As our world embraces technology, individuals with disabilities are benefiting from advances in assistive technology. Assistive technology includes equipment and services that allow individuals with disabilities to overcome barriers in the home, on the job, at school or just about anywhere.
Assistive technology is implemented in forms ranging from low tech, no-cost solutions to more elaborate computer-based solutions. When coupled with a strong support network and experienced and qualified professionals, assistive technology can empower individuals to achieve results never-before thought possible.
A growing industry of assistive technology manufactures and professionals are rapidly developing products that are user-installable, requiring little configuration or training. When these off-the-shelf solutions do not suit an individual's need, professionals are available to create custom-fabricated devices, software and other technologies that are matched to the individual and the task at hand. Examples of assistive technology include:
Assistive technology products are specially designed computer programs and devices chosen specifically to accommodate an individual's disability or multiple disabilities. These products are developed to work with a computer's operating system and software. Some people with disabilities require assistive technology products to effectively use computers while others can adjust accessibility options built into their computer’s operating systems and do not need additional assistive technology.
Compatibility between the operating system, software, and assistive technology products is a critical component of accessible technology. Identify the types of assistive technology products that might be useful and then search the catalog of assistive technology products that are compatible with Windows computers.
Any person who feels his or her life is impaired due to a disability may be able to benefit from assistive technology. Because advances in technology are made daily, new options to improve a person's ability to function independently are increasing rapidly.
State and federal laws determine funding and eligibility requirements. Check with Easterseals in your area for specific information regarding your options.
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Watch: Tips for job seekers with disabilities from a career expert.