Assistive Technologies

"Assistive Technology" is defined by the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988 as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off-the-shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintained or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."

Used as a compensatory tool, persons with disabilities may become productive and independent members in school, work and life.  The implementation of assistive technology affords opportunity for the provision of equal access.

 Is software used by people with various forms of learning disabilities that affect their ability to read text. This software will read text with a synthesized voice and may have a highlighter to emphasize the word being spoken.  Example:  Use of Kurzweil 3000 for persons with learning disabilities
Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. A screen reader is the interface between the computer's operating system, its applications, and the user. Example: Use of JAWS software for persons with visual impairments.  
 Software allow users to control the size of text and or graphics on the screen. Unlike using a zoom feature, these applications allow the user to have the ability to see the enlarged text in relation to the rest of the screen.  Example:  Screen enlargement software such as ZoomText, a closed circuit television which magnifies an image onto a video monitor, or a simple low tech tech device such as an LED pocket illuminator magnifier.
Provides people with difficulty in typing an alternate way to type text while using a computer.  Example:  Use of  Dragon Naturally Speaking
Alternative input devices are hardware or software solutions that allow users with a variety of impairments to access a computer in a different way. Alternative input devices allow the user to access a computer in whatever way works best for them.   Example: use of touch screen vs. use of a keyboard.