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Accessibility Services


Accessibility Services

Advocating for an accessible learning environment for all students at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Support for Online and In-person Learning

Our Accessibility Services team recognizes that the delivery of courses could be in person, or online. If you are already registered with Accessibility Services and would like to connect with an Accessibility Coordinator to discuss how your accommodations fit with the design of your online course or study strategies and resources, book an appointment or call 403.357.3629.

Academic Support

Academic Support is available to all Red Deer Polytechnic students to support their learning. To find out more about this and how to book virtual appointments with the Learning Skills Strategist, Tutors, Writing Skills Centre, Math Centre or ESL Tutor, please click here:

Text to Speech & Speech to Text

Students who have difficulty with spelling or getting ideas on paper, or physical difficulty typing, may find speech to text software helpful.

Speech to text is empowering to people who, because of dysgraphia or dyslexia, have a very hard time writing even simple sentences when they want to tell a much bigger story. It can be very useful for people who are searching on the Internet.

In college, using speech to text to successfully write something as complex as a paper requires quite a bit of executive functioning. Planning out the sequence of your ideas, and speaking in complete, fluent sentences is difficult. And because speech to text doesn’t always “understand” what you mean, for all ages, you definitely need to have a text to speech program, or some kind of playback functionality to read your work back to you to make sure it says what you wanted it to!

Red Deer Polytechnic students can download the Read & Write installer using the link below:

Click the try Read & Write today button, select the platform (PC, MAC or Google Chrome) and then click Install. Once Read & Write is installed and opened, sign in when prompted with your school email address with Microsoft. 

Additional help and resources can be found in the TextHelp Training Portal.

Speech to Text (speech recognition) Windows 10 – in Control Panel under Ease of Access on your pc:

Strategies & Tips

  • Use your online course as an opportunity to develop organizational and time management skills.
  • Treat your online course just as you would an on-campus course by scheduling time, preparing in advance and accessing necessary resources.
  • Good time management is necessary and creating a study plan and schedule that works for you will be important to stay on track with assignments and completing the course.
  • Plan for additional time to check in with your course and ensure you are aware of approaching deadlines or changes to those deadlines.
  • Instructors will also regularly post course updates, changes to schedules and further information throughout the course.
  • Try to minimize distractions whilst you are completing your work by avoiding them (e.g. put your phone on silent) and studying in a comfortable and dedicated space.
  • Log into your course on Blackboard and review the course outline. Course outlines can also be found on the RDP website.
  • This will give you information about the course, the delivery format, assessment and also link to any relevant policies that you may require.
  • The course outline should also contain contact information for the instructor, including their office hours and how you can reach them.
  • If you have any questions about your accommodations and how this will fit with the course delivery and assessments, please contact your instructor to review this.
  • You can view your eligible accommodations through your Access+ account.
  • Spend some time exploring the layout and organization of the course on Blackboard.
  • Review the resources, explore the menu and submission guidelines for assignments etc.
  • You may be asked to write tests and exams online through Blackboard so it may be useful to understand how this may work before your first exam.
  • Also spend the time to find out how announcements and information about your course assignments will be provided.
  • Questions and troubleshooting? Visit our Blackboard guide.
  • Engaging with your class and instructors is a key aspect of online learning.
  • Think of the course discussion boards as virtual class discussions.
  • They are a great opportunity to share ideas with peers and your instructors.
  • Making connections with your peers in an online course can be challenging, but it is worth the extra effort to engage and participate in the collective learning experience.
  • Use online tools and apps to connect, ask questions, share ideas and engage.
  • Use your learning style when taking notes.
  • Be accountable and take responsibility and ownership for your learning.
  • Develop good habits to manage your time and avoid procrastination.
  • Give yourself the best opportunity for success in your online class by committing to completing the required activities and readings.
  • These are included in the course by the instructors to support your learning and choosing to not complete them will often make the course more challenging.
  • If you are unsure of some of the content provided, connect with your instructor for further information.
  • You can also access online resources through the RDP Library subject guides.
  • Be prepared for glitches and issues with technology.
  • Regularly back up your work and let your instructors know as soon as possible if you are experiencing difficulties with your computer so that they can work with you to support your learning.
  • If your computer fails, you may be able to borrow a computer from the Library. 
  • You can find out more about RDP's Online Services for Students on the RDP IT Services webpage here. You will need to use Loop log in credentials to access the website.
  • As an RDP Student you have access to a Microsoft Office 365 account which includes the full Office applications. Find out more about your student Office 365 account here.