs files aloud.  
  • Screen Overlay- change the colour of web pages to make it easier to see and read

Installing the ClaroRead Chrome extension

  1. Go to the Chrome Web store ClaroRead Chrome page
  2. Click on the + Add to Chrome button
  3. Click on the Add Extension button
  4. Once installed you will see the ClaroRead Chrome icon on your Chrome toolbar.  Click on this to access the toolbar.

A video introduction and Help Guides are available on the Claro website.

Pro-Study is a study tool that collects and organises your research in a single click. It categorises your research topics by grabbing your specifically selected text from Websites, PDFs, Microsoft Word and just about anywhere else you can select text and saving it into your personalised colour coded category tabs. Pro-Study provides quick hyperlinks back to the original websites. It also allows you to export this research as either a whole project or as individual categories into Microsoft Word or your favourite Mindmapping software with all of the referencing done for you in the required style and format.

Pro-Study is available on all Library PCs.

Video tutorials and user guides are available on the Pro-Study web site.

Assistive software workshops are also sometimes available.

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Lecture recording software

Is an audio-based PC software program for easy note taking which allows you to combine lecture recordings with PowerPoint slides.

Audio NoteTaker is available on the Disability Resource Area PCs.

Video tutorials and more information is available on the Audio NoteTaker website.

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Screen reader and magnification software

JAWS is for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content.

JAWS reads aloud what's on the PC screen and gives you a set of tools for navigating and accessing web pages and all screen content.

User guides are available on the JAWS website.

Zoomtext provides screen magnification and screen reading. You can choose from a selection of mouse pointers and cursors to make them more visible.

Video tutorials and user guides are available on the ZoomText web site.

SuperNova is for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content.

It provides magnification and reads aloud what's on the PC screen and gives you a set of tools for navigating and accessing webpages and all screen content.

Video tutorials and user guides are available on the SuperNova website.

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Free software and apps

Recommended free software and apps

  • MyStudyBar brings together a range of useful tools to support studying, reading and writing for Windows PCs.  It includes tools for mindmapping, customising font and background colours, a talking dictionary, converting text to audio and speech recognition.
  • Ginger Proofreader is integrated with most of your favourite desktop applications and with all major browsers. Ginger Proofreader offers both ESL (English as a Second Language) and native English speakers the ability to correct spelling and grammar mistakes with a single click.
  • Wordweb is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary that can look up words in almost any program.
  • Goconqr is an app which allows you to create and share mindmaps, quizzes, flashcards, slides, notes and flowcharts.  You can also use it to discover user created resources on your topic.  

Collections of free software and apps

Find apps for your iPad and Android smartphone or tablet to support you:

FAQs

General information on IT in the Library

Image of hands typing on a laptop

These pages provide specific information for disabled students.

General information on IT in the Library can be found on the Student IT Support pages.

Adobe Reader XI PDF guide

Want to convert files into different formats?

You can do this using SensusAccess, a web-based tool which allows students and staff to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media. 

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is speech recognition software which types as you speak. The software is not available in the Library as it must be used in an environment with no background noise and where others will not be disturbed by the speaking. However, if you are interested in the software you can book an appointment with the Learning Support Officer for a demonstration. 

Video tutorials and user guides are available on the Dragon NaturallySpeaking website.