Guidance for students

What do you need help with?

This page includes advice, guidance, and links to a variety of digital accessibility tools. If you need support with these tools, please contact inclusivesupport@brookes.ac.uk to find out how to access accessibility software to support your studies.

I need help accessing a digital resource.

I need to access alternative formats or convert files on Moodle.

The following tools will help you to convert different types of web content to alternative or editable formats.

Free to use

  • Alternative Formats Ally: All Moodle users can use the Alternative Formats icon to download files in different formats. When your instructor adds a File or Folder resource to Moodle, the Alternative Formats Ally icon will be automatically added, which all users can see.

I need to access alternative formats or convert files from other places.

The following tools will help you to convert different types of web and digital content to alternative or editable formats.

Free to use to convert files

  • Available on AppsAnywhere
    • ClaroRead: PDF Reader for your mobile device with features to increase readability of documents.
  • Available from Learning Resources
    • Sensus Access: Use the Sensus Access service to convert a document from an inaccessible format (eg. image only PDF file, JPEG pictures, Powerpoint presentations) into an accessible format, including e-book, MP3 or DAISY audio book or digital braille.

Free to use to have text read aloud

Specialist tools for conversion and text to speech available from the Assistive Technology Suites

  • Dragon: is speech recognition software that allows you to dictate content (and learns your voice profile) but also allows you to command / navigate your computer without using a mouse/keyboard. Available on selected PCs in the AT suites.

Types of tools to help you access resources (definitions)

  • Text to speech – reading text aloud, articles or proofreading your work.
  • Format enhancement - change colours, font size and spacing, increase or decrease magnification, text only / reflow.

I need help viewing a digital resource.

I need to access a screen reader in order to 'view' a digital resource.

The following tools are screen readers which allow you to access things on your screen including course content, email, applications, and more. Most can also provide Braille output if you require it and have the related digital Braille reader equipment available.

Free to use 

Available for short-term loan or through a free trial (for short term access)

Specialist tools available for purchase

I need to magnify a digital resource to make it bigger.

The following tools are which will increase the size of text on a screen.

Available for short-term loan or through a free trial (for short term access)

  • Supernova-Dolphin: Screen reader for Windows with a 30 day trial version or via USB copies available from the Assistive Technology Suites. Enlarges (up to 64 times magnification) all or part of screen content while maintening sharpness and clarity, can be combined with text to speech or screen reader. 
  • Zoomtext Screen magnifier for Windows: Enlarges all or part of screen content while maintening sharpness and clarity, combined with text to speech.

I need to change how my screen looks so I can read it better.

The following tools will help you adjust how different resources look on your screen.

Free to use

Available on AppsAnywhere

  • ClaroRead: PDF Reader for your mobile device with features to increase readability of documents, including different options to tint your screen.

For more information on how to change webpage settings, please see this guidance document from Inclusive Support.

Types of tools to help you 'see' resources (definitions)

  • Text to speech – reading text aloud, articles or proofreading your work.
  • Screen reader – hotkeys for navigating screen content and reads screen details (links, lists, buttons, images etc).

I need help listening to a digital resource.

I would like to listen to a digital resource using text to speech software.

The following tools will read the text on a digital resource aloud.

Free to use to have text read aloud

Specialist tools for conversion and text to speech available from the Assistive Technology Suites

  • Dragon: is speech recognition software that allows you to dictate content (and learns your voice profile) but also allows you to command / navigate your computer without using a mouse/keyboard. Available on selected PCs in the AT suites.

A video or other recording is missing captions or has captions that are difficult to read.

If a video or recording is made available on Moodle or other Brookes platform, please contact your tutor in the first instance if there are missing captions or if the captions are too difficult to read.

If you need a video transcribed, or if a recording needs to have captions added please email digital-accessibility@brookes.ac.uk for assistance.

Available through a free trial (for short term access)

  • Otter AI: Speech to text: A subscription service that provides audio transcription. Automated audio transcription with summary keywords, highlights, and full audio transcripts. If you subscribe you receive 600 mins free every month.

Types of tools to help you 'listen' to resources (definitions)

  • Dictation – of text or voice commanding your PC (rather than mouse or keyboard).
  • Audio note-taking - linking slides, recording and notes (text or voice).
  • Mindmapping – organising tasks and structuring work with visual representations.

I need help completing a task.

I need to convert files into another format or access materials in another way.

The following tools will help you to convert different types of web content to alternative or editable formats.

Free to use to convert files on Moodle.

  • Alternative Formats Ally: All Moodle users can use the Alternative Formats icon to download files in different formats. When your instructor adds a File or Folder resource to Moodle, the Alternative Formats Ally icon will be automatically added, which all users can see.

Free to use to convert files not on Moodle.

  • Available on AppsAnywhere
    • ClaroRead: PDF Reader for your mobile device with features to increase readability of documents.
  • Available from Learning Resources
    • Sensus Access: Use the Sensus Access service to convert a document from an inaccessible format (eg. image only PDF file, JPEG pictures, Powerpoint presentations) into an accessible format, including e-book, MP3 or DAISY audio book or digital braille.

I need to dictate text or command my screen with my voice alone.

The following tools will help you to use voice controlled screen navigation. dictate content and produce good notes.

Free to use or built-in

  • Voice type: In Google Apps you can use your voice to dictate and format content and navigate within a document.
  • Dictate: In MS Office you can use your voice to dictate and format content and navigate within a document. 

Specialist tools favailable from the Assistive Technology Suites

  • Dragon: is speech recognition software that allows you to dictate content (and learns your voice profile) but also allows you to command / navigate your computer without using a mouse/keyboard. Available on selected PCs in the AT suites.

I need something read aloud.

The following tools will read the text on a digital resource aloud.

Free to use to have text read aloud

Specialist tools for conversion and text to speech available from the Assistive Technology Suites

  • Dragon: is speech recognition software that allows you to dictate content (and learns your voice profile) but also allows you to command / navigate your computer without using a mouse/keyboard. Available on selected PCs in the AT suites.

I need help organising my notes.

The following tools will help you to organise your ideas and notes into more accessible formats.

Free to use

  • ClaroIdeas: A free app with a Google Chrome extension that allows the creation and editing of concept or idea maps using visual components.
  • Coggle: A free mindmapping app with a Google Chrome extension with a variety of text and multimedia options.

Types of tools to help you complete your tasks (definitions)

  • Text to speech – reading text aloud, articles or proofreading your work.
  • Dictation – of text or voice commanding your PC (rather than mouse or keyboard).
  • Audio note-taking - linking slides, recording and notes (text or voice).
  • Screen reader – hotkeys for navigating screen content and reads screen details (links, lists, buttons, images etc). 

I need help creating a resource.

I need to produce content without using a keyboard or mouse.

The following tools will help you to use voice controlled screen navigation. dictate content and produce good notes.

Free to use or built-in

  • Voice type: In Google Apps you can use your voice to dictate and format content and navigate within a document.
  • Dictate: In MS Office you can use your voice to dictate and format content and navigate within a document. 

Specialist tools favailable from the Assistive Technology Suites

  • Dragon: is speech recognition software that allows you to dictate content (and learns your voice profile) but also allows you to command / navigate your computer without using a mouse/keyboard. Available on selected PCs in the AT suites.

I need help organising my notes and content in a digital format.

The following tools will help you to organise your ideas and notes into more accessible formats.

Free to use

  • ClaroIdeas: A free app with a Google Chrome extension that allows the creation and editing of concept or idea maps using visual components.
  • Coggle: A free mindmapping app with a Google Chrome extension with a variety of text and multimedia options.

One-to-One Support

Further support is available via the Inclusive Support team and the Centre for Academic Development on how to use common applications like Google Slides and MS PowerPoint to organise your ideas, content, and presentations.

Types of tools to help you create resources (definitions)

  • Text to speech – reading text aloud, articles or proofreading your work.
  • Format enhancement - change colours, font size and spacing, increase or decrease magnification, text only / reflow. 
  • Dictation – of text or voice commanding your PC (rather than mouse or keyboard).
  • Audio note-taking - linking slides, recording and notes (text or voice).
  • Mindmapping – organising tasks and structuring work with visual representations.
  • Screen reader – hotkeys for navigating screen content and reads screen details (links, lists, buttons, images etc). 

I need help from Inclusive Support.

I need more time to complete an assignment...

Need more time to complete your assignments? 

Look into the Exceptional Circumstances policy at Brookes and use the form to apply for more time. You can self-certify for a 24 hour grace period, but there are other options available.

I need more help with all of my coursework.

The Inclusive Support team provides a varety of support services to help you complete your coursework at Brookes, including:

The Assistive Technology Suites are available to All students and Staff - individual appointments and information about productivity and accessibility tools.

The Centre for Academic Development provides study skills sessions available to all students, individual and workshops, and online resources to improve academic outcomes.

The Disabled Students' Allowance provides funding to support eligible students with disabilities, special learning difficulties, and dyslexia.

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