Screen Readers Skip to Content

Disability Assistive Electronic Devices and Software

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-03
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Jump to: Main Document | Publications

Synopsis: Reviews of assistive computer devices including mobile handheld and PC software aids for persons with disabilities. For persons with disabilities, the keyboard, mouse, and monitor are of prime concern so adaptive hardware and software have been developed to provide alternatives. Most computer vendors support persons with disabilities by incorporating accessibility utilities into operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and UNIX.

advertisements

Main Document

What is Assistive or Adaptive Computer Technology?

Assistive Computer Technology is any piece of equipment that is customized to make life easier for a person who has a disability.

Computer Software Accessibility:

In human-computer interaction, computer accessibility (also known as accessible computing) refers to the accessibility of a computer system to all people, regardless of disability or severity of impairment, examples include web accessibility guidelines.

This section also includes an additional 181 publications relating to Electronics/Software including:

Challenges

Many people with disabilities face a variety of challenges in terms of providing computer input, interpreting output and reading documentation. For persons with disabilities, the keyboard, mouse, and monitor are of prime concern, so adaptive hardware and software have been developed to provide alternatives. The personal computer (PC) can be the backbone of independence for millions of individuals with sensory, physical, and learning disabilities.

Screen reader programs such as JAWS or HAL are designed to allow even completely blind people to use the computer. They convert the text and icons to speech, so one can use a computer without needing to see the monitor.

Accessible computer equipment and PC access aids can make it easier for computer users to use word-processing programs, surf the Internet, and send email, but they can also help non-computer users handle many non-computer tasks.

Any system that aids individuals who are not independent verbal communicators is known as an augmentative communication system. The system can include speech, gestures, sign language, symbols, synthesized speech, dedicated communication aids or microcomputers.

Photo of a busy accessible desktop workspace with a MacBook, an iMac, an iPhone and a drawing tablet.
Photo of a busy accessible desktop workspace with a MacBook, an iMac, an iPhone and a drawing tablet.

Examples of Assistive Computer Technology Include:

Common Keyboard Input Modifications Include:

Voice recognition and dictation systems are powerful assistive technologies that allow persons with disabilities to control a computer and dictate documents verbally using spoken commands.

Most computer vendors support persons with disabilities by incorporating accessibility utilities into operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and UNIX. PCs equipped with assistive technology permit individuals to function independently at school, work, and home, and allow access to great quantities of information from diverse sources such as compact disks, networks, electronic mail, instant messaging, the World Wide Web, and other Internet resources.

Facts Regarding Assistive Technology Electronic Devices

Assistive technology may attempt to improve the ergonomics of the devices themselves, such as Dvorak and other alternative keyboard layouts, which offer more ergonomic layouts of the keys. Assistive technology devices have been created to enable people with disabilities to use modern touch screen mobile computers such as the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The Pererro is a plug and play adapter for iOS devices which uses the built-in Apple VoiceOver feature with a basic switch. This brings touch screen technology to those who were previously unable to use it.

Alternative input devices allow individuals to control their computers through means other than a standard keyboard or pointing device. Examples include:

Legislation

Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States and the Disabilities Discrimination Act in the United Kingdom are fostering development of assistive technology for persons with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in the United States is helping to make the World Wide Web more accessible as well.

Before a person can use a computer, they need to get within effective proximity of the workstation.

Aisles, doorways, and building entrances must be wheelchair-accessible. Other resources, such as telephones, restrooms, and reference areas, should be accessible as well. Don't overlook a simple barrier, such as a single step or a narrow doorway. Work with architectural accessibility experts to also ensure physical accessibility to equipment.

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook

Subtopics and Associated Subjects

Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

advertisements

Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 3). Disability Assistive Electronic Devices and Software. Disabled World. Retrieved September 26, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/

Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/computer/">Disability Assistive Electronic Devices and Software</a>