Adaptive Technology Lab and the Alternate Text Unit

Adaptive Technology Lab Location
1103 McKeldin Library
Phone: (301) 314-7958


Any student, faculty or staff member currently registered with the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) may also register to use the Adaptive Technology Lab in McKeldin Library.

Adaptive Technology Lab (ATLab) Services

The Adaptive Technology Lab is a study, reading and work space in McKeldin Library that offers the following:

  • Training on the use of adaptive technologies for ADS-registered students, faculty and staff
  • Assistive hardware and software technologies for accessing information, producing papers, recording books, articles and producing alternate forms of text.
  • Technology-assisted exams
  • Assistance in identifying/developing technology-assisted learning and work strategies for students in their courses as well as faculty and staff members in their office environments.

Alternate Text Unit (ATU) Services

The Alternate Text Unit located in the Adaptive Technology Lab is responsible for converting and delivering course texts and exams for qualified students into the formats they require. Some of these are: Kurzweil files, audio files, large print versions, braille printouts, etc.

Registering with the ATLab / ATU

  • Schedule a brief session with either the ATLab Coordinator or the ATU Coordinator.
  • Complete an “ATLab User Information Form” available in hard copy at the ATLab or download pdf file (pdf). This form includes the individual’s name, campus ID#, and any information pertaining to student, faculty or staff status, and the types of technology they are interested in. The campus ID# is used to enable access to the ATLab’s controlled-access card key entrance.
  • Complete  and sign an “ATLab Usage Agreement Form” available in hard copy at the ATLab or download pdf file (pdf), that covers the policies of the ATLab. Submit  a copy of the user’s Accommodations Letter to the ATLab Coordinator
  • Students registering with the ATU must complete a Maryland Accessible Technology Program Student Agreement Form available in hard copy or download pdf file (pdf). More detailed information may be found on the Alternate Text Request Procedures web page.

Note: Please be advised that students who are registered with the ADS and are eligible for Alternate Text services, are strongly encouraged to also register with the Adaptive Technology Lab to have all-hour access to the lab for coordination of this service and pick up completed materials.

Using the ATLab

After registering to use the ATLab, students, faculty and staff may use the lab whenever McKeldin Library is open. Appointments can be scheduled with the ATLab Coordinator to learn about different tools in the lab, to receive training and to develop technology-mediated learning strategies. The Coordinator can also help students develop technology-assisted learning strategies to maximize their learning. For students with attentional disabilities, the ATLab offers a less distracting environment as well as access to three study carrels in McKeldin Library. Students with reading and writing accommodations requiring technology assistance can schedule to take exams in the ATLab.

The lab is equipped with hardware and software technologies to accommodate and assist qualified students when they are working on their assignments or when taking exams.

ATLab accommodations cover a wide range of technologies including:

  • Noise and Distraction Reduction
  • CCTV Document Magnification
  • Computer Screen Magnification
  • Computer Screen Reading
  • Voice Dictation and Computer Control
  • Scan and Read Technology
  • Tactile Graphics Production
  • Text to Braille Conversion
  • Visual Outlining and Concept Organization

Who Uses the ATLab?

The most frequent ATLab users are students with print materials disabilities, such as individuals with vision disabilities, written expression disorders, reading disabilities, information processing or executive functioning disorders, and other disorders that impact reading or writing.

Tips for using the ATLab

The ATLab is here to meet your learning needs. Are you a night owl or an early bird? The ATLab can be accessed whenever McKeldin Library is open. Do you need a place with fewer distractions where you can study? The ATLab has study carrels, white-noise generators and less foot traffic. The ATLab Coordinator and the Alternate Text Unit Coordinator can help you to devise technology-based solutions and learning strategies.

Exams Proctored at the Adaptive Technology Lab

Registered ADS students with an adaptive technology accommodation will take their exams at the ATLab. For students whose accommodations qualify them for technology-assisted exams, they may schedule their exams using the ADS online student portal. Make sure to specify the technologies you need to use and choose either ATL1 or ATL2 as the room where you would like to take your exam.

Note: To facilitate the use of adaptive technologies for exams, your professors must provide exams to ADS in an accessible format (preferably a text file (created with a word processor) or a high-quality PDF file). If a hard copy of an exam is sent to ADS testing, the copy must be of high enough quality for the ATLab’s optical character recognizer to work. If an exam’s quality is insufficient to generate reliable conversion with OCR, a better copy will be requested from the instructor.

Note: Hard copies of exams for the ATLab must be received from professors at least 2 business days prior to scheduled exams.

For more information about the Adaptive Technology Lab: phone (301) 314-7958, e-mail, or visit us in room 1103, McKeldin Library.

For more information about the Alternate Text Unit: phone (301) 314-7684, e-mail, or visit us in room 1107, McKeldin Library.