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accessibility

Hardware and software technologies that help visually or physically impaired people to use the computer. For example, the Accessibility Options control panel in Windows provides keyboard, mouse and screen options for people who have difficulty typing or seeing the screen. See assistive technology.



assistive technology

Hardware and software that help people who are physically impaired. Often called "accessibility options" when referring to enhancements for using the computer, the field of assistive technology is quite vast and even includes ramp and doorway construction that supports wheelchairs. For more information, visit the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) at www.atia.org.

Enhancements for using the computer include alternative keyboard and mouse devices, replacing beeps with light signals for the deaf, screen magnifiers and text enlargers, as well as systems that form Braille letters from on-screen text. See screen reader, voice recognition, TDD/TTY and accessibility.




A Specialized Keyboard
This IntelliKeys keyboard provides a 24x24 cell matrix that can be custom programmed with oversized keys for children with disabilities. (Image courtesy of AbleNet, Inc., www.ablenetinc.com)






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