The University has a number of IT-based initiatives and software to support accessibility, that’s available as standard to all staff and students.  No diagnosis and/or student/HR support plan is needed to access these resources, they are available to everyone at the University.  While these tools help make work and study at the University more accessibile for those with disabilities, these tools can also be useful in supporting anyone's work.  

To help increase awareness of these resources, the below details the IT resources that are available with links to where more information can be found.  

Resource Information

Further information & Links

How to obtain the resource/software


Provides a visual, mind-mapping method of planning and organising work.  Useful for assignment planning, collating information and project management.  

For more information visit: MindGenius IT Webpage

For information and training on how to use MindGenius visit:

University Managed Computers:

You can download this software through the Software Centre

Personal Computers:

Visit the following webpage to access the download link and licence codes - 

MindGenius Download

Keyboard Shortcuts

For anyone who prefers or needs to use a keyboard rather than a mouse, this resource guides you through the various keyboard shortcuts to help make this easier when using Google Apps and Microsoft Office.    

For the Keyboard shortcut resource visit: Keyboard Shortcut Information

Adobe Reader

Provides a Read-Out-Loud function for PDF files.

To find this feature, make sure the PDF you want to be read is open in a separate Adobe Reader application and not within a web browser.  Then head to the ‘View’ menu where you’ll find the ‘Read Out Loud’ function. 

Adobe Reader is available on all University managed computers or you can download it for free using the following link: Download Adobe Reader


Includes multiple tools for helping to aid accessibility.  The following webpage link introduces and explains all of the tools available through texthelp or see the sections below for a summary of the key tools: Texthelp Information Pages 

Texthelp Read&Write Gold

This is a toolbar application which has the following uses across multiple applications (e.g. Microsoft, PDFs, web browsers, emails and more):

  • Text-to-Speech: providing a screen reader to ease reading and help with proof-reading work
  • Word prediction: to help with writing
  • Subject related word banks
  • Audio maker: to convert text into audio files allowing to listen and learn on the go
  • Highlighter: To help organise research and compile references
  • Scanning functions: to convert hard copies of text to accessible PDFs, Word documents, EPUB and HTML formats
  • Screen Masking: Which changes the background colour of your screen to help reduce visual tiredness.  

For more information visit: Read&Write Gold IT Webpage

The following Library practical guide page link provides information and ‘How tos’ for all of the Read&Write functions.  You can also find a link to the monthly Texthelp Read&Write meetup group.

Read&Write Library Practical Guide Page

University Managed Computers:

You can download this software through the Software Centre

Personal Computers:

Download the Read&Write Chrome Extension within your University of York Google account

Read&Write Chrome Extension

See also: Obtaining the Texthelp Software

Texthelp OrbitNote PDF Reader

This is a chrome extension of the Read&Write toolbar that allows for you to use many of the Read&Write features on PDFs opened within a chrome web browser.  

For more information visit: OrbitNote IT Webpage

The following Library practical guide page link provides information and ‘How tos’ for all of the OrbitNote PDF reader functions.

OrbitNote Library Practical Guide Page

Download the OrbitNote Chrome Extension within your University of York Google account.

OrbitNote Chrome Extension


Allows you to create mathematical & scientific equations, formulas and more directly on your computer.  

It allows you to type, handwrite or dictate any expression and it will convert it into a digital format which you can easily add to microsoft or google documents.  

For more information visit: EquatIO Webpage

For clear and comprehensive guides on how to use EquatIO visit: EquatIO Information Xerte pages 


Is part of the EquatIO package and provides an online workspace that allows users to easily produce and share mathematics.  

For more information see the Mathspace section on the following webpage: EquatIO Webpage

For clear and comprehensive guides on how to use Mathspace visit: EquatIO Mathspace Information Xerte page 

Access Mathspace through the following website and login using your University of York account.  

EquatIO Mathspace Website

Further Help & Support:

  • Accessibility Notes for IT Support: If you have any accessibility requirements or are using assistive technology, you can confidentially inform IT Services of this to help ensure they offer you appropriate support whenever you contact them for help.  For example, if you are deaf, IT support will make sure to not try and contact you by phone if you contact them for help  Any information you provide is not shared beyond this system.  
  • University IT Accessibility Web Pages: where you can find more information about the above and more. 
  • Contact Alice Bennett for a confidential chat about any IT Accessibility Needs: Alice is the University lead on IT Accessibility and she is very happy to arrange a chat with anyone about accessibility options.  You do not need to have a formal diagnosis of a disability and/or a Student Support Plan to chat with Alice and she will only share anything you discuss with the department if you want her to.  Just send Alice an email to arrange a meeting:
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