Assistive technology

Assistive technology support available at UWE Bristol.


The term ‘assistive technology’ covers many things such as text-to-speech and voice recognition software, video magnifiers, keyboards, computer mice, wrist rests and grips for pens.

Assistive technology can help everyone. For example, mind-mapping software can help with planning, research and assignments. Text-to-speech programs can help check work for spelling errors, sense and structure.

There is a wide range of assistive technology and equipment available at UWE Bristol, including software on the network and for loan.

Find out more about assistive software

Funding for specialist equipment

A common outcome from a Disabled Students’ Allowances needs assessment is a recommendation for the purchase of specialist equipment (assistive technology). It may also include training on how to use this effectively.

You will need to contact your funding body (usually Finance England or NHS Student Bursaries) to find out who buys the equipment recommended in your needs assessment report. They may purchase the equipment for you and arrange a delivery date, or they may ask you to buy the equipment yourself and provide them with receipts. Individual funding bodies vary in their approach to this, so you should always ask.

When you have a Disabled Students’ Allowances needs assessment, the assessor will recommend the most appropriate solution to overcome any study-related disability difficulties you may have. This is to allow you to have the same level of access to your study as other students.

If your assessor decides that the most appropriate solution is to recommend a computer (either laptop or desktop) they will include this in your report. It is up to your funding body to decide whether they agree to purchase the recommendations made in your assessment report.

You are strongly advised to keep to the original recommendation made in your report. This will be the best solution and complement any other recommendations made. 

Identifying training

Your need for training is normally agreed as part of your needs assessment. A copy of your assessment report is then sent to your funding body (normally your Local Authority, NHS Grants Unit or Student Finance England). The funding body will then confirm whether they agree to fund the recommendation made for you to have training.

Your training will normally be paid for from your Disabled Students' Allowances. You will need to arrange payment between your funding body (eg Local Authority) and the trainer that is identified in your needs assessment report.

Alternative formats

The library can help with alternative formats for disabled students who can't access printed materials.

You can create your own alternative formats online, and convert short documents into a more accessible format.

Library accessibility guide

For information regarding the accessibility of each campus library including facilities, software and technology, take a look at our library accessibility guide.

Accessing UWE Bristol's website

See our assistive software page for advice on getting the most out of accessibility features and assistive technologies for your computer. The other accessibility features of UWE Bristol's web pages are described in the accessibility link that you will find at the bottom of every UWE Bristol web page.

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