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Assistive technology

Assistive Technology

By: Kevin Richardson

What is assistive technology
What is assistive technology?

  • Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability (“Assistive Technology” 2015).

  • Assistive technology can be anything from a simple device such as a magnifying glass, to a complex device, such as a computerized communication system (“Assistive Technology” 2015).

Laws regarding assistive technology
Laws Regarding Assistive Technology

  • There are many laws that govern the implementation of assistive technology. A few of those laws are addressed on the following slides.

Americans with disabilities act ada
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • Prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be provided in meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities(“Technology Specific Laws” 2012).

Section 504 of the rehabilitation act
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

  • Section 504 prohibits discrimination based on disability in federally funded and federally conducted programs or activities in the United States, including employment programs (“Technology Specific Laws” 2012).

Assistive technology act of 1998
Assistive Technology Act of 1998 

  • Assistive Technology Act of 1998 Public Law 105-394 [29 USC 2201] The Assistive Technology Act, also known as the “Tech Act” provides funds to states to support three types of programs:

  • the establishment of assistive technology (AT) demonstration centers, information centers, equipment loan facilities, referral services, and other consumer-oriented programs;

  • protection and advocacy services to help people with disabilities and their families, as they attempt to access the services for which they are eligible;

  • Federal/state programs to provide low interest loans and other alternative financing options to help people with disabilities purchase needed assistive technology (“Assistive Technology Laws” 2015).

Assistive technology1
Assistive Technology

  • There are many tools that can be considered assistive technology. Each one is used to assist a learner in getting a quality education.

  • Assistive technology is available to address a variety of needs for learners. A few will be discussed on the following slides.

Hearing impaired
Hearing Impaired

  • Hearing loop (or induction loop) systems use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. A hearing loop system involves four parts:

  • A sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone.

  • An amplifier.

  • A thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out beneath carpeting..

  • A receiver worn in the ears or as a headset (NIDCD, 2014).

Hearing loop or induction loop systems
Hearing loop (or induction loop) systems

Figure 1

[Image of Sound Induction Loop] Retrieved January 22, 2015 from

Seeing impaired
Seeing Impaired

  • Optical character recognition (OCR) technology offers blind and visually impaired persons the capacity to scan printed text and then speak it back in synthetic speech or save it to a computer.

  • There are three essential elements to OCR technology—scanning, recognition, and reading text (AFB, 2014).

Optical character recognition ocr
Optical character recognition (OCR)

Figure 2

  • [Image of Optical Recognition Scanner]. Retrieved January 22, 2015 from

Learning disabled
Learning Disabled

  • Talking Calculator

  • Talking calculators can help students that may have a learning disability. The calculators can read the numbers or symbols aloud to the learner. It can also vocalize the answer to the problem. This auditory feedback can help the student ensure that the correct numbers are pressed (Stanberry, 2010).

Talking calculator
Talking Calculator

Figure 3

[Image of Talking Calculator]. Retrieved January 21, 2015 from

Physically disabled
Physically Disabled

  • Adaptive keyboard 

  • There is a wide variety of alternative keyboards that can help physically disabled students .

  • Some of these are compact, expanded, ergonomic, on-screen, concept, rubber and ABC keyboards (General Medical Council, 2015).

Adaptive keyboard
Adaptive Keyboard

Figure 4

(Kuhn, 2015)


American Foundation for the Blind, AFB. (2014). Optical Character Recognition Systems Retrieved from recognition-systems/1235

Assistive Technology 101. (2015). Retrieved from

Assistive Technology Laws. (2015). Retrieved from

General Medical Council. (2015). Assistive technologies for people with physical impairments. Retrieved from

[Image of Optical Recognition Scanner]. Retrieved January 22, 2015 from character-recognition-pen-scanner.html

[Image of Sound Induction Loop]. Retrieved January 22, 2015 from

[Image of Talking Calculator]. Retrieved January 21, 2015 from

Kuhn, E. (2015). Alphabetically Oriented Keyboard. Retrieved from


National Institute on Deafness and Other Common Disorders, NIDCD. (2014, July 3). Retrieved from

Stanberry, K. & Raskind, M. (2010). Talking Calculators. Retrieved from education/assistive-technology/

Technology Specific Laws and Regulations. (2012) Retrieved from technology/292-assistive-technology-federal-law-andregulations.html