VIDEO: Student with Hearing Trouble Benefits From Assistive Technology Services
Webster University student Megan Moore is studying for her Masters degree in IT Management. She was diagnosed with a Central Auditory Processing Disorder in November 2008. Within two years, Moore lost fifty percent of her hearing. Moore currently uses a Livescribe pen to record lectures and an FM system for auditory amplification. Both were referred to Moore by the Academic Resources Center (ARC).
Webster University’s Academic Resource Center accommodates about two hundred students with learning and physical disabilities. Some of those accommodations include assistive technology.
“Webster has been outstanding with the accommodations. They’ve arranged an FM system for my classroom use. Cindy Yamnitz also showed me Livescribe and Dragon Naturally Speaking. The school contacts all of my professors ahead of time so they are aware before the first day of class and prepared for it,” says Moore.
Cindy Yamnitz is the Assistive Technology Specialist at Webster University. Yamnitz says a student does not have to be disabled to use assistive devices. “If there is technology available that may make things easier for you, why not take advantage of it,” says Yamintz. A few of the assistive technologies available at Webster University include, but are not limited to:
Dragon Speaking Naturally– A voice input program that allows the user to speak their demands. The software is able to compose email, type while you talk, open files, control mouse, launch applications and more.
Livescribe– Records everything you write and hear. It works with a special notebook.
FM System– A small radio transmitter. The parent or teacher wears the FM transmitter and microphone while the student wears the FM receiver.
JAWS– A screen reader program that reads the content of a webpage out loud.
Kurzweil 3000– Is a software designed to help students read, write and understand text. It scans the pages of a book and allows the user to manipulate the document within the program.
Yamintz helps students find devices that accommodates their needs, but it is up to the student to purchase the devices. Assistive technology prices can cost as much as $3,000.00. There are requirements to qualify for free software and hardware. There may be devices available for loan. Software available on campus are Kuzweil 3000, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Zoomtext, JAWS and Openbook.
Moore suggests that students with physical and learning disabilities get in touch with the ARC.
“The people at the ARC listen, care, and are able to help find solutions to make attending and succeeding in classes easier. They are also very professional and keep confidentiality. Students should partner with them. They have made all of the difference in my program,” says Moore.
Contact Cindy Yamnitz at 314-246-8225 and the Academic Resource Center at 314-698-695 to learn more about their services.