ACCESS TO COMPUTERS
Assistive Technology Solutions provides evaluation and training for individuals requiring alternative computer access methods due to motor, visual, cognitive or learning disabilities. Common hardware and software computer access applications include:
- Speech Recognition: Allow people to give commands and enter data using their voices rather than a mouse or keyboard.
- On-screen keyboard programs: Provide an image of a standard or modified keyboard on the computer screen. The user selects the keys with a mouse, touch screen, trackball, joystick, switch, or electronic pointing device.
- Touch screens: Devices placed on the computer monitor (or built into it) that allow direct selection or activation of the computer by touching the screen.
- Alternative input devices: These allow individuals to control their computers through means other than a standard keyboard or pointing device. They include items such as alternative keyboards, electronic pointing devices, sip-and-puff devices, mouth and head sticks, joysticks and trackballs.
- Screen Readers: Software programs that present graphics and text as speech. A screen reader is used to speak everything on the screen including names and descriptions of control buttons, menus, text, and punctuation.
- Speech Synthesizers: Receive information going to the screen in the form of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, and then “speak&rdquers to review their input as they type.
- Refreshable Braille Displays: Provide tactile output of information represented on the computer screen. The user reads the Braille letters with his or her fingers, and then, after a line is read, refreshes the display to read the next line.
- Braille Embossers: Transfer computer generated text into embossed Braille output. Braille translation programs convert text scanned in or generated via standard word processing programs into Braille, which can be printed on the embosser.
- Talking Word Processors: Software programs that use speech synthesizers to provide auditory feedback.