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Assistive Services & Technologies

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Berrie Watson
Asst. Director, USF Libraries Systems
Office: POY 215
Phone: (727) 873-4402


The USF St. Peterburg campus library staff can usually respond to requests for brief assistance, such as retrieving a book from the stacks or helping a student use the on-line catalog to find a couple citations. For lengthier assistance, please make arrangements with the Office of Student Accessibility Services. They may be reached at 727-873-4990, or online at  Direct any hardware and software concerns to Library Systems at (727) 873-4402 or through the Student Technology Center. Training and assistance in using hardware and software will be provided upon request to the Office of Student Accessibility Services. To set up an appointment for library research assistance, please visit the Research Help page.


Physical Accessibility to Facilities

Safe and accessible parking is provided to the north of the library entrance, adjacent to the volleyball courts.  Additional parking is available in parking lot 2 North of the Science and Technology building. Level parking lots and walkways lead to the library entrance only a few hundred feet to the north. The Library building and restrooms are wheelchair-accessible, the front door has an accessible height card swipe system for entry and automatic doors that trigger upon motion after swiping.


Physical Accessibility to Departments

The Library Entrance has automatic doors for wheelchair access, and a wheelchair accessible elevator is available for movement between floors.



Books can be retrieved from stacks by library staff on request. Please note that staff will be best able to provide assistance from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Contact them at 727-873-4405 for more information, or any other assistance with these matters.


Online Catalog

The On-line Catalog (Libraries of the USF System Online Catalog) is available onsite and through dial-up from remote locations. You will need an IBM compatible or Apple computer with a modem, an internet service provider, and an internet browser.


Assistive Technology Room

The library provides assistive technologies in a quiet study room setting for those with special visual needs. Normal check-out is for three hours but special arrangement can be made for longer periods of time in consultation with Student Accessibility Services who may also reserve the room under special circumstances.

Available in room POY 127A, technologies are available to assist users with accessing library materials.  For more information please visit the  Assistive Technologies and Visiting Scholar Room.

Free Assistive Technology Tools

The following Assistive Technology tools are free to use and are organized by access needs.

Screen Readers

  • Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA): Fully-functional screen reader for the Windows Operating System. It has the ability to run from a USB drive with no installation.
  • Fire Vox: Talking browser extension for the Firefox web browser.  Basic features such as identifying headings, links, images, and navigational assistance are included.
  • System Access To Go: Fully-functional screen reader for the Windows Operating System that runs from the web. It also works as a talking screen magnifier. It prompts for a download to maintain connection with the web client

Screen Magnifiers

  • Virtual Magnifying Glass: Cross-platform screen magnifier. Magnification ranges from 1x to 32x.  Viewing window width and height can be adjusted.
  • KwikLoupe: Viewing window magnifies the area around the mouse pointer and ranges from 2x to 64x.
  • CLC Star: Browser extension for the Firefox web browser. Allows for enlarging images, increasing font size, changing font style and color, changing background color, enhancing focus indicator, increasing link and word spacing, and more.
  • System Access to Go: Fully-functional screen reader for the Windows Operating System that runs from the web. It also works as a talking screen magnifier. It prompts for a download to maintain connection with the web client.

Text-to-Speech Output

  • Speak Easy: Reads text copied to the clipboard. Voices settings can be adjusted.
  • Orato: Reads text copied to the clipboard with the ability to display text and highlight words or sentences as they are read. It has the ability to run from a USB drive with no installation.
  • Natural Reader: Converts text to speech and can create audio files in mp3 or WAV (i.e. for iPod).
  • PowerTalk: Speaks any presentation or slide show running in Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows.
  • ClickSpeak: Browser extension for Firefox web browser. Mouse-driven interface that reads text based on point-and-click interaction.
  • Word Talk: Plug-in for Microsoft Word that will speak the text of a document and highlight as it reads. It also includes a talking dictionary.

Text Presentation

  • WordFlashReader: Flashes each word of a document sequentially on the screen. Font size, type, color, rate, and amount displayed can be adjusted.
  • Tbar: A colored bar that can be dragged around the screen or locked to the mouse pointer. Color, transparency, and optional ruler lines can be adjusted and saved between sessions.
  • Vu-Bar: On-screen slotted ruler that can be dragged around the screen or locked to the mouse pointer. Width and height can be adjusted.
  • Spr-OT: Spreadsheet slot to block columns or rows for easier visual focus on selected cells. Bar can be flipped horizontally or vertically, moved, hidden, locked to the mouse pointer, and adjusted for height and width.
  • RapidSet: Allows changing of the background and font colors without going through the Windows control panel.
  • Washer: Renders everything within the viewing window into grayscale.
  • Typoscope: A reading guide which has a cutout section, to reduce glare and the amount of text visible, making it easier to focus on a line of text. Color shading can be adjusted.
  • Fx Toolbar: Plug-in for Microsoft Word 2007. A toolbar with options to highlight, collect text in a new document, speak hig hlighted text, indentify confusables, and more.

Mouse Tracking

  • Sonar 4: Provides a large ring around the mouse pointed for easier tracking. Color, shape, size and width can be adjusted.
  • Big Cursors: Selection of bigger mouse cursors for easier tracking.
  • Chunky Cursors: Selection of chunky cursors for easier tracking.

Typing Tools

  • LetMeType: Typing program that analyzes your typing and predicts words in order to increase typing rate. Works with most word processing and text input programs.
  • Click-N-Type: On-screen keyboard that can be controlled with a mouse, trackball, touch-screen, or other pointing devices. Works with all word processing and text input programs.

Organizational Tools


  • NexTalk: Instant messaging program which allows users to place calls to TTY or other NexTalk messenger users.