You can view another iteration of this Disability guide with alternate fonts.

If you need to make the text larger or smaller, press 'Control + or -', on a PC or 'Command + or -' on a Mac.

Assistive technology at State Library Victoria

Assistive technology at State Library Victoria

State Library Victoria offers assistive technology from two zones:

The Quad the study-space nearest to the Swanston Street entrance.

Redmond Barry Reading Room, the study-space nearest to the Russell Street entrance.

See also our Access & Inclusion page on our website.


Read and Write   

This is software to assist with reading or manipulating text.

To use it, click on the icon and open the toolbar.

Learn more about the Read and Write toolbar.

This software is available on all 4 assistive technology computers


Zoom text 

This software allows computer users with low vision to see, hear and use everything on Windows desktops, laptops and tablet devices. 

The ZoomText frequently asked questions are very helpful. There is more information at the ZoomText Help Centre.

To use this software onsite at State Library Victoria, put on headphones and click on the ZoomText icon.  This software is available on all 4 assistive technology computers


NVDA (Non-Visual Desktop Access)

NVDA is a free and open-source, portable screen-reader for Microsoft Windows.

It was created by a registered charity and software development company called NV Access. Read what they say about NVDA. The NVDA site has more information, and very good help pages.

This software is available on all 4 assistive technology computers


Dragon Dictation Software

Dragon is a 'word to text' speech recognition software.

It is available on computer number 2 in the Quad.

You need to use the headphones to use Dragon. You need to speak clearly and in full sentences.

If you view the tutorial and run the software you can create a basic document on Word. You can save this to your own USB.

If you want to develop more skills with Dragon, you can subscribe to the software, or buy it yourself to use at home.

For a tutorial on how to use Dragon, created by Phizz Telford, Digital Resources Graduate Librarian, click on the document below:

Pearl reader

Pearl is a text reader.

The unit has a camera and headphones.

It sits on the left, next to computer one in the Redmond Barry reading room. 

To use the Pearl reader, put a book or text under the camera lens. There is nothing to turn on. It does not have a light. 

Put on the headphones that come with the Pearl camera. Open Pearl software. Pearl will show the text on the screen and also read exactly what it sees, from the screen.

Related guides

How to find medical information

a guide to medical and health resources at the Library

School and education history in Victoria

a guide to help research into education in Victoria

Information Centre

View of 'The Quad' space on the ground floor State Library Victoria

Photograph of the Information Centre

Assistive technology resources

Assistive technology in Quad, ground floor of State Library Victoria

Photograph of the Pearl reader and an assistive technology computer

Redmond Barry Reading Room

Redmond Barry Reading Room

Photograph of the Redmond Barry Reading Room