Assistive Technology & Web Accessibility

In consideration of what is feasible and reasonable under the law, it is the University’s goal to assist individuals with a disability with accessing information and being productive while working and/or attending the University of Chicago. The following assistive technology is available through the University.

SDS Lending Library of Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is available to all registered students who have been approved to use the equipment as an accommodation for a disability.  All approved students must sign a loan use agreement and return the borrowed equipment prior to graduation, or as soon as it is no longer needed. Contact SDS if you are interested in using any of the assistive technology described below.

Livescribe Smartpen

The Livescribe Echo 2 Smartpen allows you to simultaneously record audio as you take written notes. The pen also allows you to create a digital version of your handwritten notes and recording by syncing your handwriting and audio file to your mobile device using the Livescribe+ app via Bluetooth. Qualifying students can borrow a pen from SDS.

ZoomText Software

ZoomText Magnifier/Reader is a magnification and reading program designed for low-vision users. ZoomText enlarges and enhances everything on your computer screen, echoes your typing and essential program activity, and automatically reads documents, web pages, and email.

University-wide Assistive Technology

Natural Reader

Natural Reader is a text-to-speech reading software that is available upon request to all University of Chicago students, staff, and/or faculty who have an active email address. To receive access, please submit your request to

Sensus Access

Sensus Access is a document conversion tool. University of Chicago students, staff, and/or faculty who have an active email address can use Sensus Acess to convert their own documents from image only PDFs to machine readable text (accessible PDFs, Word files, or EPUBs) or audio files. They can also convert files between different accessible formats.

Sensus Access recently published an updated video explaining what Sensus Access is and how to use its features. This is available on YouTube at (for those using the standard form) and (for those using the side-by-side form). The original version of the video is also available at

Assistive Listening Devices Leasing and Delivery

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) amplify sound and are available to all individuals who request them for lectures, classes, conferences, theater performances, concerts, sporting events, and other functions. ALDs come in convenient carrying cases along with simple, step-by-step instructions. Audio Visual Services (AVS) is happy to review the use of an ALD and answer any questions. For procedures on obtaining ALDs for on- or off-campus events, please refer to the AVS website.

Library Assistive Technology Workstations

The Library’s assistive technology workstations are located near the microform equipment in the third-floor reading room of Regenstein Library. Both workstations are equipped with a computer and scanner, as well as Kurzweil 3000 and Freedom Scientific (MAGic, Openbook, JAWS) software. Headphones are required for audio. Get started with PDF quick reference guides for Kurzweil 3000 and JAWS.

A refreshable braille display is also available for checkout at the TechBar on the first floor of Regenstein.

Enhanced Vision Readers

The library has three enhanced vision readers. They are located near the microform equipment in the third floor reading room of the Regenstein Library, on the first floor of the Crerar Library, and in the second floor Wilson Reading Room of the D’Angelo Law Library.

For more information about services the library offers patrons, please see Information for Patrons with Disabilities.


Assistive Technology Assistance is available on Tech Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. at the Regenstein Library Tech Bar. To schedule an appointment, contact

SDS Assistive Technology Training and Support is available on a limited basis for SDS-provided assistive technology. Email your training request to

Web Accessibility

The University of Chicago strives to make all of its sites accessible to provide equal access and opportunity to people with disabilities. For more information, visit the University’s Center for Digital Accessibility. Report a digital access barrier to the Center for Digital Accessibility:

6045 S. Kenwood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

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