Assistive Technology

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Revision as of 16:32, 16 May 2013 by Nsinclair3 (talk | contribs)
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About

Assistive Technology is any item, piece of equipment, product or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

The four main categories of disabilities are visual, hearing, mobility, and cognitive. A variety of assistive technology tools are available to assist individuals with disabilities.

Some of the most commonly used assistive technology tools are:

  • Screen Readers
  • Screen Magnifiers
  • Input devices, such as keyboards, adaptive keyboard, trackball, mouth stick
  • Captions
  • Transcripts
  • Voice Recognition software

(See also Web Accessibility, Universal Design, Section 508 Requirements)

Principles

Screen readers rely on the markup structure of a document to enable navigation.
Websites designed with accessibility in mind are typically more functional and usable for all users.

Techniques

Use headings to provide content structure
Use appropriate structure for lists and tables
Use CSS to style your document

Design for Screen Reader Compatibility

Use a Screen Reader to evaluate your website

Most common screen readers:

JAWS
Window-Eyes

NVDA

VoiceOver

Resources

WebAIM  Creating Semantic Structure

IBM Understanding Accessibility

Motor Disabilities Assistive Technologies

Better Web Browsing: Tips for Customizing Your Computer

Recommendations

Recommendations and suggestions from the AccessIT Community