[Athen] Networking of Assistive Technology

Schwarte, David M. schwarte at purdue.edu
Tue Apr 12 12:37:21 PDT 2011

At Purdue we have had networked versions of JAWS; ZoomText; Read & Write Gold; and Kurzweil 3000 for a while now. We started with the Kurzweil 3000 server about 4 years ago. The JAWS and ZoomText servers were added about 2 years ago. Read and Write Gold is a recent purchase so we got its server up just last fall.

The Kurzweil 3000 server seems to have the most features. There are a few methods for loaning out the software, including loans that do not require internet access. I like that the Kurzweil server keeps some basic statistics on usage. This really helps when justifying purchases. The largest down-side for us has been the upgrade path. The Kurzweil 3000 server only works with a single version of Kurzweil 3000. When we upgrade the server we also have to upgrade all of the clients at the same time. This requires some planning on our part.

We have not had much trouble with the JAWS server. There have been a few places where firewalls have prevented access to the correct ports for connecting to the server. JAWS can also be a bit tricky to use on a machine with wireless on our campus. The process usually involves running JAWS in demo mode to log in to the wireless network. Then the user needs to shut JAWS down and restart it. The second time JAWS can find the server. I also wish there were a simple way to use one of the JAWS license for a period of time without connecting to the server. The JAWS server cannot be easily used when off-campus. I end up using NVDA at conferences etc.

The ZoomText server is somewhat challenging to use. The client must be installed directly from the server. There is only one client version and I have always had some difficulty getting a particular build that is stable on all of the stations where ZoomText is needed. The server must be linked as an active drive each time ZoomText is run. Sometimes I have had to reconnect the drive before ZoomText finds it. There is also no easy way to run ZoomText without an internet connection.

Read and Write Gold runs directly from the server. Nothing needs to be installed on the user's machine. So far, we have not had a lot of usage. I am not sure how the server will work with many concurrent users.

I almost forgot, we also have Kurzweil 3000 for the Macintosh as a network version. This has also worked well for us. There does not seem to be a way to loan the software without requiring an internet connection each time the software is launched.

I do not know a lot of the nuts and bolts for the server installations. The servers are all installed on a common IT license server. Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh essentially has its own server since it has to run on a Macintosh. Apparently, most server software runs on a Windows box at this point.

Let me know if you have more questions and I will try to find answers to them.
David Schwarte

From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Burke, Dan (DSS)
Sent: Monday, April 11, 2011 11:00 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Networking of Assistive Technology

I would be interested in knowing how networking of JAWS has worked for any of those who do so.


Dan Burke
Assistant Director/Assistive Technology Coordinator

Disability Services for Students
The University of Montana
Emma B. Lommasson Center 154
Missoula, MT 59812

406.243.5330 FAX


From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Norwich, Lorraine S
Sent: Sunday, April 10, 2011 6:39 PM
To: 'Athen at athenpro.org'; 'altmedia at htclistserv.htctu.fhda.edu'
Subject: [Athen] Networking of Assistive Technology

Good Evening,

Please can you let me know who has networked or had multiple liscenses on a server for the following software: Kurzweil 3000, Read and Write Gold, Zoomtext and Jaws. Any information would be helpful.



Lorraine S. Norwich, BSME, MSIS
Assistant Director of Disability Services
Boston University
19 Deerfield Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
lnorwich at bu.edu<mailto:lnorwich at bu.edu> (email)
617-353-3658 (vox)
617-353-9646 (fax)
www.bu.edu/disability<http://www.bu.edu/disability> (website)

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