ITS furthering accessibility resources at U-M

By | December 12, 2023
Logos for U-M Information and Technology Services Accessibility and the Jaws, ZoomText, and Fusion programs

Since the 1980s, the University of Michigan has been a leader in providing access to assistive technology to U-M faculty, staff, and students. As this technology evolves, Information and Technology Services (ITS) has moved from making assistive software only available in single computer labs to installing it on all public Campus Computing Sites machines. ITS also maintains and provides licenses and links for product use on UM-owned and personal computers.

Adaptive tools and accommodations, such as screen reader and magnification software, are necessary for U-M folks with visual disabilities. As part of ITS’s continued efforts to provide easy access to assistive technology for U-M students, faculty, and staff, the Accessibility team has purchased a new license from Vispero. This license improves access to JAWS (screen reader), ZoomText (magnifier), and Fusion (both tools combined in one program). These programs are designed for Windows users; similar functionality is already built into all Macs.


Access: Unlimited concurrent installations on any U-M-owned Windows computers and Windows computers owned by current U-M students, faculty, and staff.  

Availability: Any active faculty, staff, and students across U-M’s four campuses can access these tools through ITS’s license.

Security: Software updates are included to ensure you always have the latest version and don’t miss any important security patches.

Cost: The new license model stabilizes pricing for all U-M and allows you to use ITS’s license at no additional cost. 

You can use JAWS and ZoomText now on any Sites computer; Fusion will be available on Sites computers in early 2024. All three programs will be available for download on UM-owned Windows computers and your personal computers in early 2024. 

Everyone benefits from accessibility. While JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion are great tools for blind and low-vision people, tools like Read&Write provide text-to-speech and more features for sighted users. ITS provides access to these programs and more like them on Sites-maintained public Windows and Mac computers. Many of these programs are free or are available for personal use to any current U-M student, faculty, or staff member under ITS’s license.  

Learn about the adaptive software and hardware available to you at U-M. 

If you need assistance or have questions about U-M’s accessibility software and hardware, fill out the ITS-Assistive Tech Assistance TeamDynamix form.