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Information and Resources

Why Create an Alternate Media Resource Page?

The alternate media production team has designed this page as an additional resource to keep our students abreast of new and innovative ways technology can be utilized to provide equal access to their course materials. While we may not be able to discuss your specific needs until you have successfully completed the intake process, we are happy to answer any general questions regarding alternate media you may have.  We invite students to contact the Services to Students with Disabilities Office should they have any questions or concerns regarding how the production process works, including the technology being used to provide accessible course materials to students receiving this accommodation.

What Software are we currently using to provide accessible materials to our students?

Beginning Fall 2018 all textbooks and course materials will be accessible via the Kurzweil 3000 Firefly software ONLY.  Students will no longer receive PDF files or access their materials with the aid of the Natural Reader program.  Kurzweil 3000/Firefly will replace all software platforms for students receiving alternate media production.

Kurzweil accessibility for blind and/or Low Vision Students

For students who are blind or have low vision, training and accessibility of Kurzweil 1000 will be available to you should you choose to use the program.   For those students who prefer using their current method of accessibility (screen readers, braille readers etc) we will continue to provide you with accessible formats condusive to your needs.  It is important to note that Kurzweil 1000 does not provide a MAC version for blind/low vision users, thus you will need to use an HP or windows based computer to access this version of the software. Again you will have the option to use Kurzweil 1000 (HP/Windows version only) or continue receiving your materials in your current preferred format.  


Kurzweil Education® offers award-winning assistive technology solutions that enable English Language Learners, those with dyslexia,dysgraphia, and other learning disabilities to succeed. With Kurzweil solutions, students pursuing higher education, can learn alongside their peers, achieve success independently and learn at their own pace.

Kurzweil 3000 supports college students with these critical academic tasks:

  • Reading large volumes of text
  • Working independently
  • Using their study time effectively
  • Assisting with test taking for those with reading disabilities


All students approved for Alternate Media Accommodations will access the Kurzweil 3000 web-based (cloud) version of the program.  Students will not be required to download any software but will instead access their course materials via their web browsers.  Kurzweil 3000 will support any device or computer with internet access!


  • Subscription (Student subscription Username and Password will be assigned via the SSD Office Alternate Media Staff)
  • Internet Connection
  • Internet Browser (latest version recommended):
  • Windows: Internet Explorer (minimum version 11), Firefox (minimum version 52.0), Chrome (Minimum Version 49)
  • Macintosh: Firefox (minimum version 52.0), Safari (minimum version 9.1.0),Chrome (Minimum Version 49)
  • Cookies must be enabled
  • Minimum bandwidth of 512kbps for each active Kurzweil 3000 session
  • Network Connectivity Firewalls, proxy servers, and content filters must all permit access: HTTP (TCP port 80) HTTP and HTTPS (TCP port 443)
  • Additional Software (latest version suggested): Adobe Reader (optional)
  • Hardware Speakers or earphones for audible books

Kurzweil 3000 (Firefly) READ Features:

  • Click to open files from Google Docs,
  • Bookshare, Reading A-Z
  • Read text in Word, PDF, RTF, JPG
  • Read the Web Chrome extension with customizable options
  • Customize reading options; speed, mode and units
  • Zoom in for low vision
  • 31 Natural Text-to-Speech voices in 18 languages and dialects

Kurzweil 3000 (Firefly) Study Features:

  • Highlight in yellow, blue, green and pink
  • Extract notes and highlighters into a Study Guide
  • Access Definitions instantly with American Heritage Fifth Edition, Children’s, College writers dictionaries
  • Translate full sentences and passages (18 languages and dialects)
  • Read embedded Text Notes and Sticky Notes (or hide them)

Kurzweil 3000 (Firefly) Writing Features:

  • Write or edit documents online with the Web Editor
  • Customize text-to-speech reading options
  • Correct misspellings with Taking spell-checker
  • Word prediction recommends words based on frequency
  • Cross-out text in assignments and tests online


  • Access content saved in your online library
  • Change reading speed, mode, units
  • 31 Natural Text-to-Speech voices
  • Text-to-Speech in 18 languages and dialects
  • Translate full sentences and passages
  • Access to Definitions instantly
  • Highlight in yellow, blue, green and pink
  • Cross-out text for assignments and tests given with the iPad
  • Read (or hide) Text and Sticky notes
  • Magnify text with the swipe of your fingers
  • Resume reading the last page you were onThe IPAD APP

Android Users will simply access the Kurzweil Firefly system using their Web browsers!


Kurzweil 1000 is an assistive technology for students who are blind or low vision who need support in accessing print or digital materials.  Some lf the Kurzweil 1000 features are as follows:

Kurzweil 1000 makes printed or electronic text accessible to people with blindness and visual impairments — speaking text aloud in a variety of natural-sounding voices that can be modified to individual preferences. 

Kurzweil 1000 combines traditional reading machine technologies such as scanning, image processing, and text-to-speech with communication and productivity tools. 

It delivers quick access to a wealth of information including online books, magazines and encyclopedias. 

Features for note taking, summarizing content, and outlining text are also included. 


Select your device, capture the image quickly and start reading! In addition to traditional scanners, Kurzweil 1000 now supports the following cameras for content acquisition:
HoverCam® (Version 5)

Recommended Apps

The Alternate Media production team has comprised a list of apps that we believe will assist students with converting text images into accessible text, converting PDF files into accessible text files and Scanning files across various devices.  Please note that we are in no way affiliated with the companies that created these apps thus any problems with downloads or troubleshooting should be addressed with said company. If you have general questions on how to operate the apps listed below please feel free to contact the SSD Alternate Media production team and we will do our best to assist you.

CamScanner - Our Top choice

For IOS & Android Devices

  • PDF Scanner Scan,Text,OCR Document Scanner

  • Mobile Scanner, Easy Scan & Share

  • Send scanned docs anywhere

  • Auto-enhance image quality

  • Auto enhancing makes the PDF look clear and sharp. You can easily export the files in multiple ways and sync to the cloud with high speed

  • OCR (optical character recognition) feature extracts texts from images for further editing or sharing

Download Links

Android Devices (Google Play Store) - 

IOS Devices (Available in the Apple App Store) -


Apple IOS  ONLY Devices 


The Prizmo Application is a photo-based scanner app that lets you scan and recognize text documents, business cards, and images, and then export them as PDF/Text, vCard, or JPEG/PNG.  Prizmo relies on state-of-the-art technologies, like a highly accurate OCR, real-time page detection, and beautiful image cleanup. Using iCloud, you can even shoot the picture on your iPhone, and finish editing on your iPad or Mac. All of this in an elegant and intuitive user experience.

Prizmo is made for everyone, and is thus fully compatible with VoiceOver. It provides voice guidance to help position your iPhone when taking document pictures, and will find the text orientation automatically if it's turned left, right or upside down. Prizmo's quick capture mode provides a fast path from picture to speech synthesis for an improved workflow, and it provides a high-quality voice reader (individual voices available as in-app purchases).

There are 10 built-in languages in Prizmo (English, German, French, Italian...).an you can perform OCR in these languages as soon as Prizmo is installed.  There are also 30 additional languages that can be used but must be downloaded first.

Please click on Prizmo to download it.

Android ONLY Devices

Text Fairy

Text Fairy is an Optical Character Recognition app that is easy to use extremely easy! The highly accurate app allows you to scan text from  images you take with your device making them accessible. 

Please click on TextFairy to download it on your Android Device.

What the Text Fairy can do:

  • Converts an image to text.
  • Correct the viewpoint of an image.
  • Edit extracted text. 
  • Copy extracted text into the clipboard for use in other apps.
  • Convert the scanned page into PDF.
  • Recognizes printed text from more than 50 languages.
  • Have Android speak the text.

Please bear in mind that:

  • Images must be sharp with good lighting.
  • The app cannot read handwriting.
  • Text must be black on a white background.

Universal Apps

Genius Scan

The Genius Scan app is basically a scanner in your pocket. This app allows you to quickly scan your documents on the go and export them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files. The Genius Scan technology includes smart page detection, perspective correction and image enhancement.

Please click on the following links to download Genius Scan:

Key features

  • Detects page frame and corrects perspective 
  • Enhances the scan with color or black-and-white post-processing 
  • Emails the scans as JPG or PDF
  • Creates PDF documents with multiple scans 
  • Export documents to any app supporting JPG or PDF files
  • Documents are processed on the phone, not sent to a third-party server

Wondering how our users use Genius Scan? 

  • To quickly scan a form you just printed when you don’t have a scanner 
  • At the university, to take a picture of a whiteboard 
  • On the road, to archive receipts
  • To make a copy when you have no copier available 
  • To archive handwritten notes or share them with colleagues 
  • Save the perfect recipe after cooking 
  • Save handwritten memos, or book pages for future reference 
  • Share a good restaurant menu on Twitter

What's New

Many new features in this update:

  • A magnifying glass to adjust precisely the document border
  • PDF files that you export can now be protected with a password
  • Smart Document Names allow automatic document naming with flexibility
  • Tags help you organize and find documents efficiently
  • A passcode lock to keep your scans safe
  • A document merge feature