Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is a broadly defined term that describes innovative tools dramatically improving the lives of people with disabilities.

Kurzweil 3000 Can Now be Accessed on Personal Computers by Students and Staff Members

​As of 2016, the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at MSU maintains a campus-wide license for the award-winning technology Kurzweil 3000 (K3000+firefly). Individual accounts are now available to any MSU student, faculty, or staff member at no cost. K3000+firefly is software that can convert a multitude of documents into audio to be read aloud. This software offers many supplementary study options including audio, visual, translation, and study tools. It is ideal for those with reading difficulties or those acquiring language skills (English as another language), as it can read aloud and highlight active text. Kurzweil 3000 also provides definitions for words, making text more accessible.

Get Started with Kurzweil 3000

  • To create an account with Kurzweil 3000, send a blank email message to You must send this message from an MSU email account.
  • An automated server will send you complete links and instructions on how to download on your Mac, iPad, or PC.

Training for using this and other learning tools is available to all RCPD students. Contact the RCPD at (517) 884-7273 to set up a training session.

A former student smiling in front of a computer as he uses Kurzweil 3000.

Bob, a former Agriculture student, utilizes Kurzweil 3000 for all of his required reading.

MSU Computer Requirement 

The MSU computer requirement states that all undergraduate students are required to have a computer that can connect to the internet using a high speed connection. The RCPD has identified this requirement as a useful tool in helping students access technology that can make a difference in their education. Years of experience with the requirement and available tools underscores the importance of considering portable computers. Laptop computers are ideally suited to the mobility needs of RCPD students.

We encourage students to have a laptop/notebook computer because of its versatility. Those selecting laptops should recognize the RCPD Assistive Technology Center as an ideal place to optimize the configuration of assistive technology. Laptop portability allows students to bring their computers to the RCPD for consultations and training in the latest technologies. It is our hope that students will take this information into consideration when fulfilling MSU's computer requirement. 

About the Assistive Technology Center

The Assistive Technology Center (ATC), located within the RCPD, is available to MSU students and employees with disabilities. The RCPD Assistive Technology Center is a state of the art facility containing several workstations offering the latest in voice and Braille output, screen enlargement, voice input, and OCR reading equipment. Additionally, each has word processing, Web browsing, and email capabilities. Some of the computers can scan documents and then read them aloud to the user. The center serves as a location where individuals may use needed adaptive equipment but moreover a place where they may learn to both identify effective adaptive solutions and learn to fully utilize the new tools.

Assistive Technology Center Hours

The RCPD is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in accordance with the University Calendar.

Equipment Available at the RCPD Assistive Technology Center

The RCPD maintains state of the art assistive technology to empower our students and employees. Plan to visit us and experience some of these high tech tools for success.

The following is available at the RCPD Assistive Technology Center. Training manuals, tutorials and personalized assistance is also available. Stop in any time or call to make an appointment.

Additional Assistive Technology Resources Available at MSU

  • For more resources available for free or at low cost, go to our Tools for Success page.
  • Library - The MSU Main Library also provides assistive technology including some equipment with the same capabilities as the RCPD Assistive Technology Center. For more information go to Accessible Library Services.
  • MSU Computer Labs - Computers maintained by IT Services in public computer labs on campus have Kurzweil 3000, Zoomtext screen magnifier and JAWS screen reader available. These programs can be launched through the start menu / utilities. Check the list of computer labs with assistive technology to learn hours and locations.

How to Access Assistive Technology on MSU Microlab Computers

Assistive Technology in the News:

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Mobility Enhanced: The Road to the Guide App

“The challenge is designing an app so that anyone who uses it thinks that it was designed for them” so the app accommodates a wide array of abilities.

Department of Undergraduate Education Celebrates Tower Guard Induction in Article

Every spring, a ceremony called May Morning Sing celebrates the induction of a new Tower Guard which consists of a select few of the top 5% of Michigan State’s freshman class.

Independence in STEM Technology for All

The purpose of the RCPD is firmly centered on maximizing the opportunities at Michigan State for students of all abilities. In this spirit, we are working ardently to produce results with the help of a new grant. “The 2017-18 Creative Excellence Grant” supports our “Enhancing the Accessibility of Mathematics and Symbolic Content” initiative.