Assistive software

Free software downloads to support your study

During the Covid-19 crisis short term access to the following software is available for download on to your personal device. Please contact Disability Services to discuss longer term access via Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).  

Contact Library-support@bristol.ac.uk for installation codes. 

Read aloud software 

TextHelp Read and Write software for literacy support 

  • Hear text read aloud to aid understanding.
  • Change background colours.
  • Use literacy support tools to spot errors in your own work.
  • Use scanning tools to create audio files or alternative formats of printed materials.

Will it still be available after my free trial is over? 

Yes- in libraries and study centres once we have physical access and via the student remote desktop.  

Training and support - Read and Write (log in required) 

Note-taking support 

Glean is a new audio-notetaking web app and works with the Chrome browser only. 

Will it still be available after my free trial is over?  

No- we do not currently hold any licence for Glean software. 

Training and support - Glean 

Assistive software is installed on computers across our libraries and study centres. Some software can be be installed on other University-managed PCs by request.

Go to the PC's Start menu and search for software by name. Please consult the help menus within the software programmes. Links to online training videos for some software provided below.

Mind mapping software

  • Plan and organise your essay or project in a visual way.
  • Take notes in a non-linear visual style.
  • See connections and links.
  • Collate your notes and materials in one place.
Mind mapping software
Assistive softwareAvailability
Inspiration
Information and online training 
  • All libraries and study centres.
  • Student remote desktop.
MindView
Information and online training  
  • All libraries and study centres.
  • Student remote desktop.

Reading and writing software  

  • Hear text read aloud to aid understanding.
  • Change background colours.
  • Use literacy support tools to spot errors in your own work.
  • Use scanning tools to create audio files or alternative formats of printed materials.
Reading and writing software
Assistive softwareAvailability
Texthelp Read&Write
Information and online training (login required)
  • All libraries and study centres.
  • Student remote desktop.

Screen reading and display enhancement software 

  • Hear text read aloud to aid understanding.
  • Enlarge and enhance screen text.
Display Screen reading and display enhancement software
Assistive softwareAvailability
JAWS Screen Reader
Product information
  • Assistive Technology Room, Arts and Social Sciences Library.
  • PC Room, Queen's Building Library.
ZoomText Magnifier/Reader
Information and videos
Please ask Library Support for further information. 

Voice recognition software

  • Speak instead of typing.
  • Avoid difficulties with keyboard use and spelling.
Voice recognition software
Assistive softwareAvailability
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Information and online training (login required)
  • Meet and Speak Room - Arts and Social Sciences Library.
  • Accessible Study Room (ASR) - Arts and Social Sciences Library. 
  • Library laptop loan.

Scanning software

  • Scan and convert printed text to Word or PDF.
  • Make printed or electronic text more accessible.
Scanning software
Assistive softwareAvailability
ABBYY FineReader (Optical Character Recognition)
Information and online training (login required)
  • Assistive Technology Room (ATR) - Arts and Social Sciences Library
  • Study Room 15.

Overview of assistive software

The Library Support team are happy to provide you with an overview and further information about the assistive software listed.

Productivity tools

A range of freely-available online tools to help with reading, writing and ways to enhance screen display.

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