Tools for Universal Learning


Students can receive a free license to use Sonocent, a note-taking tool that puts the student in control of their own notes. This software captures audio and visualizes phrases into chunks, which can be color highlighted, annotated, and organized. The software enables students to effectively engage with class content in real-time and makes it easy for them to come back to review important information later on.

Sonocent is available for desktop (Windows and Mac) and mobile applications (iOS and Android), enabling students to take notes on their preferred device.

The built-in features allow you to:

  • Capture audio, text, and slides in a single workspace.
  • Organize notes.
  • Export to various formats to suit their learning style.
  • Improve audio quality and extract what is most useful for you.
  • Embed PowerPoint slides, PDFs, images, and other media to support audio recordings.


Glean is the web version of Sonocent and is a great option for Mac and/or PC users.

Kurzweil 3000

Conquer literacy challenges with Kurzweil 3000-firefly, literacy software that enables you to read, comprehend, and demonstrate your knowledge. Technology-based tools and resources within the software help you to actively engage in authentic learning experiences in the way that work best for you. This, in turn, enables real learning to happen and helps unlock your true learning potential.

Kurzweil Education offers proven, research-based, literacy solutions that enable learners to address their own unique learning challenges and build the skills and confidence to succeed in academically rigorous environments. Using a multisensory approach to learning, students become independent, confident learners who can achieve rigorous academic goals.


NVDA is a free computer screen-reading program that allows individuals who are blind or who have visual impairments to read text on a computer monitor using a combination of Microsoft keyboard commands and NVDA keyboard commands. An array of versatile features and customizable options lets the user tailor NVDA to individual needs and preferences.


JAWS (Job Access with Speech) is a paid computer screen-reading program that allows individuals who are blind or who have visual impairments to read text on a computer monitor using a combination of Microsoft keyboard commands and JAWS keyboard commands. An array of versatile features and customizable options lets the user tailor JAWS to individual needs and preferences.

All students registered with the Disability Resource Center at FIU with an active FIU email address have access to the JAWS Home License.


MAGic is a computer magnification program designed to help individuals with visual impairments access the computer monitor. The software is used to magnify the computer screen and includes a speech output option. The software uses a combination of Microsoft keyboard commands and MAGic commands to navigate the computer screen and documents. 

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition software lets you get more done every day on your computer — quickly and accurately — using your voice. It is the fun, easy way to turn your spoken words into text three times faster than typing and execute simple voice commands. Dictate and edit documents, send an email, search the Web, and use social media with unparalleled speed and comfort.


LiveScribe Smartpens record audio and written notes from lectures. The two are synced for convenient playback. Notes from the Smartpen can be stored and played back using several applications, including Evernote and Google Docs.

Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader is a free tool that implements proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people, regardless of their age or ability. Immersive Reader can improve reading comprehension and increase fluency for English language learners. It can help build confidence for emerging readers learning to read at higher levels and offer text decoding solutions for students with learning differences such as dyslexia. This tool is compatible with Microsoft Word and the Microsoft Edge web browser.

Microsoft Word

You may be surprised to know that Microsoft Word has text-to-speech functionality. A great tool for editing, it can also allow students with difficulties seeing or reading to listen to their document. Word has two different options for reading documents aloud, Read Aloud and Speak.

Sensus Access

Sensus Access is a file format-converting service that FIU has licensed for current students, faculty, and staff. It is a particularly useful tool for individuals with disabilities needing access to specific file formats. This service is available to all current FIU students, staff, and faculty free of charge. This self-service conversion tool works with a range of alternate formats, including PDFs, JPEGs, e-books, Daisy, MP3, word/text files, or braille.


Merlin elite Pro is a high-performance desktop video magnifier (CCTV), featuring a Full HD 1080p camera and Full-Page Text-to-Speech (OCR). Merlin elite Pro’s high-definition camera displays crystal clear images in vibrant color and contrast while its high-resolution LCD and large field of view produce maximum detail on a clear bold display. With the push of one button Merlin elite Pro allows you to change from live image mode to full page OCR mode to have it read your favorite article or book aloud. Merlin elite Pro is a perfect solution for anybody looking for a powerful all-in-one electronic magnifier.


VoiceComputer, our flagship product, was designed to give unprecedented ease-of-use and accessibility to users of speech recognition. With VoiceComputer, you can finally give your hands arms a break and control your computer by just saying the numbers of the controls you wish to follow. Computer control is now as simple as, “1 2 3”. creates technologies and products that make information from important voice conversations instantly accessible and actionable. This has a free tier along with paid options.


A paid E-Text resource for students.


Bookshare makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading. Bookshare is available only for individuals who have a qualifying reading or perceptual disability, a visual impairment, or a physical disability that affects their ability to read printed works.