Queen's University

Celebrating the Adaptive Technology Centre

[The ATC is located in the Learning Commons in Stauffer Library]Michele Chittenden and Andrew Ashby help students access a variety of resources and materials at the Adaptive Technology Centre.

Twenty years ago, Queen’s opened the Adaptive Technology Centre (ATC) in Douglas Library, a place where students with disabilities could find a variety of learning resources. At the time, the University was recognized as a leader in the field, and won an award for innovation from the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries.

Today, the ATC is located in the Learning Commons in Stauffer Library and is a vibrant and inclusive place that serves the needs of 800 students on campus.

“When I was in school, nothing like this existed,” says Andrew Ashby, Adaptive Technology Specialist at the ATC. “Having some accommodation would have made a world of difference for me.”

The ATC offers several resources and services, from study rooms and research assistance to software and hardware technologies. Kurzweil 3000 is a program that scans text documents and coverts them into an audio format. Inspiration is a tool that facilitates brainstorming and the organization of thoughts. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice to text software that allows users to dictate everything from emails to essays.

Students can also have their course materials converted to alternative formats, including e-text, digital audio, audio tape, Braille, and large print.

But the ATC is about much more than resources.

“In addition to the technology, just having the space is important to our students,” says Michele Chittenden, Research and Instruction Librarian and Coordinator of Library Services for Students with Disabilities. “The ATC is a place to study, to rest between classes, to interact with peers, or to have a snack if blood sugar is low. It’s a supportive environment where students feel safe, where they can be who they are.”

March is Disability Awareness Month. For more information on services available at Queen’s visit the Disability Services website.

For more information on the ATC and its resources, visit the website.

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Last updated at 4:55 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
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