preferences-desktop-assistive-technology-mdThere are many physical disabilities that come in a variety of forms and causes. There is also a wide range of resources on the Internet for those who might have a physical disability. With the progressiveness of technology, there have become a number of ways to assist those with disabilities. For example, smart phones now come equipped with accessible features, such as the iPhone iOS Accessibility and VoiceOver technology, which provides audible descriptions on the device. Computers also have similar features, and assistive technologies in the form of education apps for students with learning disabilities have become increasingly popular.

Here are some of the best technologies that are useful for people with disabilities and limited mobility.

Single-Switch Access

This is a device for a person with limited mobility. For example, if a person has limited mobility but can still move their head, a switch is then placed to the side of their head, allowing them to click it with their movements. The switch does not necessarily have to be in this position, however. It is all dependent on a person’s disability. Most single-switches are Bluetooth accessible. These can be used for software, computers, and other devices, like smart phones and tablets. One example of a single-switch access is the APPlicator, an assistive technology used for the iPad.

Head Wand or Mouth Stick

A head wand or a mouth stick is similar to a switch, however in this case, a wand is either strapped to a person’s head or a mouth stick is used as a method of typing or pressing buttons. If a person, for example, has limited use of their arms, they can use a wand or a mouth stick to type, press buttons, or make other technical commands easily.

Eye Tracking

For those with no control, eye tracking is a very valuable tool for software or computer usage. A person can navigate through the web with the use of only their eyes. With this technology, it measures the point of gaze, eye position, and eye movements to determine the user’s decision while navigating through the technology. An example of this technology can be found here.

Voice Recognition

There are a variety of softwares for voice regonition. Voice recognition is valuable for someone who is unable to use a keyboard or a mouse to make common commands. The user can simply command a device with the use of their voice. For some technologies, the user can also enter text via voice to complete common computer tasks. A user can also “type” with their voice. For example, someone can write a paper by simply speaking into a microphone, and the computer will anaylze the words and input them as text.

Slow Keys

This is a keyboard feature that helps a user type exactly what they intend to. Slow keys works prevent swift or quick keystrokes that might be made by accident. It will only type if a certain key is held down for a period of time. For those with motor impairments or disabled people who make unpredictable movements, this is a valuable software tool.

About the Author: Hannah is a guest contributor from Global Lift Corp, providing ADA compliant pool lifts for spas and pools. Visit their website for more on ADA resources and pool technology for disabilities.

Categories: Computers, General

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