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Facilities for students with disabilities

Do you have a disability, such as rheumatism, RSI, a visual handicap or dyslexia? The Library can help you.


Textbook into PDF

At the Library you can have (part of) your textbook scanned and saved as a PDF file on a USB stick. You can then have the text read out to you via your PC or Mac. To qualify for this free service you need a letter from the student counsellor (based on a (para)medical certificate).

Hand in the book at the Information Desk of the University Library (Singel 425). After 5 working days you get the USB stick.

Please note: in order to scan the book the spine has to be removed! There is a binding machine at the Information Desk to stick on a new spine.

Text-to-speech software

To have a text converted to audio file so that it can be read out loud to you, special software is needed. Natural Reader (Windows/Mac) offers free software to do this, the paid version can also convert a PDF file to MP3. Natural Reader does not have Dutch voices. Balabolka (Windows) does have Dutch voices and is also free. Balabolka also has a portable version which can be used on various computers via a USB stick.

Computer work spaces

For visually impaired and/or dyslexic students and staff of UvA there are PCs in the Information Centre of the University Library with a 21" screen, Microsoft Office 2010 (Word, Excel etc.) and Internet Explorer 10.

On the first floor, one of the computers in the computer room in UB Singel (B1.02) has the Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 speech recognition software. All functions normally carried out by means of the keyboard and/or mouse, are performed by voice commands. To this end a so-called voice profile is needed to get the computer used to your voice and your way of speaking. This profile can be stored on the computer‘s U disk or on a USB stick. To enter the spoken commands and texts a microphone is necessary and available at the information desk.

UvA students and staff can log into these PCs with their UvAnetID.

More information

For more information, please Ask the Library or get in touch with Martin Kaal, telephone: 020-525 1405.

study book pdf