The Library and Information Center of the National Technical University of Athens, in order to provide equal access to knowledge, provides to its community special material and software. In the reading room area are located four assistive technology workstations (three desktop computers and one laptop) that allow direct and unhindered access without discrimination and barriers for people with special educational needs.
In the workstations the following software has been installed:
1. Speech recognition system
The speech recognition system provides the possibility to automatically import user’s speech into a word processor. The system supports Greek spelling, upon dictation, from the computer.
The system is hands-free, as it comes with headphones, with a built-in microphone for operation without requiring access to the mouse or keyboard.
In addition, the program works with MS Word, and provides the ability to convert pre-recorded speech text stored on the computer as a wav, mp3, mp4 and wma file.
Caution: To use the program, the Hasp usb key of the program must be installed on the computer.
2. Screen magnifier
The screen magnifier enlarges a specific area of the screen as the user moves the focus. This way, the user can increase the size of some elements of the desktop. In addition, the system supports color adjustment in order to increase the readable result.
At the same time, the program uses screen reading technology that converts various elements of the screen into oral speech, so that the user with visual impairments is assisted.
3. Text to voice conversion system
The voice composition system provides the ability to convert user-selected text into spoken language. The application pronounces any text, such as a web page, an e-mail, an e-book for the benefit of people with visual impairments.
1. Alternative keyboards
A large keyboard is available for people with difficulty typing accurately and a special color scheme (yellow with black letters) for people facilitated by this color combination.
2. Alternative mouse
Two alternative mouse devices are available. A joystick mouse which implements the functionality of the mouse by using a lever, and a mouse with a trackball.
These mice replace the well-known mouse and because of their construction require movements of much smaller range from their operator. Thus, they become suitable for people who due to problems are unable to use the conventional PC mouse.
3. A portable image magnifier
A specialized portable device with suitable software that “reads”, magnifies or alters the color of natural objects, images or any visual material such as prints. Using an intergraded camera, the desired object is recorded and the magnified image is displayed on the screen of the mobile device.
The library participates in AMELib project (Accessible Multi-modal Electronic Library) of Heal-link, an accessible multimodal electronic library. The development of AMELib, aims to strengthen the effort to remove barriers for print-disabled users of Greek academic libraries. The goal is to offer accessible content through an equally accessible web application, which is based on the application of copyright exemption provisions for print-disabled people, as provided for in copyright law.