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List of Augmentative Technology Devices

By: Karyn Barron 9/26/2011


1. Braille Embossers A Braille Embosser is a special type of printer that transfers printed text into tactile Braille cells. It requires a special type of paper that is much thicker and usually more expensive than regular paper. They require translation programs that can convert text into Braille. This device seems to be a necessity for completing assignments for a blind student. http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/types.aspx 2. Keyboard Filters Keyboard Filters are typing aids that include word prediction utilities and add on spell checkers. They cut down the number of keystrokes that are needed. It is a deriver that is installed that allows the user to get to the letters they need more quickly and more accurately. This would be beneficial to a child with a disability involving muscle control and motor skills. http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/types.aspx 3. Screen readers - Screen readers are devices that essentially read text and even graphics aloud to users. They will also read menus, and control buttons aloud. This is another device that would be very beneficial to the blind. http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/types.aspx 4. Light signaler Light signaler alerts are tools that are very helpful for the hearing impaired. The computer uses a light to signal a user of a function or command rather than a sound. An example given by this website was that of a light flashing when a new e-mail has been received, or a command has completed. http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/types.aspx

5. Screen enlargers - Screen enlargers do just what their name implies. They enlarge portions of the screen so it is easier to read and see. Some enlargers will even allow the person to zoom in our out on specific part of the screen. This would be a great device for a student thats sight is not bad enough for the Embossers or the screen readers. This would be a great tool for a child with a more minor form of sight impairment. http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/types.aspx 6. Speech recognition or voice recognition programs These programs allow people to enter text and give simple commands using their voice instead of using more conventional methods such as a mouse or a keyboard. This program allows users to create documents, compose e-mails, and surf the web with just their voice. This is done with a microphone that is usually attached to the computer. This is another device that would benefit the seeing impaired or those with muscular disabilities. http://dawn.thot.net/cd/4.html#aa


7. Reading tools and learning disabilities programs - Reading tools and learning disabilities programs are great tools for those who are English learners among others. It is composed of software and hardware that make information in text easier to access. Scanning navigating and reformatting are a few options included. This device will also read text aloud. http://dawn.thot.net/cd/4.html#aa 8. Text-to-Speech Text-to-speech synthesizers are a lot like voice recognition software, it takes the information in the form of letters numbers and punctuation being put into the computer and then speaks the information back to the user. This device allows the user to hear what they are typing. It is also a great tool for those that cant speak to communicate through typing. http://dawn.thot.net/cd/4.html#aa 9. Personal Communicators A personal communicator is a program that can be installed on a lap top or a computer. It is similar to the text to speech synthesizers, but what makes this program different is it takes speech and turns it into sigh language that is displayed on the computers screen. This enables a person that is heard of hearing or deaf to still be a part of the class and sit in on lectures and instruction. It is very cost effective, so this would be a wonderful tool to use in almost any educational setting. http://www.abilityhub.com/hearing/index.htm


10. Mouth Stick - A mouth stick is a stick that is placed in the mouth. It is used to perform simple tasks like typing. It has a low cost, and is quite simple to operate. Because of this, it is a widely used technology. This is a great tool for someone that has no use of their hands. And because of its cost, it would be a realistic technology to have and use in a classroom. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 11. Head wands - Head wands are similar to mouth sticks. The difference is the stick or wand is attached to a piece that is placed around the head. A person controls a head wand by moving their head. A person could use a head wand to type or select functions; however, a person can become tired or worn out if excessive key strokes are needed. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 12. Single Switch Access A single switch access is a device that is necessary for those with extreme motor disabilities. A switch can be placed by which ever area of the body a person can move, and a computer program will allow the person to perform a good number of tasks using this switch. A person can even type with a single switch. The program uses functions like auto complete to try and figure the desired word being typed. This is another great device for those who are unable to communicate.

http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 13. Sip and Puff Switch a sip and puff switch is similar to the single switch. Sip and puff switches are able to use a persons breathing as a control mechanism. The device is controlled by doing just as the name suggests. A person can control direction of a wheel chair by blowing out to go forward, or sucking in to go backward. A sip and puff switch can be used for many different things, and can allow a person with very limited mobility to continue doing some of the things they enjoy. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 14. Oversized Trackball Mouse An oversized trackball mouse is a great device that can be used alongside a head wand or mouth stick. They are stable and stay in one place. It is also beneficial to those who suffer from tremors, and those that have no use of their arms. This is because a trackball mouse can be manipulated with a persons foot. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 15. On-screen keyboards - On-screen keyboards are great devices to use in conjunction with head wands or mouth sticks. Because the image of the keyboard is directly on the computer screen, it will allow those using head wands or mouth sticks to see what they are typing, as well as the keys they are looking for. They can also be modified to suit the users specific needs. One option that these keyboards provide is highlighting individual or specific that the user can select. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 16. Adaptive Keyboard Adaptive Keyboards are great. They are keyboards that have many functions that can be specified in accordance with users specific needs. Some have the function of having the areas between the keys raised instead of cut out. Keyboard overlays and special software are also available for those with limited motor ability or muscle control. These keyboards can allow a person to use a fewer amount of keystrokes and still achieve the same results. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive 17. Eye-Tracking - Eye tracking devices are devices that attach to a computer and actually follow a persons eye movements to perform computer based tasks. They are very expensive, so they are not a very practical device for a public school setting. However, they are amazing tools for those who have severe motor disabilities. This device can allow a person who cannot communicate at all to be able to. This is the device that I am choosing to do my presentation on, and I found a video that features a man that is completely paralyzed. All that he is able to move is his eyes, and those movements are very small. The video shows him communication for the first time since the accident that caused his disability. It was amazing to watch. http://webaim.org/articles/motor/assistive


18. Word Prediction Programs - Word Prediction Programs are programs that allow a user to type in only a few letters and it will try to figure out what word the user is wanting. The program will give a few choices that match the letters typed, and the user can pick from the words instead of typing out full words. These programs also contain a function that will allow users to type a number corresponding to the desired word to select that word. Programs such as these can also increase vocabulary skills because of the word prompting function http://www.equalitytechnology.org/adaptive_devices.htm 19. Reading Comprehension Programs - Reading Comprehension Programs are programs that are designed specifically for reading skills. They provide activities, stories, games and many other features. They add to learning by adding things like graphics, and sound. These programs are great tools for those that have a learning disability in reading, and need the extra stimulation, like the sound and graphics, to speed up the learning process for those struggling in the area of reading. http://dawn.thot.net/cd/4.html


20. Watch Minder - the watch minder is a vibrating watch and reminder system. It is a watch with a large face that a user can store specific messages and set a corresponding alarm with the messages. It can be used for children with autism, by imputing the schedule for the day, and setting the alarm to vibrate 5 minutes before it is time to change activities. It can also be set to remind a user to take medicine or things like that. The watch can hold up to 57 different messages and alarms, and the messages can be changed at any time. This device is very cost effective as well. This would be a great tool with those with autism. It provides different methods of alarm as well. It has the function to light up, vibrate, or sound off when the set time is reached. You can mix and match the alarm types as well choosing one, two, or all three alarm types. http://www.abilityhub.com/cognitive/index.htm