What is assistive technology?

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Assistive technology is any piece of equipment, software, or device, that helps improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. These technologies are not necessarily high-end or expensive to implement but can be very helpful when working or otherwise.

Examples of assistive technologies include:

  • Flexible keyboards: These help reduce discomfort and strain in hands, wrists, shoulders and back (particularly valuable for people with physical disabilities)
  • Screen readers: Translates text and image content into speech or braille (particularly valuable for people with vision disabilities)
  • Hearing loops: Provides a magnetic and wireless signal that is picked up by the hearing aid (particularly valuable for people with hearing disabilities)
  • Voice recognition software: Allows user to operate computer with voice (particularly valuable for people with vision disabilities)
  • Screen clips: Holds paper in place so that strain on neck is reduced when typing from printed document (particularly valuable for people with physical disabilities)

It is useful to identify which technology will be most useful, as there are a range of options available. The government provides financial assistance which may help individuals and employers in obtaining assistive technology for work related and other purposes.

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