Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Accessible Technology

AT Station Logo

PCC is committed to ensuring everyone in our community has the opportunity to benefit from technology. We live in an information age, and access to information technology is a basic civil right.

The Access Technology (AT) Committee furthers this mission by bringing stakeholders together to develop strategic plans, deploy hardware and software, and support projects that improve accessibility for all students. The committee is allocated a portion of the Student Technology Fee dollars annually. These funds are used to improve and market efforts to increase engagement and use of access technologies by individuals who stand to benefit.

To learn more about the AT Committee, or to get involved, check out our committee page for PCC community.

PCC Access Tech Team Training and Technical Support

For more information about tools for online accessibility visit this web accessibility page.


Read&Write is a full software suite that assists with reading, writing, studying, and research. It’s available to all PCC students, faculty, and staff. It is available for both windows and mac and can be installed on home machines.

Read&Write for Google Chrome is a browser extension. It offers great tools and is available whenever you sign into Chrome with your PCC credentials.

Accessing Read & Write
Read & Write self-serve training
Additional Software Options

There are many software applications available, and the access-tech-group can work with students, staff, and faculty to make sure software is installed, and training is available as needed.

Computing stations
General stations

These stations, located across PCC locations, are available for anyone to use. All can be equipped with Read & Write, JAWS, and ZoomText.

Ergonomic stations

These stations, located across the PCC district, are available for anyone to use. Preference is given to those who have specific needs. Contact Disability Services for training. All stations can have the same accessibility software as the general stations but also provide additional features including:

  • Height-adjustable tables with ergonomic chairs
  • Modified keyboard and mouse options
  • Consideration for additional software upon request
Equipment loans

There is a wealth of equipment available for loan, including both general items from the library, and more specialized items that can be made available through a “try it before you buy it” approach.

Self-Serve – Videos and tutorials

There are lots of good options built right into mainstream technologies, here are some links to support pages:

Examples of Free/Open Tools

There are so many great tools, and our access-tech-group is available to work with individuals to find the best options. Here are a few examples of frequently used tools:

  • Balabolka – free text to speech application that can save the synchronized text with the audio files so that when an audio file is played, the text is displayed synchronously (like lyrics for songs).
  • Central Access Reader – free open source text to speech application for Windows or Mac operating systems. This option is pretty great because it can open word documents that have math in them, and read it out loud correctly. It can also be used as a general copy and paste reading utility, and has nice color contrast, magnification and other features.
  • Desmos – free open source graphing calculator with sonification and more.
Examples of Low Cost Tools
  • Natural Reader – text to speech application that works with PDF, Docx, TXT and ePub. There is a free version that works well, but many find the features that come from the paid versions to be helpful.
  • Voice Dream Reader – highly rated app for both android and ios.

Check out our Apps We Like page for additional featured tools.