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Apps to Use ARC Files

Students making use of ARC-BC materials to access learning content do so using a variety of reading tools – including both hardware and software solutions. These materials are available across a number of digital alternate formats. Access for students with perceptual disabilities is enhanced when the functionality of the student's reading tool is matched with the appropriate file format to optimize that functionality.

This resource portal profiles recommended apps and other software solutions for optimizing student access to learning materials in digital alternate formats from ARC-BC. Each app profile outlines options for visual, auditory, and tactile interaction, with video demonstrations of key features (videos are posted as they become available).


Sensory Access Features

Some students with perceptual disabilities use technology to enable and enhance sensory access to learning content. Reading tools support access through functionality designed to optimize multisensory interactions with learning materials. The following sections outline these features and functions.

Visual Interaction

Reading tools provide options for visual interaction with learning content when functionality allows for multidimensional adjustment of the appearance of both text and images. These dimensions may include colour contrast, font type and size, and the visual complexity of the display.   

Auditory Interaction

Reading tools provide options for auditory interaction with learning content when functionality allows for text-based content to be read aloud. Multidimensional adjustment of auditory input allows students to find the settings profile that works best for them. These dimensions may include speech rate, voice, verbosity, and pronunciation.

Tactile Interaction

Reading tools provide options for tactile interaction when there are options that support the use of switches and other adapted input devices. Reading tools also provide options for tactile interaction with learning content when the tool supports the use of screen reading software and a refreshable braille display for students requiring non-visual access to the learning material.


Learning Features

Some students with perceptual disabilities use reading tools to process and comprehend learning content. Reading tools support comprehension through functionality designed to optimize meaningful engagement with learning materials in digital alternate formats. The following sections outline these features and functions.

Text Highlighting and Note-Taking

Some students with perceptual disabilities use reading tools to isolate and highlight text to make it easier to follow when reading or to insert notes or other media into the document. Many reading tools allow the student to mark up the alternate format file, enabling the student to more meaningfully interact with the text.

Reference Tools

Some students with perceptual disabilities use reading tools to support comprehension by researching content in the alternate format file. Many reading tools have reference functions including access to a digital dictionary and thesaurus as well as the ability to search online encyclopedias and other websites.

Organizational Tools

Some students with perceptual disabilities use reading tools to support comprehension by allowing the student to re-organize or categorize ideas and facts from the text. Many reading tools have organizational functions that enable the student to extract main ideas and organize them to better understand the content of the alternate format file.