Spotlight 2

Assistive Technology

This week, the highlight is on assistive technologies. 

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is an umbrella term covering tools and services that can increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 billion people need assistive products (with that number increasing to 2 billion by 2030). (Source: WHO fact sheet)

Assistive devices include a wide range of devices that help people who have difficulties carrying out certain tasks feel more functioning and independent. These can be every-day tools such as glasses, or simple devices such as automatic pill dispensers for people who have difficulty remembering what pills to take and when

Low-Tech Assistive Device Examples Auditory category: Transcript Sign language Visual category: Glasses Magnifier Braille Speech category: Writing devices Physical category: Walker Wheelchair Scooter Chairlift Prosthetis Cognitive category: Translation List Glossary Alert
Low-Tech Assistive Device Examples

They can also be sophisticated software such as head trackers for people who cannot use a mouse or keyboard and have difficulties with oral communication as well. Basically, assistive technology can support people with speaking, typing, writing, remembering, pointing, seeing, hearing, learning, walking, and many other things. 

In the context of online learning content, the most relevant assistive technologies are those that relate to hearing, seeing, and using a mouse or a keyboard. Examples of these include screen readers, screen magnifiers, braille displays, hearing aids, switches, mouth sticks, modified keyboards, speech recognition software etc. 

Assistive Device Examples in eLearning. Auditory category: Text-to-speech software Closed caption Transcript Visual category: Screen reader Screen magnifier Zooming in Braille display Speech category: Text-to-speech software Physical category: Mouth stick Switchboard Modified keyboard Cognitive category:Study guide Translation Glossary
Assistive Device Examples in eLearning


Discussion questions:

If you're already familiar with the topic or when you're finished, come to the LCA Spotlight LinkedIn group and join the conversation.

When you post in the community, use the hashtag #LCASpotlightTechnology

Spotlight 1: Overview of the WCAG Guidelines

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