Tips, Tricks, and Free Tools for Computer Users

There are a lot of adjustments possible for end users. Some are made through the operating system, others are offered within mainstream programs. Others can be made by installing free or low cost tools. This page provides featured examples and gives links for additional resources. Disability Support Services can provide additional individualized suggestions.

Operating Systems

  • Speech Recognition
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Display Modifications
  • keyboard Shortcuts 

Read more about accessibility features within each operating system

Mainstream Programs

There are many important features and tools within common programs we use every day:

  • Word, Excel, and PowerPoint type programs
  • Adobe Reader

Learn about tips and tricks for using common programs

Specialized Tools

For a list of free and low cost options visit ADAPTECH or print this handout on free tools

Additional information is available on the DSS pages for adaptive computing and assistive technology.

Site Licensing - Free Download for UAA Students, Staff, and Faculty

Premier Internet Toolbar and Literacy Suite (Unlimited Site license available from IT Downloads with free home licensing for students with disabilities available through DSS) is a collection of programs including but not limited to:

  • Talking Pointer (reads anything you out loud that you put your mouse over)
  • Text-to-Audio (converts anything you can copy and paste or type into a sound file)
  • Talking Dictionary
  • Scan and Read Pro (converts hard copy into electronic text that can be read out loud or converted into a sound file)
  • PDF Equalizer (lets you open PDF materials and highlight, or make notes, then have just those highlighted portions or notes read out loud)
My Study Bar - Free Download for Everyone

My Study Bar is a free download that can be run from a portable drive or the computer itself. It is a collection of tools including a calendar, concept mapping, text to mp3, and a quick launch to voice recognition.