Assistive Technology

The term "assistive technology" (AT) as defined in the Assistive Technology Act of 1988, means "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities." AT enables people with disabilities to use information technology resources productively. Through AT, tasks such as reading an assignment, listening to a textbook, enlarging a syllabus, or printing a Braille copy of a page or computer file can be easily accomplished. The use of technology can diminish or even eliminate barriers to learning, enabling people with disabilities to reach their full potential. Any requests for accommodation or assistance should be directed to the Office of Disability Services at 814-863-1807 (voice or TTY). Information regarding available services and policies is available online at http://www.equity.psu.edu/ods/.

Lab Computing Resources

Through supporting student computer labs and technology classrooms, including the Library Services for Persons with Disabilities Lab in 113W Pattee, we are committed to providing reasonable accommodations and equal access to information technology for students with disabilities.

In addition to the facilities already mentioned, we also support a testing center that was created through our collaborative efforts with the Office for Disability Services. This facility in 217 Boucke is intended for use by students who, when taking a test, need extended test time and/or the use of assistive technology equipment.

Assistive technology software and hardware maintained by CLC:

If you encounter any problems while using any of these resources, please contact the Classroom and Lab Computing hotline at (814) 777-0035.

Assistive Technology Funding

The purpose of the Assistive Technology Fund is to partner with other Penn State locations to purchase equipment and/or software to be utilized by students with disabilities. This funding is only available for technology provided in a public facility, and is not available for private use.

The Assistive Technology Committee, chaired by Mary Ramsey of Teaching and Learning with Technology, will review all applications for appropriateness, priority, and approval. The committee meets once a month during the fall and spring semesters to discuss possible AT purchases for the public computer labs.

Software is often tested and demonstrated before a recommendation for purchase is made. Any suggestions/recommendations for future AT acquisitions, or requests for AT funding should be directed to the contact listed below. Please keep in mind that requests should be submitted as soon as the need arises. 

University Libraries Lab

The University Libraries and the Classroom and Teaching and Learning with Technology support a lab containing specialized equipment and software for people with disabilities. The Library Services for People With Disabilities lab, located in 113 West Pattee Library, currently provides the following assistive technologies. Each assistive technology is followed by a link to the manufacturer's website. Patrons may obtain information or assistance through Susan Hayya shh2 [at] psu [dot] edu at the lab or by calling (814) 865-0284.

Contact Information

Keith Jervis, Director
Office for Disability Services
116 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-1807 (voice or TTY)
FAX: (814) 863-3217
kej11 [at] psu [dot] edu

Last Updated August 29, 2013