Assistive Technology

The Assistive Technology (AT) program provides services to students with permanent or temporary disabilities such as access to various forms of assistive computer technology and training on the use of these systems so that students can use these technologies to enhance academic independence and productivity.

Official Definition for Assistive Technology:

Equipment or software items designed to use to compensate for areas of disability or impairment. It allows students with disabilities the same access to information and production as their peers.

What is Assistive Technology?

So what is assistive technology anyway? Put simply, assistive technology is any device that can be used to enhance learning, living, or recreation for a person with a disability. This includes a range of devices including low tech devices such as mouth sticks and communication boards, to high tech devices like voice output augmentative communication devices and voice recognition systems. More specifically, at USC assistive technology refers to the devices and systems used to make learning and research easier for students with permanent or temporary disabilities. Some of the devices or systems that we use at USC include Kurzweil 3000, JAWS, ZoomText.

The goal of the USC Assistive Technology program is to use these devices and systems to help improve a student’s ability to learn and participate in research while at USC. We do this by giving them access to the various devices and systems we have, and then we train the students on the use of these systems.

Services Offered

Access to assistive computer technologies include: text-to-speech software (Kurzweil 3000), large screen software and displays, access to Bookshare and/or Learning Ally.

Alternative Format Text Conversion Requests

All alternative format text conversions are now done through your myDSP profile. Please log on to your profile and click the “Alternative Formats” tab under  “My Accommodations.” On the following page, enter the essential textbook information and your preferred format before submitting your request.   If you are experiencing trouble completing a request, please contact the Assistive Technology staff at Once completed, please submit a receipt/proof of purchase to DSP via in-person drop-off, mail, or email to in order to have your textbooks released to you.

*Please note: Alternative Format Text requests come after students have been approved for Alternative Format accommodations. If you have not been approved for Alternative Format accommodations you will not see this tab underneath My Accommodations.

Software Available

  • Kurzweil 3000
  • Jaws
  • ZoomText

Software Descriptions

Kurzweil 3000

What: Text to speech software that will read out loud an electronic version of text (such as PDF). Speed and volume adjustable.

For Whom:

  • Students who are blind or have visual impairments.
  • Students with learning disabilities.

This software is available as a free download to students during their enrollment at USC.

Instructional Videos: Click here to access instructional videos from Kurzweil.


What: Screen reader solution for Windows-based computers

For Whom:

  • Students who are blind or with visual impairments


What: Screen magnification software for Windows-based computers

For Whom:

  • Students who are blind or with visual impairments

File Conversion (via SensusAccess)

DSP has partnered with SensusAccess to provide online file conversion for most file types.
Access to the file conversion tool is located here.
Information on how to use the service is available here.

Contact Information

To get more information on our program and services please e-mail the Assistive Technology Coordinator:

Jordan Colbert, MMFT
Assistive Technology Coordinator