Examples of AT

Assistive Technology is redefining what is possible for people with a various range of cognitive/ learning, print, and physical abilities and disabilities, be it in the home, classroom, workplace and/or community. Assistive Technology is enabling all individuals, of all ages, including those with disabilities, to be more Independent, Self-Confident, Productive and better included in every day life, education, employment and living.

Assistive Technology can be anything low-tech or high-tech, modified or adapted, which is used to help an individual perform some task of daily living. The term Assistive Technology encompasses such a broad range including devices (computer/laptop, tablets, iPads, AAC devices), software (text to speech, voice recognition, magnification, screen reading), FREE Built-In Accessibility Features in everyday technologies, Chrome Apps & Extensions, adjustable Furniture/ desks, adaptive keyboards and mice, adapted writing tools, Walking assistance, ramps, grab bars, environmental controls, eye gaze, switches, and so much more! Contact us today for demonstrations, loans or training on various AT options, including the ones listed below.

Screenshot image of read and write gold literacy support.

Read and Write

Read and Write Gold literacy support tools are offered as an extension in the Chrome browser, as well as software for the computer. Texthelp, the company that makes Read and Write, also has iPad apps available to support students on mobile devices. Read and Write provides:

  • Comprehensive Literacy support tools with features such as Text-to-Speech with highlighting while reading on the internet or a doc
  • Word Prediction while typing
  • Study skills for organization and research
  • Scanning Documents & Books with OCR & highlighting
  • Fact-Mapping and Brainstorming
  • Simplifying reading passages
  • Dictionary and vocabulary support, and more.

E-Books and Apps

There are Apps for accessing digital books such as Voice Dream Reader and iBooks, as well as many free e-book and audiobook options. Read textbooks for school or books for pleasure. Apps can be utilized with accessibility features such as Voice-Over, text to speech, Zoom/ Magnification, Highlighting, Definitions, Annotations, Font style and color selection, large text, etc.

There are iPad and iPhone Apps for all Abilities and Disabilities, to support all Subjects of Learning/ Instruction (Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science), as well as Literacy, AAC (communication), mobility (GPS), Studying, Organization and Time Management, Reminders, Scheduling, etc.

Image of an Mac laptop, iPad, and iPhone with eBooks open on all devices.

Google Chrome Apps & Extensions (GAFE)

Many schools are Going Google and implementing free and low cost apps and extensions available in the Chrome Browser, on Chromebooks as well as laptops, desktops, the surface Pro and other devices. Google Chrome apps provide support for all learners with specific options to support diverse learners and struggling students with literacy, executive function, math, reading and writing, and so much more!

A laptop, with a Google Chrome App open on the laptop.
Dragon Naturally Speaking product box and headphones.

Voice Recognition Software and Free/ Built-in Speech to Text Options

Use your voice to control everything. Speech-to-Text software, apps & built-in accessibility features for individuals who are physically unable to access a computer or tablet, or may have a learning disability or print disability. Speech recognition/ speech to text can be utilized to access all features of a device for reading, navigating, typing, research, sending email and texts, completing work, etc. It can also be used for environmental controls (Smart Home technology) in one’s home environment, for lights, television, music,  appliances, etc. Speech recognition can also support individuals who may struggle with spelling and grammar. (FREE Speech to Text Options are available built-in to devices as well as Apps and extensions).

Screenshot of Voice Typing on a Google Doc

Free Text-To-Speech Options

If you simply need just Text-to-Speech while navigating online or typing a paper, there are MANY free options, such as Natural Reader and Chrome extensions.

Free Text-to-Speech
A Chromebook keyboard, with two smartphones and a tablet stacked on top of the keyboard.

iPad and iPhone Apps

Apps for Learning, Literacy, engagement, productivity, inclusion; Apps for Working/ Employment, Apps for Communicating, Magnification and Screen Reading, Apps for Navigating,  organization, studying, reminding, and scheduling, reading, completing assignments, developing projects, data Collection and More. Apps encourage participation, efficiency and exploration.  Apps are also available for Android devices and tablets.

accessibility settings on a tablet device.

iOS Accessibility Settings and other Built-In Accessibility Options

Many people are unaware of what their own phone can do other than text or make calls! Assistive Technology is already in the hands of everyone on a daily basis, built into our phones and tablets that we use everyday, but are capable of supporting users so much more! Accessibility settings such as text to speech, screen reading, magnification, touch accommodations, word prediction, switch access and more!

Screenshot of Write Online Software

Literacy Software Options

Software to support the reading, writing, and research process, which features such as word banks, word prediction, sentence prompts, text to speech, study skills, mind-mapping and organizational tools, speech to text, and more. Write Online, Read and Write, Dragon, Co-Writer, Kurzweil, and other software options for laptops and desktops, Mac and Windows.

Captions, Real Time Captioning, Video Captioning, Captions for Lectures, Captions for television and mobile devices

To assist individuals who are hearing impaired to access the presented lecture, video, material, etc.

A screen capture image of a caption on a mobile device.
ZoomText Magnifier Reader Version 10 Product Box

Magnification Software, Hardware, Apps, & Accessibility features

AT to zoom text to magnify your computer or tablet screen, invert text colors and increase contrast, increase mouse and cursor sizes. AT to Magnify Documents and Books, magnify the Whiteboard  to be able to see instruction or at a meeting, Take photos to review later, screen reading built-in, and more options for individuals who are visually impaired, or losing sight over time.  Magnification options are also available on iphones, iPads, and tablets for use in the community, such as reading bus schedules or signs, menus, and utilizing for work as well as in the classroom.

Screen Readers

For individuals who are Blind or low vision and need Voice Over or screen reading options and keyboard shortcuts to access the internet, email, and other computer applications for communication, employment, education, research, productivity, etc. Built-In Voice Over/ Screen reading options are available on the iPad and computer, as well as free software, and their are several paid software options, all with pros and cons depending on your needs.

The JAWS for Windows Screenreader product box.
An illustrated image of the Livescribe smart pen, demonstrating its uses - writing, recording, and transmitting to technology devices.

Smart Pen and Note Taking Technologies and Apps

Record Audio and Sync Notes. For use during class or a meeting. Record audio and get back to a specific part of the lecture or meeting instantly. Easily import photos, links, videos, and more. Excellent for note taking and studying. Utilized by individuals who cannot take lengthy notes and listen/ comprehend/ process simultaneously, as well as those with spelling or grammar difficulties, and physical difficulties with handwriting. Bookmark important references, upload visual of notes to computer as well as the audio, share notes and audio with others quickly, add to notes later as you listen to audio.

Refreshable Braille Displays

Utilized by individuals who are Blind and Read Braille. Access all information on the computer, iPad, or iphone by connecting to a refreshable Braille display, and having instant, real-time, refreshable Braille to access the information that is presented on the screen. Refreshable Braille displays offer access to the internet, software, documents, research, email, texting, textbooks, assignments or work, ebooks, iphones, iPads, apps and more in real-time braille to read, as well as the ability to type using the braille keyboard keys.

An image of a braille display.
A communication board

Communication Boards

And Schedule Boards, for individuals to communicate, and to utilize for behavior management, daily schedules, and organization. Communication boards can be hand-made with symbols or photos, and can also be digital and incorporated on an AAC device or iPad for communication. There are many free and paid software programs, apps and websites  to help you create visual schedules and communication books.

Environmental Controls and Smart Home Technology for the Home and Workplace

Supporting Individuals with limited physical mobility to control things in their environment using their voice, eye gaze, touch screens, large switch access and apps.

The systems allow total control of everyday functions such as opening a door, closing a window or answering the phone, as well as turning on/ off lights and running appliances.

It is also possible to control media and entertainment equipment such as television, music, radio, dvd, iPod as well as health/ safety systems such as nurse call and pagers, telephone, security systems and alerts, recline chairs and beds, etc.

Image of a tablet computer with an environmental controls application on the screen.
An image of a tablet computer with mind-mapping software open on the screen.

Mind Mapping, Brainstorming & Graphic Organizers

Many AT options for writing support such as software programs and Apps for mind mapping and brainstorming to organize thoughts. Popplet, Inspiration, Lucid Chart for Education, Tools4Students and others offer the ability to brainstorm ideas, outline, and create visual templates and study guides to use for writing a paper, creating a project, or studying for a test. Others may use the tools for preparing for a meeting, or to use as a presentation visual. There are apps available for tablets, software programs, as well as free apps and extensions in the Chrome Browser. All of these AT tools support  all individuals, including those who experience challenges with executive functioning skills.

Adapted Technology and Workstations

Also referred to as adaptive technology by some, and other adjustable equipment or furniture for access, seating, or mobility may be considered for a student or individual. Adjustable monitors, keyboards, keyboard trays, adaptive mice, large-font keyboards, adjustable tables and chairs, modifications and adaptations to wheelchairs and mobility equipment. All aspects of equal access and proper ergonomics should be considered.

An adapted workstation, including an ergo keyboard and track-ball mouse.
alternative-keyboards

Alternative keyboards and OnScreen Keyboards

Large Font Keyboards with easy to see keys, one-handed keyboards, keyguards and guides for the iPad and AAC devices, apps for customizable on-screen keyboards for computers and tablets, keyboard overlays, bluetooth wireless keyboards, backlit keyboards, and more.

Switch Access

For Individuals with limited physical access. If an individual can consistently move one part of their body- their chin, a finger, a knee, a toe, their head etc., they can use an adapted switch to access the computer, an iPad, an AAC device for communicating,  and other devices such as a phone or appliances. Scanning software may be utilized with the switch for access. Switches can also be utilizedfor mobility. There are bluetooth options for switches, as well as direct connect switches. There are also sip, puff switches available, proximity and light touch switches, large and small switches, joystick switches, and others.

An image of switch access devices.
Kensington Expert Mouse and a Slimblade mouse.

Trackball and Joystick Mouse

There are many types of trackball mice or joystick options for mouse control, for individuals with physical access challenges, who may not be able to use a standard computer mouse. Trackball mice are also used for ergonomic purposes, to avoid strain and injury.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (A.A.C.)

AAC devices (dedicated devices and/or iPads apps ) may be touch-screen, switch access,  or eye-gaze activated. Eye-gaze can also be utilized for computer access and environmental controls, in addition to communication. Head pointing and Switch access are also options for AAC, as well as many apps for the iPad.

A tablet computer with an AAC aug communication app on the screen.
Bone conducting audio headphones made by Aftershoks.

AT for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

For those who are hard of hearing to be able to listen to a lecture or event, or to participate at work or in the community. Amplification systems, captioning, bone conducting headphones and technologies, sign language apps, and more.

Wearable Technology

Smart watches and wearable technologies for reminders, alerts, health monitoring and communication, navigation and tracking, calling and texting and more.

Two smart watches.