The blind and partially sighted are most noted for not just the long white cane, guide dogs and braille but their access technology. Sighted folks are always fascinated by the nifty items a person uses to either navigate (i.e. talking g.p.s.) or a way to use the computer (i.e. zoomtext, jaws or pocket pc devices like the braille note and pacmate.). Every time a stranger sees an access technology item for the first time, they wonder what on earth is it, where/how did the person get it and how much it costs. This section in brief talks about access technology. If you or someone you know is in need of access technology, it is best to seek your local blindness visual services (BVS) or Department of Rehab Services (DORS) field counselor to be set up for an access tech assessment. From there, the person will be fitted or recommended for a specific type of electronic device that will best help them in their daily living or independence.
What is Access Technology?
Assistive technology or adaptive technology (AT) is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to or changed methods of interacting with the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.
Likewise, disability advocates point out that technology is often created without regard to people with disabilities, creating unnecessary barriers to hundreds of millions of people. Even the makers of AT technologies will often still argue that universal design is preferable to the need for AT and that universal design projects and concepts should be continuously expanded.
Wikipedia Article: Access Technology
Items that speak whats on a computer screen to a person with very little to no vision.
- Windows Eyes
Items that enlarge regular text on a computer screen making it easier for the visually impaired to use a computer.
CCTVs & Handheld Magnifyers
- Windows/Mac built in magnifyers
Items that take regular sized print and enlarge it making it easier for the visually impaired to read.
- Portable CCTV
- Bar Magnifyers
- Sheet Magnifyers
- Bubble/Dome Magnifyers
- Light up Magnifyers
Items that speak or make a noise
- Liquid Identifiers
- Blood Preasure/Glucose Monitors
- Books/Magazines on CD/Cartridge
- Speak to Me Catalougs
- Digital Readers (Victor Stream & Book Sense)
- Scanners (Open Book & Kurtzwhile Readers)
- Notetaking Devices (Braille Note & Pacmate)
Items that can be read or identified by touch.
- Braillers & Printers
- Slate & Stylist
- Flash Cards
- Measuring Cups
- Clothing Identifiers
- Games (board/card/puzzle)
- Notetaking Devices (Braille Note & Pacmate w/Braille Display)