Nov 012017

Graphic showing different people working together, using their preferred tools according to their specialisation and abilityA range of accessible technology products and solutions will usually address not one impairment group but multiple ones.  It is important that when identifying different solutions, one works out how different technologies relate to each other.

This will help avoid overlap and most importantly minimise conflicts, which may benefit one group at the expense of another or break the technology solution altogether.

The following resources cover some accessibility issues that disabled persons (particularly students) face on a daily basis. They also include a few of the many tools that can help make computers and the Internet a more user-friendly place for everyone.  For even more resources, please visit the Useful Links section on the FITA website.

Intellectual Disability

  1. Computers and People with Learning Disabilities – A video presentation from the University at Washington students and workers of the university with learning disabilities demonstrate strategies and techniques for using computers.
  2. Computers and the Writing Process for people with LD – A writeup on LD Online by Richard Wanderman about how computers affect the writing process for individuals with learning disabilities.
  3. Selecting Software for Students with Learning Disabilities – This PDF provides general guidelines to help educators select software for use by the learning disabled.
  4. Using Computer-Based Tests with Students with Learning Disabilities – This article for educators discusses methods of composing computer-based tests so that they are usable by students with learning disabilities.
  5. Assistive Technology and Learning Disabilities – South Carolina’s Assistive Technology Program provides a list of assistive technology tools and built in accessibility options for Apple and Microsoft products.

Blind and low vision

  1. An Educator”s Guide to Visual Disabilities – This article defines issues encountered by people with visual disabilities while using computers as well as provides helpful software and solutions.
  2. Buying a Computer – Guide for the Blind – The American Foundation for the Blind composed this article for people with visual impairments to learn what to look for when purchasing a computer.
  3. Computer Aids for the Blind – The University at Buffalo”s Assistive Technology Training Online Project provides this list of keyboard and mouse alternatives for its blind population.
  4. Colour Blindness Simulations – Enter a webpage into this simulator to see what it looks like to people who are colour blind. These simulators can also help people designing accessible websites.
  5. Assistive Technology for Blind or Visually Impaired College Students – New Jersey Colleges Adaptive Technology Center”s guide to different adaptive technology for the visually impaired.

Deaf and hearing disability

  1. Technologies for Students with Hearing Impairments – Students with hearing impairments are still able to use computers and access information thanks to many assistive devices and software.
  2. Broadband Internet Access for the Hearing Impaired – The National Association for the Deaf advocates for accessible Internet for everyone. The Internet can help the deaf communicate more efficiently.
  3. Computer Learning for Deaf Children – This article reviews how teachers can provide an educational learning environment for deaf children while still using computers.

Mobility impairments

  1. Web Accessibility for persons with Motor Disabilities – This webpage provides descriptions and pictures of different assistive technologies that can help people with mobility impairments. Adaptive keyboards, eye-tracking devices, voice recognition software and other computer adaptations are among the many possibilities.
  2. Using Handhelds to help people with Motor Impairments – People with Muscular Dystrophy and other nervous system disorders can benefit from using devices such as a mouse and keyboard.
  3. Designing Interfaces for Children with Motor Impairments – This paper follows a study in which children with motor disabilities were observed using laptops.

General Accessibility Resources

  1. Computers Assisting the Handicapped – Chris Murphy of Virginia Tech wrote this article on how computers can help persons with disabilities.
  2. Types of Assistive Technology – Microsoft resource providing descriptions of assistive technology products.
  3. Internet and Disability Related Resources – The Internet Society Disability Chapter has composed this list of resources concerning the Internet and disabled individuals.
  4. Telecommunications Access for People with Disabilities – The FCC requires telecommunications manufacturers and providers to make their equipment and services accessible to all people.
  5. National Telecommunication Standards for Accessibility here reviewed by ANED, are applicable across the EU member states.
  6. Enabling People with Disabilities – This Speed Matters webpage explains the benefits of high speed Internet for persons with disabilities.
  7. Assistive Technology Industry Association – The ATIA is composed of organizations that provide assistive devices and services to persons with disabilities.
  8. Use of Computer Technology to Help Students with Disability – Children are now growing up in the “digital age,” and computers are so important to their educational environment.
  9. Computers and Disability – The usage of computers by children can help enhance their self esteem and language skills.



MAPCON article by Lisa Richards, Educational Outreach Writer :

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