On Campus:


For maps detailing the accessible routes around campus and entrances to campus buildings, please email us at For a map of accessible parking on campus, click here

SMU's Parking and ID Card Services provides DART Paratransit vouchers at no charge for students who qualify for this service.  DART Paratransit is an origin-to-destination, curb-to-curb, public transportation service for people with disabilities.

College Transition Information for Students and Families

  • See the DASS Parent and Family Guide for more information about the transition to college as a student with a disability.

  • SMU's Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center offers suggestions to students and families on how to make the transition to university life at SMU a smooth one.

  • View recommendations for academic success from SMU's Office of Residence Life and Student Housing.

Mental Health Counseling/Therapy

Counseling Services and Psychiatric Services provide SMU students with individual personal counseling and psychiatric services including medication management. Both of these offices are located in the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center. Referrals to off-campus psychologists/psychiatrists for testing, therapy and/or medication management are also available. Please contact Counseling Services at 214.768.2277 or go to In addition, the A-LEC DASS team maintains a limited set of referrals.

ADA Compliance, Discrimination, and Equitable Practices at SMU

Institutional Access and Equity. ADA compliance issues and questions regarding discrimination and equitable practices for the University.

Technology On Campus

Kurzweil 3000/Firefly-- A program that reads text aloud (after scanning book pages or using electronic media) and allows the reader to highlight sections to transform into an outline for printing. The program also allows the user to write papers, and it reads the writing out loud along with the spell check options. Finally the program gives the user the option of creating mp3s of scanned books or electronic media for use in portable music devices or computers. SMU has a yearly site license to make Kurzweil 3000/Firefly available to all students. For those with a disability, please contact DASS for a username. For all others, please contact Fondren Library for a username.

JAWS Screen Reading Software-- Reads aloud what is on the PC screen and allows for comprehensive keyboard interaction with the computer, providing access to many software applications and most web browsers, including Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Available on some computers and laptops in Fondren and Bridwell libraries.

ZoomText Screen Magnification Application-- Allows a person to see and hear everything on the computer screen, providing access to applications, documents, email and web browsing. It can also read text aloud when integrated with other products. Available on some computers and laptops in Fondren and Bridewell Libraries.

Dragon Naturally Speaking-- Voice-to-text software allowing the user to speak into a microphone and create a document in a word processing program or in email. Some students find this software invaluable when formatting, writing, and editing their papers. Available on some computers and laptops in Fondren Library.

The President's Commission on the Needs of Persons with Disabilities (PCNPD)

PCNPD is a campus-wide group, made up of staff, faculty and students from a variety of departments and stakeholder groups. The Commission was established to advise the University President on the special needs of people with disabilities.



ELECTRONIC TEXT (E-Text) AND AUDIOBOOK PROVIDERS - Bookstore allows you to download thousands of books and listen to them on your computer or portable music player. Membership is free to college students. - Learning Ally - Project Gutenberg - National Library Service - Audible - LearnOutLoud - LibriVox - Naxos Audiobooks - Manybooks - Baen Free Library - Podiobooks - Read How You Want - Hathi Trust Digital Library

ADAPTIVE DEVICES, MATERIALS, AND TECHNOLOGY - Local Dallas company for wheelchair, scooter, and other mobility B220device rental. - Able Data is a clearinghouse of information on adaptive materials, technology, and resources. Has information on 26,000 products. - Information about making computers and information technologies more accessible. Includes Microsoft Accessibility homepage. - Assistive devices for mobility, deafness, and visual impairments. - The Beaumont Foundation - for computer grants. - DO-IT (Disabilities Opportunities Internetworking Technology) - College of Engineering/Computing & Communications, University of Washington - A program to increase opportunities for disabled young people to get involved in science and increase their options in life through the use of technology. - Formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), Learning Ally offers membership to individuals with certified print disabilities. Provides access to the entire library of audio textbooks and literature titles for research and leisure reading. In November 2015, AFB AccessWorld magazine published an informative article about Learning Ally. - Georgia Tech's Tools for Life is dedicated to increasing access and acquisition of assistive technology for residents of the state of Georgia, but they also maintain a comprehensive website about assistive technology. Highlights include lists of apps helpful to those with specific disabilities and a searchable assistive technology app database. - Free or low cost assistive technology for everyone.  

Electronic Book Readers – handheld, wireless reading devices that download anything you need to read (newspapers, magazines, books, etc.). Many also have screen-reading features. Examples include Kindle, Nook, iPad. - ClaroRead “provides text-to-speech support tools that allow computer users to read and write independently. By making a computer speak any text with a human voice, text documents can be proofed out loud along with web pages, e-mails and any other text.” - Ginger is an advanced spell checker, picks up context clues in your sentences to help with spell check - Inspiration is a brainstorming program that allows you to create papers in a concept map format first, then turn it directly into outline form, in order to write full paragraphs. You can also use it to outline book chapters or notes. 

Text to Speech for Microsoft Office - Speak software from Microsoft will read text from most any Office document, including Word, Outlook, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. - Free dictation software - The Livescribe Pulse Pen records lectures while you write notes in a special notebook. The notes and recording are synced through the special notebook paper so that you do not have to listen to the entire lecture, but instead just the place in your notes you want to listen to. It is great for classes where computerized note-taking is difficult due to formulas, graphs, or drawings. The pen also syncs notes and recordings to your computer. Check for a video demonstration. Remember to always ask for permission before audio recording anyone.

Dragon Naturally Speaking -- speech-to-text program. Write papers by dictating or saying out loud what you want to write (available for use in Fondren Library). Here is a SMU student testimonial for Dragon -- "This program is by far the best program for someone with Dyslexia. There is nothing better you can get!!! And if you are not dyslexic, it is a great program still; it will allow you to write faster than you ever could type." Inspiration - brainstorming program that allows you to create papers in a concept map format first, then turn it directly into outline form, in order to write full paragraphs. Also can use it to outline book chapters or notes.

Read and Write Gold -- an advanced spell-check, text reader, and homophone checker.

Style Writer -- advanced grammar checker Mac Office Word - offers a “notebook layout” under the view menu. This layout offers a record function that enables the Mac to record the lecture as you take notes. In addition the audio notes link to the lines of notes through “audio bookmarks” represented by a speaker symbol.

Mac Screen Reader (free on any Mac) – Use VoiceOver to read anything on your screen including PDFs, websites, emails, etc.

How to use:

  • Go to system preferences

  • Select “speech”

  • Make sure box is clicked “Speak selected text when key is pressed”

  • Click “set key”

  • Then hold down a key combination (i.e. Apple-Control-S)

  • Once the key is set, you can highlight the test to read then hold

  •  your key combination

Other screen readers – below is a list of programs available online to assist in text-to-speech conversions for most computers:


CAREER DEVELOPMENT, JOB OPPORTUNITIES, & INTERNSHIPS - Personal Coaching resource. - For people with disabilities: Search for jobs, add resume. - The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. Phone: (800)526-7234 (Voice);(877)781-9403 (TTY) - Help with planning careers including ADA information. - Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). - Explanations and examples of reasonable accommodations for employers and educators - Advancing Science, Serving Society - Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities - Bureau of Labor Statistics
Proyecto Vision - extensive lists of scholarships and internships for students with disabilities. The internship list is located at: National Business & Disability Council's National Resume Database(s). - Career Fair - Career Fair - Career Fair - Internship 



Women's - Resource for women with disabilities - The Waisman Center is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about human development, developmental disabilities, and neurodegenerative diseases. - a comprehensive web site that provides online access to information and resources for people with disabilities. Provides access to disability-related information and programs available across the government on numerous subjects, including civil rights, education, employment, housing, health, income support, technology, transportation, and community life. - Americans with Disabilities information page. - Good general website with useful links. - National clearing house on post-secondary education for individuals with disabilities. - National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. - National Council on Disability. Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality - the National Organization on Disability - many links to media resources - The Center for an Accessible Society: Issues and Information  


ORGANIZATIONS - AAPD (American Association of People with Disabilities), 1819 H. St. NW, Suite 330, Washington, DC 20006, 202-457-8168, organization positioned to serve people with disabilities in the manner of AARP; group insurance options available, in addition to a collective national voice for the community, by the community. - Center for Universal Design, College of Design, North Carolina State University, 515-3082 or 800-467-6777. Started through the vision of the late Ron Mace, FAIA, named one of the 100 Most Influential People in North Carolina in the 20th Century by the News & Observer in August of 1999. His vision was "designing for all ages and abilities throughout the lifespan" and it is now being talked about in educational circles, as well as embraced world-wide by designers of all kinds. - National Council on Disabilities - 1331 F. St. N.W., Suite 1050, Washington, DC, (202) 272-2004 (V), (202) 929-2074 (TT), 202-274-2022 (F). The NCD works with the President and Congress to increase the inclusion, independence, and empowerment of all Americans with disabilities. - Not Dead Yet - National organization that seeks to educate the country about the dangers of "Physician Assisted Suicides" for disabled people. - SABE USA (Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, USA) - national self-advocacy group for people with cognitive disabilities. - Society for Disability Studies (SDS) - Dept. of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago (MC 626), 1640 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL 60608; 312-996-4664 (V/TTY). An academic, professional and educational organization committed to developing theoretical and practical knowledge about disability and to promoting the full and equal participation of disabled people in society. - World Institute on Disability- 510 16th St., Suite 100, Oakland, CA, 510-763-4100, international organization that does research on disability issues. Started by Ed Roberts, another MacArthur Genius Award winner and Judy Heumann, former Under-Secretary of the US Department of Education who is now heading the World Bank's efforts to include disability issues in international development planning. - VSA Arts - 1300 Connecticut Ave., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036, 202-628-2800. This organization supports and promotes disabled artists around the world and the development of disability culture through artistic expression. - Resource for families and students pursuing college undergraduate and graduate programs.



ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER - National ADD Association. - Women with ADD. - ADD Association with links to resources such as books, tapes, support groups
ADD Treatment and Research Center 214-980-7488
Support Group Dallas ADD Adults
Meets 2nd & 4th Thursday 7:00-8:30
Presbyterian Hospital Southeast Conf. Room
8200 Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas, TX
972-458-9226 - "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" on the National Institute of Mental Health website. Has a particular section devoted to "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults" - Site to support parents of children with learning differences and attention issues.
CHADD - "The National Resource on ADD"

American Psychological Association - Information on ADHD

LEARNING DISABILITIES - A leading site on learning disabilities and ADD/ADHD with an online support group.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities - Nationwide listing of schools, summer programs, assessment and treatment centers, and parent support groups that serve individuals with learning disabilities - the Park Cities Learning Disabilities Association is a not-for-profit organization made up of volunteers. Its mission is "advocating for the education and well being of children who learn differently." - Site to support parents of children with learning and attention issues. - International Dyslexia Association, Dallas Branch. Promoting literacy through research, education, and advocacy. Offers a wealth of information, national conferences, and a local, monthly support group. The support group provides "an atmosphere of peer encouragement, sharing, information, and resources for people with learning differences." Phone: 972-233-9107 (x222). - Local parent support group, supporting parents of children with dyslexia
Dallas Branch of the International Dyslexia Association - Support Network/Group located in North Texas 

PSYCHIATRIC DISABILITIES - Boston College's Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation offers a number of multimedia resources. - Support Coalition International, international organization of psychiatric survivors who are working for human rights and freedom from coercive mental health treatment. - Prosper High School students produced this video about teen anxiety and depression.
Referrals to off-campus psychologists/psychiatrists for testing, therapy and/or medication management are available. Please contact CAPS at 214.768.2277 or go to  The A-LEC DASS team also has a limited set of referrals.

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER - Colleges and Universities with structured programs specifically for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Help for prospective and current college students on the autism spectrum

VISUAL DISABILITIES - American Federation for the Blind - American Council for the Blind - National Federation of the Blind - Texas Division of National Federation of the Blind - Formerly Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), Learning Ally offers membership to individuals with certified print disabilities. Provides access to the entire library of audio textbooks and literature titles for research and leisure reading. - General information and links.
Accredited Schools Online - Helping college students with visual impairments 

HEARING DISABILITIES - A website with links and information. - The exploration of imagery language and visual communication, cultures and arts. - National Association of the Deaf: Free-loan, open-captioned videos

MOBILITY - Mobility International USA (MIUSA) - MIUSA organizes international exchange programs for people with disabilities in many parts of the world. Accommodations and financial aid available on a case by case basis. The CEO and co-founder, Susan Sygall, a woman with a spinal cord injury, won a MacArthur Genius Award for her work!


HEALTH - Resources for people with diabetes including news, treatments, diet, and also scholarships for students. - National Women's Health Information Center - Rx Outreach is a non-profit charity that provides medications for low income individuals. - a matching program for Patient Assist programs run by drug companies.