Module 6 - Assistive Technology

By: Cory Valasek

My Experience with Assistive Technology

When I first started this project I did not think I have had much experience with assistive technology. However, the more I thought about it the more I realized I use assistive technology often. I have used screen readers on computers, not necessarily because I had to use them but because I was just playing with the computer and figuring out some of its different functions. I have been around people who use wheel chairs. I have used keyboard filters before as a function of my cell phone. They can be very useful, but sometimes can be a nuisance because it uses words you do not want to use. However, on the internet I use them on google all the time and they are very beneficial. Screen magnifiers are a function of cell phones and tablets that can be very helpful. I use it all the time on my phone for different things. We also use projectors everyday for film in football meetings and class. I also have a distant cousin who is low-functioning and uses a chair similar to Ellen in the Youtube video.

An interesting assistive technology tool I ran across and decided to research was an eye-tracking device. It would be considered a communication device. The other assistive technology tool I decided to research was TDD communication for the deaf. It is also a communication device.

Eye-Tracking Devices

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Eye-tracking devices can be very useful for people who have no control or very limited control over their hand movements. These devices allow students to navigate through the web using only eye movements. They also allow students to type. Many include word-completion technology to speed up the process. A negative of this device is that it can be very expensive.

TDD Communication

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TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) allows people who are deaf, hearing impaired, or speech impaired to use a telephone. It is kind of a cross between a fax machine and computer. It displays electronic text as well as prints out a paper with the text used in the conversation. This technology has been available since 1964. Before computers became common in every household I'm sure this device was used often. However, since computers, tablets, and cell phones have become very common, this device is pretty much obsolete today. Its run was similar to a typewriter in that it was very useful for its time, but was taken over by the computer age.