The University is committed to ensuring that all students at Pitt have the opportunity to succeed. The Office of Disability Resources and Services coordinates the offering of appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities. Computing Services and Systems Development recognizes that technology services play a key role in assisting students with disabilities. To that end, we provide a range of technology resources to Pitt students.
Student Computing Labs
At the request of Disability Resources and Services, CSSD provides the following accessibility software in our six Student Computing Labs:
- JAWS: Screen reading software for Windows.
- MAGic: Screen magnification software.
- Kurzweil 3000: Provides assistance for students with with learning disabilities (like dyslexia) and ESL students. Includes research and process writing tools, an MP3 encoder to create audio files, bilingual dictionaries and translation support, and study skills support tools.
We provide a Braille embosser in the Hillman Library Student Computing Lab that renders text as braille cells using the popular Duxburry type-to-braille conversion program. All Student Computing Labs are on ground level or can be reached by elevator. There are ADA-compliant desks in all of the Student Computing Labs, and the mobile computing counters have ADA-compliant sections with lower counter space. The collaboration spaces available in the Alumni Hall Student Computing Lab are all ADA compliant.
The My Pitt web portal (my.pitt.edu) allows individuals to change their display preference to Assistive Technology Portal, which provides a user interface that supports assistive technology (for example, screen and Braille readers, text browsers, and screen magnifiers). To enable accessibility mode in My Pitt:
- Log in to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).
- Click the Profile link in the top right-hand corner of the page.
- Click Display Options.
- Click Assistive Technology Portal.
- Click Finish.
The University’s Student Information System (PeopleSoft) offers an “accessible mode layout” for use with screen readers. Page elements (fields, links, buttons, etc.) are presented linearly to assistive software. A separate layout option supports assistive technologies without altering the page design. To enable accessibility mode in PeopleSoft:
- Log in to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).
- Click Student Center Login in the right-hand column.
- Click My Personalizations.
- Click the drop-down menu next to “Accessibility features off” and select Use accessible mode layout.
- Click OK.
The content on Computing Services and Systems Development’s website (technology.pitt.edu) is created and managed with accessibility in mind.
- When we launched our new website in October 2014, we converted our PDF help sheets to HTML pages, which increased the overall accessibility of that content.
- “How to” instructions do not rely on images to present information. Text descriptions convey any important information that is contained in the images themselves.
- We scan our website regularly to identify accessibility issues (for example, missing <alt> tags) and work to correct them.
- Disability Resources and Services provides disability specialists, accessible shuttle service, a detailed map of accessible entrances on campus, assistive technology resources, and a wealth of other services to the University community.
- The Center for Instructional Development and Distance Education provides a number of accessibility resources to support faculty instruction.
- The Petersen Events Center offers a downloadable Accessibility Guide for those attending events.