Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu

Assistive Technology and Auxiliary Aids

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology is defined as “An item, piece of equipment or system, whether acquired commercially modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of (individuals) with disabilities.”  Disabilities Education Act of 1990, (Public Law 101-476).

Macalester believes that effective assistive technology not only aids students with disabilities in the classroom but provides increased options for support in daily living and work-life.  We utilize some of the following supports as part of access goals:

SensusAccess Document Converter

Macalester provides SensusAccess as a self-service solution for automating the conversion of documents into a variety of alternative formats for students, faculty or staff.

If you need help using SensusAccess please contact the ITS Help Desk at [email protected] or 651-696-6525.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 is an educational software designed to provide literacy support for those who need assistance with literacy in the classroom, at home, or in the workplace. Built-in features for reading, writing and study skills helps students to become independent learners and active participants within the classroom. Students can use Kurzweil 3000 throughout their school career and beyond, utilizing the literacy support to become lifelong learners.

If you would like to learn more about the key features of Kurzweil 3000, please connect with the Disability Services department for a brief tutorial of the software program and to obtain registration details.


Read&Write is an easy-to-use, intuitive toolbar add-on that seamlessly integrates with mainstream applications. Ideal for reading textbooks, coursework support, homework help and an exam reader, Read&Write contains support tools to makereading, writing and research easier.


Equatio is a powerful equation editor that makes it easy to create digital, accessible maths. 

Otter A.I.


Glean is a note taking tool that helps students capture information from class. Through classroom recordings, you’re able to add
labels, text notes, lecture slides, definitions, images and more to your workspace.

Livescribe Echo

Livescribe Echo is an audio pen that assists students with note-taking needs. With the Livescribe Echo, students can:

  • Record everything they write, hear or say. Students can also replay meetings or lectures simply by tapping on notes taken in class.
  • Transfer notes and audio to their computer via USB cable and Echo Desktop to save everything for fast, easy access to what’s important.
  • Easily share their notes and audio from Echo Desktop as a standard PDF or audio files.