Assistive Technology at Northwestern

Northwestern University Information Technology (NUIT) strives to achieve excellence in providing equitable and efficient access to assistive technology systems and services for members of the Northwestern University community, regardless of ability, in accordance with the University’s obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and state law.

NUIT partners with several campus groups, including AccessibleNU, a division of Student Affairs, and Office of Human Resources to facilitate assistive technology services on campus for members of the Northwestern community.

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive, or adaptive, technology is a general term used to describe technology that assists people with disabilities. It includes equipment, software, or systems used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Accessibility to Electronic Information

The term accessibility is used to describe whether a user with a disability is able to input information into a computer and retrieve and use the output effectively. Accessibility can involve the use of assistive technology such as a modified keyboard or mouse, an adjustable desk, screen readers, screen enlargers, or speech recognition software. Accessibility also extends to the Internet.


To achieve accessibility on the NUIT website, NUIT follows guidelines when creating and maintaining web pages to incorporate web features that people with disabilities—including people who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, and people with mobility impairments—can perceive, navigate, interact with, and understand. 

Computer Lab

NUIT partners with the University Library to provide an adaptive technology computer lab located in the University Library (room B176) on the Evanston campus. Room equipment and software includes a braille printer, closed-circuit TV for magnification of texts, and software such as scan-and-read, screen reader, and speech-to-text. A detailed list of equipment and software for this computer lab can be found on the University Library website.


NUIT offers hearing assisted telephone solutions, including headset adapters compatible with University phones, for use with hearing aids as well as for non-hearing impaired users who need more volume than what a telephone can provide.

Smart Classroom

Some Northwestern Smart Classrooms are equipped with assistive listening devices that transmit audio into the room from a podium, handheld, or lavaliere microphone. A direct auditory amplified signal is sent to the user via portable receivers with earphones and volume controls.
Chicago Smart Classrooms:

  • Lurie Baldwin Auditorium
  • Lurie Searle Seminar Room
  • McGaw Pavillion 2-230 (D.H. Williams Auditorium)

Evanston Smart Classrooms:

  • Leverone Hall Auditorium
  • Pancoe Auditorium
  • Swift Hall 107
  • Tech Ryan Family Auditorium (L165)

Visit AccessibleNU for more information on how to request the service and determine the appropriate receiver equipment needed.

Additional Information

Support Contacts

Support Contact:

IT Support Center
Central service desk for students, faculty, and staff.
847-491-4357 (1-HELP)
Submit a Support Request