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Becoming More Independent

You can become more independent in your use of alternate formats by downloading or purchasing your own software for use at home, getting your own membership in LearningAlly or and by signing up with Department of Rehabilitation.

Get Your Own Software

Yes, you can study at home. There are many software programs that can be downloaded either for free or for a small cost. Here are a few that have free versions and low cost pay versions with more features:

Kurzweil 3000
Available from the DSPS. Ask a DSPS counselor for details.

Natural Reader
Download from

Download from

In addition to these, there are some more expensive ones with more features. For example:

Download from

These programs are just some of the many programs available. To learn more about these programs view their websites and discuss your needs with one of our Accessible Computer Laboratory staff or faculty.


You May Already Have Software

Windows 7 and newer versions of Apple Mac operating systems already have built-in text-to-speech features. Check your manual or help menu for "accessibility" or "speech" to find out what you may have on hand.

Windows 7 has a program called Narrator:

Apple has several programs also:


Get Your Own Membership (and free software too) offers free memberships to college students. With the free membership you can download free software. This is a good option if you expect to use these services frequently. Ask your DSPS counselor or the alternate media specialist for more information.


Department of Rehabilitation

Many DSPS students are clients of the State of California Department of Rehabilitation. By becoming a Department of "Rehab" client you can usually get a free computer and software or other devices.

Check with a DSPS counselor to find out more.