Navigating a remote learning environment can be challenging. SOAR is here to help you with any accessibility needs! SOAR is still operating during normal business hours (Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m). Please email SOAR@furman.edu for any questions or concerns. The SOAR staff is available for remote meetings to discuss any accommodation needs or requests.
We will have daily (Monday through Friday) drop-in office hours via Zoom from 1-1:30 p.m. EST. SOAR staff will be present to help answer questions or just chat! You don’t need to download anything to join. Simply click on this meeting link.
If you would like to schedule a virtual appointment to ask questions or talk about your accommodations, please email SOAR@furman.edu. A SOAR staff member will reach out to you ASAP!
You may think that you don’t need to take notes during your online course, especially if the lecture is recorded, but this is not true. Research shows that note-taking increases retention of information.
The Livescribe Smart Pen can be used with the notebook like you would use it in a classroom setting. Be sure the volume is turned up on your computer loud enough so that the pen can record clearly.
It is a good idea to test the pen before an actual lecture. You can pull up an online video and record a couple minutes on your pen. Then listen back and adjust the audio on your computer to ensure the recordings on your pen are clear.
When recording a lecture, be sure to be in a silent room. Do not listen to music or watch the television during lecture.
Sonocent will allow you to record from your computer microphone, your computer speaker, or both. In the top left hand corner, under the red “RECORD” button there is a little arrow that will give you three options.
Peer Notetakers are expected to still upload notes to BOX just as they would if they were on campus. Please contact email@example.com for any questions or concerns.
Please submit a test reservation form for every quiz, test, or exam you would like to take using your SOAR approved testing accommodations. We will work directly with faculty to create an equitable testing environment for you.
Please contact SOAR@furman.edu if you have any questions or concerns.
Students are used to coming to our office for a more controlled environment to minimize distractions. To create a similar setting, students need to prepare their space before starting an exam online.
(Maintaining Access to Opportunity In the Face of the Coronavirus Crisis, Disability Access Information and Support, March 16, 2020)
After submitting a test reservation form, a confirmation will be sent to you, your professor, and the SOAR office. SOAR will work with the professor about proctoring your test. Please contact SOAR@furman.edu with any questions or concerns.
If you would like an accessible version of a document, please complete the Document Conversion Request.
Depending on the length of the document, please allow 2-5 business days for processing. Once the document is converted, a SOAR staff member will email or share the document with you via a BOX folder.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or concerns.
Students who are having difficulty accessing online materials or can’t engage in too much screen time because of their disability can request to have their materials printed and shipped to them. The student or professor needs to complete the Printed Materials Request and SOAR will take it from there.
Students may request a digital copy of their textbook. SOAR utilizes several different book repositories to find accessible digital textbooks.
Once you complete the request form, we will email and/or add you to a BOX folder that contains your digital textbook.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
1. From your desktop select the settings icon as pictured below:
2. Select “Accessibility” from the menu as shown below:
3. Select “Speech” at the next menu.
4. Next, select the preferred “Voice” and “Speaking Rate” that you would like. You can press “Play” to hear a sample. Once you have customized your voice and reading spead, click to turn on “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”. *Notice the short cut key to initiate reading aloud is Option + ESC. You can change the shortcut key if you would like.
5. Next, open your word document and highlight the text that you would like to be read aloud. Once highlighted click the keys “Option” + “ESC” from your keyboard and your computer will begin to read the highlighted text aloud. (Please make sure that your speaker volume is on high enough to hear the audio).
1. Download or save the document you want to be read aloud and go to:
2. Click ” + Open Documents”
3. Click “Open Documents” Again.
4. If the document has “Optical Character Recognition” built into it, simply press the “Play button” at the top of the screen and NaturalReader will begin reading the document aloud. You can adjust your preferences of voice and Speed from the top menu as well.
If you receive the following error message:
Please don’t upgrade. Instead, you can submit the article to SOAR and we will convert the document so that it is readable in Natural Reader. Following is the link to the request form: https://www.furman.edu/accessibility/current-student-resources/document-conversion-request/
*If you prefer to listen to your document using the phone app VoiceDream, simply create a Box folder and upload the document into your newly created folder. You can then share the document from Box into VoiceDream on your smartphone or iPad.
1. Download the app “VoiceDream” from your app store, if you don’t already have it.
2. Once you have the app, access the website using your smartphone or iPad. Below is a screenshot of CNN.Com. Once the website that you want read aloud is loaded click on the “Share button” and then “More” from the menu options as pictured below.
3. Scroll down the menu options and click “Save to Voice Dream”
4. The following screen will appear and allow you to determine how you would like to save the website as either an “ARTICLE”, “PDF” or “Full Text”. PDF will look more like the original website, whereas the other two options will only show the text that has been stripped from the website. Once you’ve selected how you would like your document to appear click “Save” at the top right of your screen.
5. You can now close your browser and navigate to your Voice Dream app. You will land on the homepage of VoiceDream and any documents that you have shared into VoiceDream, including the website, will be visible here. Simply click on what document you want read.
6. Once the document opens, click the “Play” button or double tap anywhere on the screen where you want it to begin reading aloud.
Please watch this short video on how to read text on a website using VoiceDream.
Please watch this short video on how to use the dictation app Otter. Otter is free to download and a great tool for dictation.
Ask for Help
Academic coaches, tutors, Writing and Media Lab consultants and SOAR are all available to help you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you connected to the proper folks!