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Adaptive Technology

Drexel University is proud to offer several different forms of adaptive technology to qualified students with disabilities.  We in the Office of Disability Resources (ODR) here at Drexel wanted to take a moment to describe the different types of Adaptive Technology that students may qualify for, the procedures for accessing the technology, and some additional resources available to all students.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil is a computer program available to students on their personal computers via VPN connection to Drexel’s secure server and a one-time software download.  The program is also available in the Haggerty Library Adaptive Technologies Center (ATC).  This program allows students to see scanned book text while listening to the text being read, making notes, highlighting and creating guides on the interactive computer program.  Kurzweil also has the ability to read Word documents and Internet Web pages, create mp3 files of text, and has mind-mapping and outlining tools.

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Kurzweil 3000 – Software Demonstration Videos

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Alternate Formats ("Reading materials in accessible formats") Request Process

How to request materials in alternate format:

If you are a student registered with the Office of Disability Resources at Drexel University who would like to request books or other reading materials in alternate format as an accommodation in one or more classes, please follow the steps below:

  1. Ensure that " Reading materials in accessible formats " is listed as an approved accommodation on your Accommodation Verification Letter (AVL).
    If it is not, and you feel that you may qualify for the service please call ODR at 215-895-1401 or e-mail and request an appointment.
  2. For requests using the Alternate Format Book Request Form:
    1. Fill out the Alternate Format Book Request Form and return it to ODR.
    2. The form can be sent as an e-mail attachment to, faxed to 215-895-1402, or mailed/dropped off to 3201 Arch Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  3. For requests where the student chooses to provide their own books for conversion:
    1. Supply personal copies of the required book/material to ODR.
    2. ODR will cut the binding, scan the text, convert it into the desired alternate format (generally PDF), email the electronic file to the student, spiral bind the student’s book and return it to the student.
    3. This process generally takes 5-7 business days and is free of charge.
      **This is always an option but students may wish to wait and see if a book is available by way of conversion first.
  4. Provide ODR with a purchase receipt for the textbooks being requested. (Required whether students submit an Alternate Format Book Request Form or whether they bring in their own books to be cut.)  Please note: If the material being requested is a library book or material owned by Drexel University no receipt would be necessary however the student is responsible for indicating that their request involves a Library resource.

    ODR Student Responsibilities:

    1. It is the responsibility of the student to submit all requests in a timely manner.
    2. It is the responsibility of the student to provide ODR with a purchase receipt for any textbook being requested, when that book or material is required to be purchased by the rest of the class, before that book will be provided in alternate format. 
    3. If a student has online readings in PDF format that they would like converted into an alternate format other than Kurzweil, it is their responsibility to make this request and provide the specific course information to ODR each term. (Students have the ability to open PDF and Word files directly into Kurzweil for them to be converted automatically.)
    4. If the student feels the book publisher is taking too long to provide an electronic book file (or if they have been informed that the electronic file is not available) the student has the option to bring in their own book for ODR to cut the binding, scan the text, convert it into the desired alternate format, and spiral bind the book to return to the student.  There is no cost for this service and the average turn around for conversion is 5-7 business days.
    5. It is the student's responsibility to inform ODR immediately if their books in alternate format and/or adaptive technology are malfunctioning.

    The Office of Disability Resources' Process in Providing Alternate Format Materials:

    After receiving a completed Alternate Format Book Request Form, ODR takes the following steps to assist in providing books in alternate format for the student:

    1. If the book or material is not already on file, ODR will reach out to the publisher and request an electronic copy.
    2. As soon as the publisher provides the electronic file, or when the student drops off their copy of the text, ODR will provide an electronic copy of the book (generally a PDF) to the student via email using SendSpace (an online document uploading service).
      1. In cases where advanced editing is required to make material accessible for use with  software such as JAWS or Windows Eyes, ODR will work with a 3rd party conversion company to have the material converted in to an accessible PDF document.  This process can take additional time so it is essential that all requests be received in a timely manner.
    3. The student can then open the PDF file using their adaptive technology.
    4. Generally, most book publishers provide the files in a timely manner however some could take over a week.  Students should keep this in mind when requesting books.
    5. In the event that a book is not available from the publisher, ODR will notify the student via email as soon as possible.  At that point, the student has the option to provide their own book to be cut and converted into alternate format.

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    FAQ’s – Books on CDs