Assistive Technology Resources

Assistive technology (AT) includes devices and software used by those with impairments of one type or another. This section lists sources for assistive technology as well as agencies that help set the standards for evaluation of AT, agencies that are helping to bring AT to a wider audience, and information about AT in general. User information and discussion groups may also be found here.

NCDB is a national technical assistance and dissemination center for information about deafblindness. While most resources focus on the needs of children and youth, there is wealth of information here in the Adult Services section.

Dedicated to enhancing educational services provided to students under 21 with vision and hearing impairments, this organization provides on-site assistance, support resources to parents and educators. Also in Spanish.

Common concerns about activities daily life, including reading, mobility, recreation, and household management

Source: National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind's Technology Resource List includes links to training provided by the major technology vendors, including Apple, APH, DeWitt, Eyes-Free, Freedom SCientific, Frontier, GW Micro, Handy Tech, Humanware, Maccessibility, Perkins, Rigel, Sendero, and Top Dot.

Source: National Federation of the Blind

A survey of literature in audio format, including audiocassette tapes, CDs, iPods, and digital talking books.

Source: VisionAware

TSBVI offers an overview specific to student use, including technology assessments, training materials, lesson plans, and other technology-related information.  Additional links provided by TSBVI are available in their Resources section.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Begin your understanding of assistive technology with this overview of the tools and devices used by the visually impaired to assist their daily activities.

Source: Paths to Literacy

Practical tips, resources, and innovative ways to help students who are blind or visually impaired make the transition to digital classrooms.  Includes section for and by students to share ideas and ask questions.

Source: Perkins eLearning

Perkins offers AT tutorials and webcasts that are eligible for professional development credits. Subscribe to this collection to receive updates as topics are added.

Source: Perkins School for the Blind

Within educational settings, and the language of IEPs, "assistive technology" has specific legal definitions.  Learn more about the terminology of assistive technology and guidelines for educational settings from TSBVI.

Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

Section 508 requires that electronic and information technology used by federal agencies be accessible to people with disabilities. This website has tutorials, a guide to understanding the law, advice for managers, a marketplace for buying and selling IT equipment, find training, and more.

Click on the Vision - Tech Tutorial, then browse through this list of resources offered by SET-BC, a program of the Canadian Ministry of Education. Their list includes a few unique resources on French language features of Windows and JAWS.

Source: Special Education Technology British Columbia

CWU supports video tutorials to assist instructors and users on assistive technology and augmentative communication. This material is focused on K-22 special education students.

Future Reflections, the publication of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, produced this special issue in 2012, dedicated to access technology for users who are blind.

Source: Future Reflections, 2012

In this 26-page PDF document, the Coalition sets out the basic standards for audio description, with adaptations for description of live events, video, and museums and exhibits.

Source: Audio Descriptions Coalition

A 51 page manual from 2000 full of tips for adapting science experiments for students who are blind or visually impaired. Written by Matthew Dion, Karen Hoffman, and Amy Matter from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. It includes sections on Teaching the Blind and Visually Impaired, General Guidelines for Making Adaptations, Laboratory Adaptations, Specific Experiments, and a Resource List.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

Nathalie de Wit, of Perkins School for the Blind, addresses using assistive technology devices both low tech and high tech to teach basic communication to students who are blind or have low vision with significant multiple disabilities.

Source: Perkins eLearning Webinars

The menu lists articles that describe the wealth of vision aids, assistive technology, and devices available for people with low vision or blindness.

Source: Vision Australia

NFB lists braille and other assistive technology products and applications, with information about the features, system requirements, and prices.

Source: National Federation of the Blind