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The Service offers support for users with visual, mobility and hearing impairments, and for those with learning difficulties. The University’s Disability Support Service works with the Library in providing a range of services, equipment and software to enable students to participate fully in their courses. The Service also receives computer support from Information Solutions and Services.

The Service aims to provide an accessible environment to suit the needs of students.

The facilities are available to all students who are registered with the Disability Support Office.

Everyone is expected to respect the needs of all users and follow the ATS Code of Conduct.  


Location: ground floor of the library, to the left of the main entrance.

There is access to the ground floor level of the Library via a lift from the Arts/Science Building located on the concourse. When inside the building, students have access to all floors via a lift.

Students with a physical disability can obtain access to the Library from the basement level. To request a swipe card, students should contact  Denise Keaveney.  At basement level, students have access to the University Bookshop, Student's Union Shop and the restaurant. 

There is a toilet with wheelchair access on the ground and first floors of the Library.

A hearing loop system is installed at the Library & IT Desk.


In a large open access area, there are general study spaces, plus a relaxation space with easy chairs. Computers are located on height-adjustable desks. A CCTV machine, which magnifies the pages of books and other documents, plus a low-level photocopier, are located in this area.

Sound-proof booths

There are three sound-proof booths, each of which is equipped with a computer, a scanner and a height-adjustable desk. The booths will accommodate two people, so that users are able to work with the help of a personal assistant. Students may reserve booths in advance by entering their details on the booking schedule in ATS. A maximum stay of two hours per study session applies and students requiring specific software applications have priority. The booths are also used for exams.


The following equipment is provided: wristrests, adjustable footrests, magnifiers, bookstands and daylight desklamps. Students also have the option of using a tracker-ball or joystick as an alternative to a mouse and a keyboard with enlarged lettering.

The Disability Support Services issue other equipment to students as necessary. For example:

  • Franklin DMQ 2100 Electronic Dictionary
  • Olympus WS811 Digital Voice Recorder
  • Echo Smartpen
  • Reading Pen TS Oxford


Denise Keaveney is the Assistive Technologist, and she provides a range of support for users:

  • Training and on-going support in the use of assistive technology applications. Atraining schedule for new students is put in place at the beginning of the academic year, and one-to-one training is provided on request.
  • The Library offers extended loan periods and additional borrowing to undergraduate students registered with the Disability Support Service.  (7 books for 14 days).  No extension applies to 1 or 3 day loan books.
  • Texts in alternative formats: electronic text, audio, braille, enlarged text.  Students requiring text in accessible formats must read the and sign the NUIG Alternative Format Process and the NUIG Copyright Disclaimer Form.  It is important to discuss and agree the format and standard of editing necessary as early as possible.  The current NUIG process is outlined in Textbook Conversion to Accessible Formats. Accessible format text editors use the NUIG Guidelines for editing scanned text.
Accessible format resources

Robobraille is an email based service for translation of e-text documents to Audio or Braille. The service caters for different languages, including: English, French, German, Danish, Spanish and Italian. The user can email a document attachment to one of several email accounts used to manage the translation process, eg for eight dot Braille translation or sixdot@robobraille.orgfor six dot braille translation. A link to the Braille file is returned to the user via email. 

Text to Speech: The user can email a text document as an attachment to . The attachments are processed, the document converted into an audio file in WAVE format, and compressed into an MP3 file. A link to the MP3 file is returned to the user via email.

Academic and Support Staff - Resources for Creating Accessible Information:
Useful web resources include:


Students have access to a wide range of software. Click on the links below to access user guides and tutorials.

Applications available in the University PC Suites 

Texthelp Read & Write 10 Beginners Guide provides literacy support in any Windows application. Read & Write GOLD comprises many features designed to assist students with their reading and writing. Unique functionalities include text-to-speech, phonetic spell checker, word prediction, speaking dictionary and a scanning facility. There is an easy to use toolbar that 'floats' on top of any open application. 

Inspiration is a mind-mapping tool to help develop ideas and organise thinking. To access the tutorial, open Inspiration, click the following: help, learn to use, documentation and open the "Getting Started" manual. Inspiration Getting Started  and Inspiration Quick Start Tutorial.

Applications available only in the Assistive Technology Area

Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) is voice recogniiton software. The user dictates and the words are transcribed onto the screen and into word documents, emails, etc. This application will also play back dictation for editing and proofreading.

JAWS (Job Access with Speech) is screen-reading software designed to assist blind or visually impaired computer users to access information. The screen reader enables the user to read and write MS Word and Excel documents, browse the web, send and receive emails and access databases.

Zoomtext is a screen reader and magnification package for people with low vision. It combines large print and screen reading when using Windows. Access the Tutorial at

Useful Links

Useful Links

Listed below are links to the web sites of disability related organisations in Ireland and the UK, plus a few from Europe. The notes about each site are generally taken from the pages of the sites themselves.

 The list does not claim to be exhaustive, so if you come across any web sites that you consider useful, please contact Sylvia Nutley.

  • AbilityNet  Offers a range of services on the use of information technology.
  • Access West  Aims to provide access to information that is up-to-date, accurate, relevant and above all empowering.
  • AHEAD  The web site of the Association of Higher Education Access and Disability. Promotes full access to and participation in third level education.
  • Aware  A voluntary organisation aiming to assist those who are directly affected by depression.
  • BILD  British Institute of Learning Difficulties aims to influence policy makers, encourage good practice, and help people with learning difficulties take charge of their own lives.
  • Brainwave – The Irish Epilepsy Association  The Association is concerned to improve the quality of life of people with epilepsy in Ireland.
  • British Computer Association of the Blind  Organisation of visually impaired people who use information and communication technology.
  • British Deaf Association  UK’s largest national organisation run by deaf people for deaf people.
  • British Dyslexia Association  Aims for a dyslexia friendly society that will enable all dyslexic people to reach their potential.
  • Career Resources for Americans with Disabilities 
  • Centre for Accessible Environments  Concerned with how the built environment can best be made or modified to achieve inclusion by design.
  • Centre for Independent Living  Aims to empower and enable people with disabilities to achieve independent living, choice and control over their lives.
  • Disability Action  Works to ensure that people with disabilities attain their full rights as citizens.
  • Disability Federation of Ireland  National support organisation for voluntary organisations in Ireland who provide services to people with disabilities.
  •  Site for disability related information in Ireland.
  • Disability Now  Online news magazine.
  • Disability World  Bimonthly magazine of international disability news and views.
  • Disabled Living Foundation  UK charity providing advice and information on equipment and assistive technology for independent living.
  • Dyslexia Action  Educational charity for the assessment and teaching of people with dyslexia, and for the training of teachers.
  • Dyslexia Association of Ireland  Aims to promote awareness of specific learning difficulties, and to help dyslexic people to realise their potential.
  •  Reviews and sells a range of products, and has a range of articles on dyslexia.
  • e-access bulletin  Free monthly email newsletter on IT issues for people with visual impairment and blindness.
  • Enable Ireland The social model of disability is central to the organisation's provision of services, and considers access, inclusion and equality as entitlements for people with physical disabilities.
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission  Promotes equality and human rights in Britain, providing advice and guidance. Also aims to raise awareness.
  • European Disability Forum European umbrella organisation aims to ensure full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in the EU.
  • Fighting Blindness  Committed to finding treatments and cures for all forms of blindness and related sensory loss through the funding and promotion of Irish research..
  • Galway Centre for Independent Living  Seeks to empower those with physical, sensory and emotional disabilities to take control of their own lives.
  • Hearing LINK UK charity aiming to improve the quality of life of those who are hard of hearing. Provides information and advice, provides communication access, and raises awareness.
  • Independent Living Institute  Offers resources for people with extensive disabilities and develops consumer-driven policies for self-determination, self-respect and dignity.
  • Institute for Design and Disability Provides information on how to remove barriers that exclude people with disabilities from taking an active part in everyday life.
  • Irish Deaf Society  National organisation of deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Irish Wheelchair Association  National organisation of people with limited mobility.
  • JISC TechDis Accessibility in learning resources designed to enable staff to create effective, engaging and accessible learning materials for their learners.
  • Mental Health Foundation  Largest UK website on mental health. Foundation aims to help people survive, recover from and prevent mental health problems.
  • Mental Health Ireland National voluntary organisation that aims to promote positive mental health and to actively support persons with a mental illness, their families and carers by identifying their needs and advocating their rights.
  • Microsoft Accessibility  Presents the accessibility options in Microsoft products.
  • Mind Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales.
  • MS Ireland The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland
  • Muscular Dystrophy Ireland Provides a range of support services to persons with neuromuscular conditions and their families.
  • National Association for Deaf People  Campaigns for full equality in all aspects of life for deaf and hearing impaired people.
  • National Council for the Blind of Ireland  The major organisation in Ireland for the visually impaired.
  • National Disability Authority  Independent statutory agency that aims to promote and help secure the rights of people with disabilities.
  • National Disability Team  UK site providing a range of information and resources for anyone with an interest in supporting disabled students in higher education.
  • Rehab  Independent organisation that provides training, employment, social care and commercial services in Ireland and the UK.
  • Royal National Institute of the Blind  The UK’s leading charity offering information, support and advice to people with sight problems.
  • Royal National Institute for Deaf People  UK charity aiming to achieve a better quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Scope  Focuses on people with cerebral palsy.
  • Sense  Organisation offering advice and services to the deafblind.
  • Skill  National bureau for students with disabilities. UK charity promoting opportunities for young people and adults with any kind of disability in post-16 education, training and employment.
  •  Visually Impaired Computer Society of Ireland  Concerned with general computer access.
  • Studying in the UK with a disability, is an information and news publishing website about the United Kingdom higher education and latest news that concern international students in the UK, as well as a publisher of a large number of helpful informational content and exclusive research about international students in the UK.


If you have any suggestions for improvement regarding any aspect of our service, please email Denise Keaveney. You can also use the Service's Webform. Your suggestions can cover access, the physical space and its organisation, software, equipment, services, or any other issues.