Assistive Technology support

 News New for Semester 2: Learning Labs (online training in using our software and apps), Claro Read (Text-to-Speech) and Writing Helper (improve your structure).

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Using assistive or academic technology (AT) can help with more effective study/working. It can benefit all students and you may already be using it- 30% of students nationally surveyed in 2022 said they use captions or transcripts. It can be particularly helpful for students where English is not their first language, who have experienced an injury, have health issues, are disabled, or have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD).

Software and equipment for study

All Brookes students can book an appointment to discuss and explore potential tools to help with studies and remote working on their own devices, such as:

  • Extra features in the programmes you use all the time (MS Office, Google apps).
  • Making the most of your computer with features in your browser (eg Chrome) and operating system (eg Windows)
  • Recommendations for study-related apps for mobile phones and tablets (many of which are free).    

New software for study

Learning Labs

The Learning Labs AT and inclusivity hub includes Labs on understanding and getting the most out of assistive technology, accessibility tools and remote learning software. 

Learn how to use Brookes’ assistive technology (AT) programmes, anytime, anywhere, any place.

For advice on how to log in to the platform, please follow this guide

  • ClaroRead - Text-to-Speech, allows you to listen to your documents, it's built in converter means you can use almost any file (available from Semester 2 2022/23)
  • WritingHelper - provides steps to help you structure your written work  (available from Semester 2 2022/23)
  • MS Office 365 - Immersive reader makes documents easier to read by allowing you to improve your focus on the text. 
  • MS Office 365 - Editor on Home tab: gives feedback on clarity, formality and conciseness
  • HelperBird - AT tools for your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge)
  • Windows user - Try MyStudyBar - collection of free download AT and links to training videos
  • For ideas look at Techability - see the poster 'Making technology work for you'
  • My Computer My Way - AbilityNet

 Announcement Alternative Formats are used to help make documents accessible and enable you to use your AT to read them. You can use Moodle, Sensus Access or ClaroRead to create accessible files such as accessible PDFs, audio files, electronic braille and ebooks.

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Individual sessions are available via Google Meet to look at software and equipment to aid remote learning and online study (30 or 60-minutes).

  • Tuesday - Thursday from 9.00am

Face-to-face support, in the AT Suite, in JHB Building, Headington Campus (45-minutes) - on request

  • Tuesday from 9.00am
Other times are available upon request - use the enquiry form or email.

“A quiet place to think and work. ”

Assistive Technology Suites user

Assistive Technology Suites

The Assistive Technology Suites (ATS) house learning technology for exclusive independent use by disabled students. Contact us on for more information and to request access.

ATS locations

“If I had tried out the various accessible software and technology options in the ATS, before my needs assessment, I could have benefited even more.”

Assistive Technology Suites user

ATS Headington Campus
ATS Headington Campus
ATS Swindon Campus
ATS Swindon Campus
ATS Wheatley Campus
ATS Wheatley Campus
ATS Harcourt Hill Campus
ATS Harcourt Hill Campus

AT tools and resources

Assistive / Academic Technology covers physical resources, IT hardware or software, but it doesn't have to be high tech.

AT physical resources 

  • Coloured paper, high lighters and overlays etc can help with visual perception of content.

AT hardware 

  • Large screen, reading pen, hearing aids, wireless microphones for teaching staff, printer/scanner, high contrast or large font keyboards and specialist mouse formats.

AT software 

  • Software can read text aloud to you, allow text creation by dictation, magnify and read screen details, or let you plan in a visual way, mind-maps. It can allow you to navigate without a mouse by hotkey combinations or alternatively without a keyboard by voice. 
  •  Useful tools are found at various levels of your IT, built-in to the operating system (especially Mac) but also in applications like MS Office and Google apps, or extensions to your browser as well as specialist software. There are also Apps for your mobile device to record, magnify, scan, help with time management or read aloud.
  • Depending on where it is found it may be free in existing software you are using. Specialist software may have a one off cost to purchase or an annual / course length subscription.