assistive technology for people with disabilities: overview

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Assistive technology for people with disabilities: overview. Svetlana Vasilyeva Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program Pennsylvania State University College of Education 11/3/ 2009. What is assistive technology? . You can find more than one definition: - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Assistive technology for people with disabilities: overviewSvetlana VasilyevaHubert H. Humphrey Fellowship ProgramPennsylvania State UniversityCollege of Education11/3/ 2009

  • What is assistive technology? You can find more than one definition:Assistive technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them.Assistive technology products are designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities. When selecting assistive technology products, it is crucial to find products that are compatible with the computer operating system and programs on the particular computer being used.Assistive technology devices are tools for living that include any piece of equipment that is used to increase the independence of an individual with a disability. They include very low tech items like built up spoons to high tech computer-based systems that allow people to control their environment.

  • Types of assistive technologiesJob AccommodationSeating and Positioning Computer AccessCognitive and Learning Aids Aids for Daily LivingVehicle Modifications Switch AccessEnvironmental Control Home ModificationsVisual and Reading Aids, Mobility Augmentative CommunicationRecreationAssisted Listening Devices

  • Why is it important?Assistive Technology is about the inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of society and how technology can serve this process as a tool.It means that technology helps people with disabilities to be more independent, more successful, more self-confident. They can do with technologies things which seemed impossible for them: type text using the mouth, read books being blind, talking with people when person couldn't speak at all.

  • A big world of assistive technologiesToday you can find a big variety of assistive technologies on global markets. They range from very simple devices to quite complicated. You can find a piece of equipment for each category of people with disabilities, from mild to very significant. One point: most of these technologies are very expensive.

  • Technologies for people who have communication disordersAAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) to enhance an individual's communication and interaction with their surroundings. This can include an integrated group of, strategies and techniques, symbols, picture boards, pencil/paper, or an electronic communication device. High-tech such as "Dynamic Display" software-- a communication board displayed upon a computer monitor screen automatically changes to a different level (board) when a selection is made.

  • Examples of Technologies for people who have communication disorders Pathfinder Dynavox Freedom 2000

  • Speech recognition softwareThe most popular today is Dragon naturallyspeaking program. This software is developed by Dragon Systems and sold by Nuance Communications.Speech recognition or voice recognition programs, allow people to give commands and enter data using their voices rather than a mouse or keyboard.

  • Assistive technologies for people who are blind or have low visionScreen readersText-to-Speech (TTS) or speech synthesizers receive information going to the screen in the form of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, and then "speak" it out loud in a computerized voice.

  • MagnifiersScreen enlargers, or screen magnifiers, work like a magnifying glass for the computer by enlarging a portion of the screen which can increase legibility and make it easier to see items on the computer. Some screen enlargers allow a person to zoom in and out on a particular area of the screen.

  • Examples of MagnifiersOnyx Acrobat Short Arm Flipper

  • Examples of MagnifiersEyePal ZoomText

  • CCTVIn addition, people with low vision can use Closed circuit television (CCTV) or video magnifiers. Printed materials and objects are placed under a camera and the magnified image is displayed onto a screen. You can change colors, letter's size and some more.

  • Examples of CCTVMerlin Plus Enhanced Vision Topaz CRT

  • Refreshable braille or tactile displaysRefreshable Braille displays provide tactile output of information represented on the computer screen. A Braille "cell" is composed of a series of dots. The pattern of the dots and various combinations of the cells are used in place of letters.

  • Refreshable braille or tactile displaysRefreshable Braille displays mechanically lift small rounded plastic or metal pins as needed to form Braille characters. The user reads the Braille letters with his or her fingers, and then, after a line is read, can refresh the display to read the next line.

  • Examples of Refreshable braille or tactile displaysBraille Connect 12 Focus 40 BrailleNote mPower QT32

  • Examples of Refreshable braille or tactile displays SeikaP

  • Braille embossers (printers)his equipment helps to convert electronic text into Braille format and print or emboss it making accessible for people who are blind. At first we need to edit text using special software and then just send it to the printer. Embosser makes a paper with raised dots. Similarly, we can produce tactile graphic (raised pictures) which people who are blind can see with their fingers.

  • Technologies for people with learning difficultiesReading tools and learning disabilities programs include software and hardware designed to make text-based materials more accessible for people who have difficulty with reading. Options can include scanning, reformatting, navigating, or speaking text out loud.

  • Technologies for people with learning difficultiesThese programs are helpful for those who have difficulty seeing or manipulating conventional print materialsExample of this is Curzweil 3000. It is Reading, study skill, and writing support software.

  • Thank you!!

    If you have any questions you can ask them now or write to me later by e-mail:

    Svetlana Vasilyeva


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