Assistive technology and computer skills

Contact Nicole Despins for an appointment, 925-969-2186


Brain HQ

Cognitive retraining software that can help users increase their brain’s potential by completing any of the following courses: Driving Rehabilitation, Auditory Rehabilitation, Visual Rehabilitation, Hemineglect Rehabilitation, Hearing in a crowded room, Driving with confidence, Efficiency for everyday tasks, Maximize alertness, Build skills for social situations, Lift the fog of chemobrain, Sharpen auditory processing, Tune up perception, Brain Injury survivor.

As stated on their Web Site: "Bookshare" provides the world's largest online library of accessible reading materials for people with print disabilities. Individuals can sign up for membership and access the library on their own.

Computer basics

Are you "brand new" to using the computer? Well, never fear. No matter how little or how much experience you have with computing, we can help you get comfortable with using these amazing machines.

Creating a digital portfolio*

Learn how to create an electronic "scrapbook" that visually showcases your skills and abilities to a potential employer. Think of it as a "show-and-tell" resume, which can help give job-seekers a competitive edge.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking

This is a speech recognition program in which the computer types what the user says into a microphone.

Email basics/DVC email

Create an email account and/or learn about features of your current DVC account. Set up email forwarding from DVC to your personal email.

Excel 2010 and 2013

This is a program that creates databases which can be manipulated in a variety of ways, including performing data filters, calculations, and much more.

Formatting a resume*

Standard resume design and formatting, including setting margins, creating bulleted lists, line breaks, selecting fonts, etc.


This is a fun, interactive program that creates visual mind-maps to facilitate the brainstorming and writing process. It also allows you to convert your mind-map into a traditional outline with the click of a button.

Internet search skills

Learn to use a web browser and conduct a specific search to get exactly the information you want.


JAWS is a powerful accessibility solution that reads information on your screen using synthesized speech. JAWS provides many useful keyboard commands that make it easier to use programs, edit documents, and read Web pages.

Keyboarding skills

Whether you're brand new to typing on a computer or a pro, we have fun software programs that can help you improve your speed and accuracy. We also have two keyboarding programs specifically for individuals with visual impairments.

Kurzweil 1000

A program designed for individuals with visual impairments. You can scan materials in and have the computer read the information aloud.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000TM is a comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners.

Learning Ally

Learning Ally has a collection of more than 65,000 digitally recorded textbooks and literature titles which are downloadable and accessible on mainstream as well as specialized assistive technology devices.

Note taking with a SmartPen or AlphaSmart

These are two technologies that can enable you to take more effective and thorough notes, as well as convert your notes to digital files.

Office 2010 and 2013 accessibility features

Microsoft Office 2007 has many features already built-in allow this suite of applications to be used more easily by users with specific needs.  Learn how to utilize and customize these accessibility features.

Online job search techniques*

Learn strategies for effectively using the internet to find employment that's right for you. Also learn to navigate the DVC online job board.

PowerPoint 2010 and 2013

PowerPoint creates powerful visual presentations (like digital slideshows). Learn to create a basic presentation as well as how to add more complex features.

Using a USB drive

Also known by the names 'flash drive', 'jump drive', 'memory stick', etc. Learn how to save and open documents from this nifty little gadget.


Learn how to register for classes, check your financial aid status, and much more

Desire2Learn (D2L)

Learn how to access your class webpage and use all the features within it.

Windows 7 accessibility features

Windows XP contains many features for visual, hearing, physical, and learning accommodations. In addition, the Accessibility Wizard combines several individual accessibility options to personalize the computer.

Word 2010 and 2013

Learn basic work processing as well as advanced features to add sophistication to your documents.


A screen magnification program that allows users to customize cursors as well as enable a speech function that helps with screen navigation.

Student Assistants are available for drop-in to help. High Tech Center, SSC-250