Accessible Technology

Accessibility Resources offers support with accessible technology such as:

  • Textbooks and other course materials in accessible alternative formats
  • Guidance on software, hardware, apps, learning aides, and other technologies and devices that facilitate accessibility

Course Materials in Alternative Format

Although the University of Cincinnati strives to create an accessible learning experience, there may be times when it is not possible for course materials (textbooks, journal articles, other academic documents) to be readily available in an accessible format that is compatible with assistive or adaptive technologies.

Once approved for the accommodation, students may request course materials in alternative formats.

Use Ally in Canvas for Alternative Formats

Students can generate alternative formats of course materials uploaded to their Canvas courses on demand using the Alternative Formats option. For instructions, please see the Ally Alternative Formats article.

Please note: The alternative formats provided via Ally are not intended to replace the accommodation process, but are offered as one of many options for students to access content independently.

Accessible Technology, Software, and Devices

Accessibility Resources can provide access to and guidance on various assistive and adaptive technologies for student accommodations, as well as resources and recommendations for getting the most out of the available software and devices.

Free Software Available to UC community

The following software is available through IT@UC and/or the UC Accessibility Offices, among many others that might assist students, faculty and staff in their learning, teaching, and work.

  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Equatio
    • Equatio is a math writing tool that makes math both digital and accessible. Type, handwrite, or dictate mathematical expressions, and use the screenshot tool to have math read aloud, generate editable math, and more. Learn about Equatio in 5 minutes (video).
    • See TextHelp Tools Installation and Activation section below for access instructions.
  • JAWS (Job Access With Speech)
    • Developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content or navigating with a mouse. JAWS provides speech and Braille output for the most popular computer applications on your PC.
    • To download JAWS:
  • Read&Write
    • Read&Write is a literacy support tool that offers help with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work.
    • See TextHelp Tools Installation and Activation section below for access instructions.
  • ZoomText
    • ZoomText Magnifier/Reader is a fully integrated magnification and reading program tailored for low-vision users. Magnifier/Reader enlarges and enhances everything on your computer screen, echoes your typing and essential program activity, and automatically reads documents, web pages, email.
    • To download ZoomText:

Note-Taking Support

  • Glean
    • As of Fall 2022, Accessibility Resources provides Glean note-taking platform, either in place of or as a supplement to a volunteer peer notetaker. 
    • With Glean, students can record class content like lectures, annotate the recording with different note types (including task reminders), insert instructor slides and slide content into notes in real-time,  generate and download transcripts of recorded audio, and more. 
    • Videos to learn more about Glean:
    • Glean is a web application which can be accessed on any laptop or desktop computer through the Chrome web browser. It works on Windows, Mac, Chromebooks and Linux operating systems. There is a free Glean mobile app available for iOS & Android.
    • Students approved for the Notetaker accommodation may request a Glean license by submitting the request form linked below.

Screen Readers


  • NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access)
    • NVDA allows blind and vision impaired people to access and interact with the Windows operating system and many third party applications.
    • The NVDA screen reader can be downloaded free of charge by anyone. 
    • NVDA is open source software, which means the code is accessible to anyone. This enables translators and developers around the world to continually contribute to its expansion and improvement.
  • Windows Narrator
  • Android TalkBack

Mac and iOS



  • Features built into 
    • Windows (Narrator, with settings adjusted)
    • Android OS (Text-to-Speech)
    • Mac OS & iOS (Spoken Content)
    • Office 365 (Speak in Word, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint)
    • Google Workspace
  • Read&Write literacy support tool
  • ZoomText magnifier with speech

Training and Support

  • Our Digital Access Team offers one-on-one consultation for students who want to learn how to access and/or utilize the accessible technologies available via UC, as well as a wide array of native and open source technologies available.
  • If you'd like more information or would like to set up an appointment, please email the Digital Access Team or call Accessibility Resources at 513-556-6823.

TextHelp Tools Installation & Activation

Full access to Read&Write and Equatio is available to all current UC students, faculty, and staff. 

To get Read&Write or Equatio:

  1. Go to Read&Write or Equatio product page
  2. Click the "Try Read&Write" or "Try Equatio" button
  3. Select your desired platform from the drop-down menu
    1. Desktop versions: downloads .exe or .dmg file to your device. Open the file to install.
    2. R&W mobile apps: redirects to iTunes or Google Play Store for download.
    3. Browser extension or add-on: redirects a Chrome or Edge webpage. Click "Add to Chrome" or "Get" button.
    4. Equatio Web app: redirects to a page that prompts you to log in. Follow instructions below.

To authenticate full access to the program:

  1. Open Read&Write or Equatio
  2. Select "Sign into Microsoft Account"
  3. Sign in when prompted using your UC student ( or or faculty/staff ( email address and campus password

Read&Write & Equatio Learning Resources

TextHelp provides instructional videos and online reference guides to assist you with maximizing the tools offered by Read&Write and Equatio: