Accessibility - Assistive Technology and Adaptive Technology

Assistive Technology and Adaptive Technology

Assistive technology is the creation of a new device that assists a person in completing a task that would otherwise be impossible. Some examples include new computer software programs, and inventions such as assistive listening devices, including hearing aids, and traffic lights with a standard color code that enables colorblind individuals to understand the correct signal.

Adaptive technology is the modification, or adaptation, of existing devices, methods, or the creation of new uses for existing devices, to enable a person to complete a task. Examples include the use of remote controls, and the autocomplete (word completion) feature in computer word processing programs, which both help individuals with mobility impairments to complete tasks. Adaptations to wheelchair tires are another example; widening the tires enables wheelchair users to move over soft surfaces, such as deep snow on ski hills, and sandy beaches.

Assistive technology and adaptive technology have a key role in developing the means for people with disabilities to live more independently, and to more fully participate in mainstream society. In order to have access to assistive or adaptive technology, however, educating the public and even legislating requirements to incorporate this technology have been necessary.

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Famous quotes containing the words technology and/or adaptive:

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    The shift from the perception of the child as innocent to the perception of the child as competent has greatly increased the demands on contemporary children for maturity, for participating in competitive sports, for early academic achievement, and for protecting themselves against adults who might do them harm. While children might be able to cope with any one of those demands taken singly, taken together they often exceed children’s adaptive capacity.
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