Tompkins Cortland Community College

Baker Center for Learning


Assistive Technology

The Baker Center has cutting edge software and hardware which is designed to help students with various needs. Some of our assistive technology is available to all students and some is available only to students with specific disability accommodation plans.

This page is designed to make you aware of what sort of programs we have that might help you with your particular learning need.

If you feel that a particular program would help you, our staff will spend time helping you understand how to use it.

We are happy to help and hope you will take advantage of our services and our technology!

Available Technologies

Premier AT

Premier Assistive Technology has created a wide assortment of tools that make your computer read to you, and the best part is, the software is free to all TC3 students. Stop by the Baker Center and pick up the information. Then, download the software to your own computer. Have your computer read your favorite web page, E-mail, homework, or even read a book. There is even a program that will let you convert your documents into audio files so you can listen to them on your iPod! These tools are also great for proofreading and editing your homework.

Students with appropriate accommodations can scan reading materials in the library, using Premier's Scanning software. This material can be read using Premier's software on any college machine or using Premier's software at home.

Check out Premier's software at

Kurzweil 1000

Kurzweil 1000 is reading software that makes printed or electronic text accessible to people who are blind or have limited vision. It is the direct descendent of the first reading machine for the blind invented by Ray Kurzweil in 1976. You can read more about Kurzweil 1000 on their web site.

Students with appropriate accommodations may use the Baker Center scanning station to scan text books, lecture notes, and other class related materials and then may listen to the scanned materials with one of our Kurzweil reading stations. Kurzweil 1000 is for text only; it does not scan graphics. It is possible to save Kurzweil 1000 files as MP3s. These files can then be converted to sound files and can be burned onto CDs for use in any environment.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 is a scanning, reading, and writing software program for people with learning disabilities or other reading difficulties. Students with appropriate accommodations may use the Baker Center scanning station to scan text books, lecture notes and other class related materials, and then may listen to the scanned materials with one of our Kurzweil reading stations. Kurzweil can also read class notes and assignments from online classes as well as web pages. Kurzweil 3000 retains graphics included in the printed material. Any material which has been scanned or is available in specific formats such as .pdf, .html, etc. can be interpreted and read aloud by the Kurzweil 3000 software. If you would like, take a look at what Kurzweil has to say.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a fast, easy and accurate way to turn speech into text. A student can dictate into most Windows-based programs at speeds up to 160 words per minute! The accuracy is really astounding! It seems like science fiction, but it's not! This technology exists and is waiting for you in the Baker Center.

This program has many uses. Students use this program for brainstorming when they can't get words on paper. When a student feels more comfortable expressing ideas out loud, this program turns thoughts into writing. It is also a great resource for students with writing disabilities. Professionals use it for dictation, home-users to have fun with their PCs, people with disabilities use it as an aid in the writing process. The ideas are endless.

Check out the Dragon NaturallySpeaking website for more details or stop in and have an up close and personal look.


ZoomText is a program which was designed to help vision-impaired people use computers. The Baker Center's current version of ZoomText is an advanced screen magnification program which makes all Windows applications, documents, E-mail, and the internet accessible to visually impaired students. In the Baker Center, whenever possible, we use ZoomText in combination with a large monitor screen. Whether typing a paper, reading an online course or filling out financial aid forms, this program will make things easier for the vision-impaired individual.


Available to all students in the College, Inspiration is used by students to brainstorm, plan, organize, outline, diagram, and write. It helps students organize their thoughts in two different ways: concept map and formal outline formats. The program allows for switching back and forth between the formats with the click of a button.

Inspiration uses visual learning techniques. The program allows users to personalize their web diagrams by choosing from a variety of colors, pictures, and fonts – it even has a neat "sticky note" feature! These visual learning options teach students to clarify their thinking, and to process, organize and prioritize new information. Visual diagrams reveal patterns, interrelationships and interdependencies. They also stimulate creative thinking. With visual learning, new concepts are more thoroughly and easily understood. This is the best brainstorming tool available! Come into the Baker Center to check it out.

AlphaSmart Pro Keyboard

The Baker Center has AlphaSmart Pro Keyboards that we can lend to students with designated needs. The Alpha Smart allows you to enter and edit text, and then send it to any computer for formatting or directly to a printer. Its portability allows you to use it anywhere and anytime: in the classroom, the library, the bus, etc.

This unit is much lighter weight than a laptop. You can type notes or in class essays with ease. Just ask us in the Baker Center about borrowing one.

Franklin Spellers

The Baker Center has Franklin Spellers that we can lend to students with designated needs. These great devices can:

  • Pronounce and correctly spell 80,000 words (for auditory reinforcement)
  • Keyboard echo to let you hear each letter pronounced as the key is pressed

GW Micro's Window-Eyes Screen Reader

GW Micro's Window-Eyes provides blind people access to Windows based computers by speaking the contents of the computer's screen. All applications, including word processors, internet, and E-mail, are available to the blind student. Window-Eyes is a very advanced and very stable screen reader and is able to read nearly any Windows screen. Without a lot of technical hassles, Window-Eyes gives you TOTAL control over what you hear, when you hear it, and how you hear it.

If you would like more information, go directly to the Window-Eyes website or stop in and have an up close and personal look.


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