University makes literacy support tool available to all

Brittany Snow
Staff Writer

Accessibility Services has made Kurzweil 3000 – a software tool to support reading, writing, test taking skills and more – available to the University of La Verne community. 

Previously it was available only to those requesting accommodations. 

Now everyone with access to the La Verne Portal can access Kurzweil.

“We know that everyone learns differently, and sometimes information is retained differently,” said Lisa Lester, interim assistant director of Accessibility Services.

“Why keep it as an accommodation (when we) have the ability to create a new resource for all of our community?” 

The platform offers services such as text-to-speech and text-to-audio, multilingual support, document scanning and note-taking.

“I learn best when sharing my focus between two tasks,” said freshman psychology major Carys Anderson, who started using the software this semester. “Like listening to audio and taking notes for an assignment, it keeps me task-oriented compared to just sitting and reading a book as homework.”

The program also comes preloaded with select literature, including works by Helen Keller and William Shakespeare.

“One of my classes relies heavily on reading,” said freshman business administration major Jayson Lopez, who also recently began using Kurzweil. “Balancing time between football practice and studying can be hard, but having a tool like this helps lighten the workload.”

Through the program, users have the ability to upload work from their Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or from their own device. 

From there, documents can be annotated, read aloud or edited for clarification. The tool bar offers resources such as the standard font, size and alignment, but also additional tools such as the dictionary, synonyms list, or translation. 

“I have already had a few students come to me with questions on their homework that are already half annotated,” Academic Success Center tutor Alexia Daniels said. “This is not something I would get often before. It makes my job a lot easier when they can pinpoint what they do not understand, and have exhausted their resources to find the answer they are looking for.”

“It made sense to open this up to the larger population, because we were in the right position to,” Lester said. 

“Whenever we have the opportunity, (we) are making sure that people know about it,” she added

Accessibility Services is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Monday through Friday on the first floor of the Oaks dormitory at 2150 First St. 

For more information on Kurzweil 3000, email accessibilityservices@laverne.edu.

Brittany Snow can be reached at brittany.snow@laverne.edu.

Brittany Snow is a junior communications major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business management who currently serves as a staff writer for the Campus Times.

Comment

Latest Stories

Related articles

Students toggle between Spotify and Apple Music

When it comes to music streaming platforms, the conversation of whether Spotify or Apple Music is the elite music app never ends as each platform continues to evolve and add features to keep up with its competitors.

Lieberman shares life story in final lecture

University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman presented “Stringing the Pearls,” where she reflected on the lessons learned throughout her life, at the Quay Davis Executive Board Room at noon on Tuesday. 

Students jam out at Karaoke Night

Students sang their hearts out during Karaoke Night in the Quay Davis Board Room on Thursday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The small event was hosted by the Latino Student Forum club. 

Ableism at ULV displayed in photo array

Niki Elliott, clinical professor and co-director of the Center for Neurodiversity, Learning and Wellness, and Sylvia Mac, associate professor of education and director of the Center for Learning Innovation, presented “All are Welcome: A Window into the Experiences of Students with Disabilities at ULV” Tuesday at the Quay Davis Executive Board Room.