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.

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

This section of the AFB website features descriptions of adaptive equipment, user tips, and advice on making web sites and computer applications accessible to people who are visually impaired.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind

Published in 2003, these guidelines based on field research address design accommodations for all computer-based testing environments, and reach beyond "alternative testing" for students who might otherwise find computer-based testing a challenge. The authors assert that most testing, in any subject, can be designed in a manner that is universally accessible. Includes bibliography and Appendix of online resources.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. (APH)

Within its collection of resources and strategies, TSBVI includes several online training resources pertaining to assistive technology that we would like to call out:

  •  Evaluating Students for Assistive Technology:  Assistive Technology Evaluation: Computer Access
  • An Introduction to the iPad Using Apple's Native Screen Reader, VoiceOver
  • Using a copier with voice activation
  • MegaDots Braille Translation Software - Using Styles to Format a Document
  • An Introduction to Various Screen Readers with Computers and Accessories
  • An Introduction to the SenseView Duo
Source: Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)

The Carroll Center's Carroll Tech online learning program offers video tutorials on Apple's iOS devices like iPhone and its accessibility applications.

Source: The Carroll Center for the Blind

Descriptions of the specialties of eye care professionals: ophthalmologist, optometrist, low vision specialist, optician, and orthoptist; links for locating a specialist.

Source: VisionAware

The Hadley School for the Blind offers online technology related courses to students worldwide. The curriculum includes basic Internet, word processing, spreadsheet instruction, and screen reader courses.

Source: The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired

NIMAS is a national technical standard that requires learning materials be made accessible to students with print disabilities as quickly as possible. All NIMAS sources are easily converted into braille, audio, large print, and digital text. 

Source: National Center on Accessible Educational Materials

The Purchase Accessible Learning Materials (PALM) Initiative was launched to influence publishers and developers. Institutions' collaboration will increase demand and availability of accessible learning materials.

Source: National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials

Founded in the 1970's, the Trace Center works to standardize accessibility features world wide, "in order to create a world that is as accessible and usable as possible for as many people as possible."

Lists training programs for people who want to become Assistive Technology specialists and trainers; programs are offered by educational institutions, adult learning organizations, and manufacturers.

Source: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

This webcast, produced in partnership with CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology), outlines the principles of Universal Design for Learning and curriculum reform.

Source: Perkins eLearning, Perkins School for the Blind

In this five-page article, Mary Bethé Neely describes a study whose focus "was to determine whether accommodations could be generalized to meet the needs of a larger number of students based on the type of their disabilities while still taking into consideration specific safety issues for each student."

Source: Journal of Chemical Education

VIBUG is the Visually Impaired and Blind User Group, serving blind and visually impaired computer users in Massachusetts. NOTE: Membership costs $20 per year per person.

APH has assembled a large list of manufacturers' informational videos and webcasts, including software demos, product information, user's manuals, and product support.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

Educator Denise Robinson shares many dozens of videos of hands-on assistive technology lessons. Some lessons are basic, others at the mastery level. Use the search field to find the product for which you need tutoring.

Source: Denise Robinson YouTube Channel

Vision questionnaire forms for the parent interview process.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

Having trouble getting the Apple Voiceover feature to work for you?  Suspect you are only using a small fraction of its capability?  Try these FREE Video tutorials and learn screen navigation, gestures, Apple TV, BookShare and VizWiz.

Source: Carroll Center for the Blind

W3C works to establish standards and criteria for universal Internet accessibility that web designers from any part of the globe can use.