What is Assistive Technology?

According to the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, assistive technology (also called adaptive technology or abbreviated as AT) refers to any “product, device, or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that is used to maintain, increase, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”

Examples can include:

  • Wheelchairs
  • Hearing aids
  • Computer software and hardware, such as text to speech or speech to text, screen readers, etc.
  • Adaptive switches
  • Alternative input devices (head pointers, on screen keyboards)
  • Magnifiers
  • Automatic page-turners, book holders, and adapted pencil grips
  • Closed captioning
  • Ramps, automatic door openers

GREAT video that shows what it’s like using a screen reader with and without an accessible document.

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