What Is Assistive Technology?

The University of Washington defines assistive technology as: "…technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies."

What is accessible electronic and information technology?

The University of Washington defines accessible electronic and information technology as: "…technology that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. It incorporates the principles of universal design. Each user is able to interact with the technology in ways that work best for him or her.

Accessible technology is either directly accessible — in other words, it is usable without assistive technology — or it is compatible with standard assistive technology. Just as buildings that have ramps and elevators are accessible to wheelchair users, products that adhere to accessible design principles are usable by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.

** Examples of accessible electronic and information technology:

** This document was developed by and is being reprinted with the permission of the University of Washington and AccessIT **

How Much Does Assistive Technology Cost?

It is hard to give a definitive answer; "low tech" tools, such as pencil grips or a calculator can cost a few dollars. "High tech" tools, such as augmentative communication devices, can cost several thousand dollars.

There is a lot of information to consider when an assistive technology device is being suggested or requested. Make sure to evaluate the "low tech" options before considering the "high tech" options. Simple modifications can be made for a low cost and still may lead to big results.

Highlighted Devices

Here are some examples of devices and software that children can use at home or school to access www.functional-academics.com and other educational websites! Don't forget to check out the assistive technology websites for further options of software and devices.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking: Dragon NaturallySpeaking is speech recognition software that allows you to interact with your computer by talking. The program learns your voice and performs the tasks that you request of it. This program is not only compatible for operating your computer, but it also will allow you to create documents without typing; you simply speak. You can utilize this program to create documents and email, operate a computer and even surf the internet. If you can speak it, Dragon can do it.

- Available for Macs or PCs

- Multiple editions available such as: Home, Premium, Professional

Check out some of these great websites about assistive technology!

Assistive Technologies: A website dedicated to assistive technology in school, the workplace and at home. This website is updated frequently and has a great wealth of support, products, related articles and resources. The owners of the website also offer evaluations, consultation and training to its users. I highly recommend using this website!! A real valuable site!

Assistive Computer Technology: Another wonderful website! You will find answers to some of the common questions about assistive technology. In addition, you can find examples of assistive technology that can help in the workplace, school or in your home. This website also gives in depth explanations of the types of devices and programs that it offers. I highly recommend this website!!

Like I Can: This informative site gives a wonderful life of assistive technology devices that help throughout the day. The information provided is not limited to just devices and programs to help on the computer. LikeICan offers videos of assistive technology in use as well. Feel free to explore the website and learn all that you can!

Keys-U-See Large Print Keyboard: This keyboard is a standard QWERTY keyboard that can be used with a PC computer. The labels on the keys are over-sized and bold, making the keyboard keys low profile and highly visible. They keyboard also features specialized keys. When you hit these keys, you can be instantly brought to the internet or to your email program. The specialized keys also control the media components of the computer.

- Hooks up easily to PC computers

- Available in black (with white letters), yellow or white (with black letters)

Check out some of these great websites about assistive technology!

Assistive Technologies: A website dedicated to assistive technology in school, the workplace and at home. This website is updated frequently and has a great wealth of support, products, related articles and resources. The owners of the website also offer evaluations, consultation and training to its users. I highly recommend using this website!! A real valuable site!

Assistive Computer Technology: Another wonderful website! You will find answers to some of the common questions about assistive technology. In addition, you can find examples of assistive technology that can help in the workplace, school or in your home. This website also gives in depth explanations of the types of devices and programs that it offers. I highly recommend this website!!

Like I Can: This informative site gives a wonderful life of assistive technology devices that help throughout the day. The information provided is not limited to just devices and programs to help on the computer. LikeICan offers videos of assistive technology in use as well. Feel free to explore the website and learn all that you can!

MAGic: This program is intended to magnify images and text on the computer screen. MAGic combines magnification features with true low vision screen reading when purchased with the speech option. The program gives you the ability to choose the information you want read from the screen as you navigate your applications. This program will also adjust the size of your mouse cursor. The colors used in this program take into consideration the recommended colorization for those with low vision. Contrast can be adjusted through a few simple clicks. MAGic is compatible with a variety of speech recognition software.

- Can be used with a PC or Mac computer

- Multiple editions are available: With speech, without speech, Pro edition

Check out some of these great websites about assistive technology!

Assistive Technologies: A website dedicated to assistive technology in school, the workplace and at home. This website is updated frequently and has a great wealth of support, products, related articles and resources. The owners of the website also offer evaluations, consultation and training to its users. I highly recommend using this website!! A real valuable site!

Assistive Computer Technology: Another wonderful website! You will find answers to some of the common questions about assistive technology. In addition, you can find examples of assistive technology that can help in the workplace, school or in your home. This website also gives in depth explanations of the types of devices and programs that it offers. I highly recommend this website!!

Like I Can: This informative site gives a wonderful life of assistive technology devices that help throughout the day. The information provided is not limited to just devices and programs to help on the computer. LikeICan offers videos of assistive technology in use as well. Feel free to explore the website and learn all that you can!

BIGtrack Trackball: This is an alternative to the traditional mouse used on a computer. This mouse has a large yellow trackball for navigation and two smaller blue buttons to function as a left click and a right click. The buttons are positioned behind the trackball in efforts to reduce the amount of accidental clicks. This mouse is a viable option for those with mobility or fine motor limitations. BIGtrack Trackball can also have switches attached to the device to allow for even more accessibility options. The BIGtrack also allows for a second mouse be used while the BIGtrack is operating. This allows for shared participation.

- Works on any PC or Mac computer that has a USB or PS/2 port

- Can co-exist with a conventional mouse on the same computer

Check out some of these great websites about assistive technology!

Assistive Technologies: A website dedicated to assistive technology in school, the workplace and at home. This website is updated frequently and has a great wealth of support, products, related articles and resources. The owners of the website also offer evaluations, consultation and training to its users. I highly recommend using this website!! A real valuable site!

Assistive Computer Technology: Another wonderful website! You will find answers to some of the common questions about assistive technology. In addition, you can find examples of assistive technology that can help in the workplace, school or in your home. This website also gives in depth explanations of the types of devices and programs that it offers. I highly recommend this website!!

Like I Can: This informative site gives a wonderful life of assistive technology devices that help throughout the day. The information provided is not limited to just devices and programs to help on the computer. LikeICan offers videos of assistive technology in use as well. Feel free to explore the website and learn all that you can!

Magic Touch Touch Screen: This is an addition to your traditional monitor that will make your screen interactive at the touch of a finger. Magic Touch simply adheres to your monitor. No need for a mouse when using a Touch Screen, however, it can be used while a mouse is in use. The user can touch the cursor and drag it to its destination and tap the screen to simulate a single or double click. This particular Touch Screen can be accessed with a stylus instead of a finger, if needed. The scratch-resistant screen is easy to clean and is chemical resistant. Magic Touch claims to eliminate electrostatic and reduces radiation generated from the monitor.

- Available in various sizes to accommodate lap top as well as desk top computers

- Can be used to the PC or Mac computer

Check out some of these great websites about assistive technology!

Assistive Technologies: A website dedicated to assistive technology in school, the workplace and at home. This website is updated frequently and has a great wealth of support, products, related articles and resources. The owners of the website also offer evaluations, consultation and training to its users. I highly recommend using this website!! A real valuable site!

Assistive Computer Technology: Another wonderful website! You will find answers to some of the common questions about assistive technology. In addition, you can find examples of assistive technology that can help in the workplace, school or in your home. This website also gives in depth explanations of the types of devices and programs that it offers. I highly recommend this website!!

Like I Can: This informative site gives a wonderful life of assistive technology devices that help throughout the day. The information provided is not limited to just devices and programs to help on the computer. LikeICan offers videos of assistive technology in use as well. Feel free to explore the website and learn all that you can!

For accessibility options already located within your operating system, please refer to the following websites:

Microsoft's Accessibility Page

Accessibility features include options that make it easier to see, hear, and use the computer. Optional settings include; a full-screen magnifier, on-screen keyboard, text prediction, speech recognition, and touch technology.

Apple's Accessibility Page

Apple's assistive technology page includes; screen-magnification and VoiceOver, simplified user interfaces, Mouse Keys, Slow Keys, and Sticky Keys.

Check out some of these great websites about assistive technology!

Assistive Technologies: A website dedicated to assistive technology in school, the workplace and at home. This website is updated frequently and has a great wealth of support, products, related articles and resources. The owners of the website also offer evaluations, consultation and training to its users. I highly recommend using this website!! A real valuable site!

Assistive Computer Technology: Another wonderful website! You will find answers to some of the common questions about assistive technology. In addition, you can find examples of assistive technology that can help in the workplace, school or in your home. This website also gives in depth explanations of the types of devices and programs that it offers. I highly recommend this website!!

Like I Can: This informative site gives a wonderful life of assistive technology devices that help throughout the day. The information provided is not limited to just devices and programs to help on the computer. LikeICan offers videos of assistive technology in use as well. Feel free to explore the website and learn all that you can!