Assistive Technology Sitemap - Page 1 2016-09-26

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to a wide range of communications methods designed for people whose ability to use spoken or written language is restricted or impaired. The term encompasses many types of physical and cognitive disabilities and many communications solutions, both low- and high-tech – from spelling words on a magnetic board using plastic letters to computer synthesized speech. This section profiles products extending AAC to those with mobility impairments.

Assistive Technology for Reading, Writing, & Communicating
Most learning disabilities affect one’s ability to understand written and spoken language. There are many technologies that can make writing, pronouncing, and understanding words more efficient and rewarding. This section explores software and hardware solutions designed to help students with cognitive impairments develop the word skills necessary to read and express themselves in writing. Topics include voice recognition, word prediction, audiobook and OCR players, and smartpens.

Speech Generating Devices
Speech generating devices (SGD) are devices that produce electronic voice output using speech synthesis software, usually installed on a notebook computer, tablet, or other portable device. SGDs enable persons with severe speech impairments to communicate verbally and interact with others. Notable SGD users include physicist Stephen Hawking, whose public has become associated with the voice synthesizer he’s used for decades. Both computers and people are used to produce speech.

Accessible Book Publishers
Print disabilities such as dyslexia need not limit a student’s reading development. Many institutions produce accessible texts, including recorded and DAISY audiobooks. Most books are online, downloadable, and free to qualifying students.

Literacy Software
Many applications can help students with learning disabilities read and write more effectively. Most combine literacy tools such as text-to-speech, dual-color highlighting, word prediction, and built-in dictionaries to teach how to properly spell, pronounce, and use words -- support that inspires confident and competent self-expression.

Mobile Literacy Apps
Mobile education apps can help students with learning disabilities improve their reading and writing skills. Some apps are designed to play DAISY audiobooks; others combine technologies such as text-to-speech, word prediction, and spell check to help in the composition of error-free essays, text- and email messages.

Top Alternative & Augmentative Communication iPad Apps
Mobile apps for the iPad are rapidly replacing dedicated devices for alternative & augmentative communication (AAC). Learn more.

How to Use Apple's Zoom Magnification
Zoom is a screen magnifier Apple has built into its Mac and iOS devices that enlarges what's displayed onscreen. Learn more.​

The Latest News in Assistive Technology
The latest news on assistive technology, from Braille, to nonverbal communication devices through electronic study aids and more.

Blind & Visually Impaired
Technology makes computers accessible to people who can’t see, or who have trouble seeing the keyboard and monitor. This page explores solutions that enable computers to talk, scan and read documents, and make onscreen items bigger and easier to see. It also covers braille translation programs, portable braille and magnification devices, and players for audiobooks in special formats.

Communications Technology for People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
People who are deaf or hard of hearing have many high-tech communications options. This page profiles established and leading-edge products for keeping in touch via text or sign language, including: text and captioned telephones, text message services, videoconferencing solutions, visual alerts for computers and portable devices, and deafblind communications technology.

Braille Technology
Braille is a coded language of raised dots that blind people read with their fingers. Each braille character or cell is a six-dot matrix. Picture an upside-down muffin tin. Raising dots in each cell forms letters, numbers, and symbols. Before the Internet, braille writing was done by hand using a slate and stylus or braillewriter. Digital technologies, including translation software, refreshable displays, and PDAs now enable braille users to read, write, and share documents far more efficiently.

Assistive Technology for Math & Science Classes
Assistive technologies designed to help students learn math include electronic math worksheets, software programs, interactive graphics, virtual manipulatives, talking calculators, portable math processors, and games. This section reviews high-tech solutions designed to make mathematical concepts easier to understand.

Accessibility in the iPhone
Built-in accessibility features and the development of thousands of specialized apps have made Apple’s iPhone extremely popular among persons with disabilities. Assignable ringtones create an audible caller ID for the blind; TTY and closed caption support benefit deaf and hard of hearing users; voice dialing and a hands-free speakerphone aid the mobility impaired. This section explores the iPhone’s accessibility features, including VoiceOver and Zoom, and reviews disability-specific apps.

Alerting Systems
Alerting systems increase safety, awareness, and connectedness in the day-to-day lives of the deaf and hard of hearing. Such systems provide visual cues or vibrations to let one know if someone is at the door, if the phone is ringing, or if a carbon monoxide or smoke detector goes off. There are alerts for individual products and house-wide systems. This section covers them all.

Options for Reading Digital Audiobooks
Many blind and visually impaired people read using audiobooks. Major providers, including Learning Ally and the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (NLS), use non-commercial audio formats (in accordance with copyright laws) that can only be played on special equipment. The NLS, creator of Talking Books, provides free DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) book players to qualified borrowers. This section explores the most popular playback options.

Screen Reading Software
This page covers screen readers--software that speaks aloud everything on a computer, including content in files and on web pages, keyboard entries, and navigation commands.

Screen Magnification Software
Screen magnification programs enable visually impaired computer users to enlarge what's on the monitor. Adjusting color, brightness, and contrast can further enhance visibility. Most programs enable users to zoom in and out with a keyboard command or flick of the mouse wheel.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
What happens when a blind student has to read a book chapter or handout that's not on their computer or online? They use optical character recognition (OCR) technology. OCR solutions scan and convert printed words into electronic text that the student reads with a screen reader or braille display. Some OCR software requires a scanner; other products capture page images with a camera that connects to the computer. This page explores popular OCR solutions.

Braille Embossers
Embossers are printers that produce the raised dots on braille paper that blind people can read with their fingers. Most embossers use tractor-feed braille paper that measures either 8 ½” by 11” or 11 ½” by 11”. Some print on one side only; other on both, creating what’s called interpoint braille. Prices for small-volume embossers can range from $1,800 to $5,000. Larger embossers can cost as much as $80,000.

Braille PDAs
Braille PDAs (Person Digital Assistants), or note-takers are portable computers that provide blind users with varying degrees of functionality for creating, accessing, and sharing information. Most have a braille keyboard, translator, and speech synthesizer; some have refreshable displays. Depending on the model, users can take notes, send and receive email, download documents from their computer, and browse the web. Braille PDAs range from $1,500 to $5,000.

Braille Translation Software
Braille translation software converts electronic files into braille that can be read on a refreshable display or printed on a braille embosser (printer). Though many screen access programs provide braille output, there are programs designed for specialized braille notation such as music. The formatting of captions, tables, and graphs also varies with each translation program.

Clocks, Watches, and Timers
People who are deaf or hard of hearing usually need alternative methods for knowing when the kitchen timer or alarm clock goes off. This section profiles and reviews specialized timing devices, including vibrating watches, alarm clocks with bed shakers, and timers with visual alerts.

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) Products
A Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) is any of several electronic devices used to send text messages over telephone lines. People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech difficulties communicate using TDDs. Most devices have small screen and QWERT keyboards to facilitate text conversations. Popular TTDs include text (TTY), voice carry over (VCO) and captioned telephones.

Hearing Aids & Enhancers
This section reviews and profiles products associated with hearing protection and enhancement, including hearing aid accessories such as batteries and testers, cochlear implant patch cords and receivers, headsets, hearing protectors, noise reduction earphones, amplifiers, and personal sound enhancers.

Magnification Hardware
While software that enlarges what’s on a computer monitor is helpful, many things blind and visually impaired people wish to read cannot be accessed via computer. Such items might include books, periodicals, printed programs, class handouts, photocopies, comics, and greeting cards. To view these, many blind people use devices such as closed circuit televisions (CCTV) and portable electronic magnifiers.

Personal Communicators
Personal Communicators are high-tech devices that combine computer, video, and TTY technology with specialized software to provide alternative communications methods for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who speak only sign language. Communications methods might include text messaging between devices, streaming web video with sigh language interpretation, and programs that translate spoken English into American Sign Language. This section examines all such products.

Refreshable Braille Displays
A refreshable braille display is an electronic device that converts text or speech into a line of braille characters called cells. The device raises or retracts plastic pins to form the six dots of a braille cell. The display line usually 40 or 80 braille characters. The user reads a line of braille, and then pushes the Advance button to display the next, i.e. “refreshing” the line.

Dynavox Maestro Speech Generating Device
The DynaVox Maestro is a portable, electronic speech generating device that enables persons with speech disabilities to communicate using text, symbols, and synthetic speech.

Pebble - Portable Video Magnifier and Reading Aid
Enhanced Vision’s Pebble is a portable video magnifier that enlarges from 2x to 10x and has a

SmartView 360 Video Magnifier
HumanWare's SmartView 360 is a desktop video magnifier that enables low-vision users to enlarge text and images during close reading or distance viewing thanks to its adjustable Sony auto-focus digital camera.

Read&Write GOLD 11 for PC
Texthelp’s Read&Write Gold 11 for PC is a customizable toolbar that sits atop Windows applications and provides features to help students with print disabilities read, research, and write more effectively.

Get Accessible College Textbooks
Finding accessible textbooks is crucial to academic success for many college students with disabilities. Solutions abound, but integrating them can be confusing and time-consuming. Diana Petschauer, who runs the Assistive Technology lab at the University of New Hampshire, offers four simple suggestions to help print-disabled readers find what they need quickly and consistently.

Trekker Breeze Talking GPS Handheld for Blind Persons
HumanWare's Trekker Breeze is a handheld GPS device for blind travelers that speaks information about their surroundings, including street names, upcoming intersections, and nearest address being passed.

Accessible Cell Phones and Apps for Notepads and Other Mobile Devices
Disabled people on the go use mobile devices as much as anybody. Apple and Google now build accessibility into the iPhone and Android products. Whether your disability affects vision, hearing, or mobility, there are product features and apps to make your smart phone, netbook, or e-book reader more accessible. This page shows you how to use your mobile devices where and when you need to.

Avaz Pro Helps Autistic Children Develop Communication Skills
Avaz is a picture-based augmentative communication app for Android & iOS that helps nonverbal children develop language and communication skills.

Free Windows Software to Make PC More Accessible
The University of Athens has created an online directory where persons with disabilities can download free Windows software to make their PC more accessible.

Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)
Closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) enlarge images of items captured with a camera and display them on a monitor. Controls enable users to further enhance images by adjusting size, color, and contrast. Most models have a sliding tray that sits under the camera on which users arrange what they wish to view. Cameras on some models can extend to enlarge distant objects, such as writing on a blackboard.

Portable Video Magnifiers
Portable video magnifiers, sometimes called mini CCTVs, are pocket-sized electronic devices that can enlarge text and images, sometimes as much as 11 times, giving users instant reading access virtually anywhere. Like CCTVs, video magnifiers use cameras. Some models enable users to capture and save images with a single click – ideal for note taking or research.

Symbian (Nokia) Accessibility Features
Nokia smart phones have many accessibility features. Their video speed and resolution facilitate sign language conversations; most Nokia phones are TTY, closed caption, and hearing aid compatible; other features for the deaf and hard of hearing include adjustable ringer pitch and volume and visual and vibrating call notifications. Nokia phones also feature a text-to-speech Message Reader; magnifier, Font Zoomer, voice dialing, and dished keys to enable mouthstick dialing.

Accessibility in the iPad
Apple’s iPad 2 is a tablet computer designed for multimedia, including e-books, periodicals, music, movies, video, and games. It also supports FaceTime video calling. The iPad’s portability, high-resolution touch-screen, and built-in accessibility features are making it a key piece of assistive technology for students who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing, learning disabled, or mobility impaired. This section covers key accessibility features and apps and profiles the iPad’s educational uses.

Google Android Accessibility
Accessibility features built into the Google Android 2.0 (clair) mobile operating system include Digital Zoom, a screen reader and multi-lingual text-to-speech (TTS), and an improved virtual keyboard layout that makes hitting the right letters easier. The Droid phones, available from Verizon or Motorola, also have hi-rez touch screens and provide spoken, auditory, and haptic (vibrating) feedback through special apps called TalkBack, SoundBack, and KickBack.

RIM BlackBerry Accessibility
BlackBerry has many features that make its smart phones easier to use. Its Clarity theme has large-text icons, high- and reverse-contrast screen settings; and a backlit LED display. BlackBerry phones and tablets are also closed caption and hearing aid compatible. Its SurePress touchscreen, shortcut keys, and built-in predictive text and spell-check make accurate typing easier. Assignable ringtones create an audible caller ID; the Torch also features voice dialing and speakerphone.

Windows Phone Accessibility
The Windows Phone has built-in accessibility features that make it easier to see, hear, and use. Users can adjust the phone's brightness and visual scheme or use it with a TTY or hearing aid. The phone supports voice commands, voice dialing of synced email and Facebook contacts, and “pinning” of contacts to Start for quick access. It also features text prediction for faster typing and the ability to zoom in on apps and web pages using gestures.

MathPad
MathPad is a program for Mac and Windows that enables students to organize, format, and solve basic math problems on their computer. MathPad provides audio feedback and auto-navigation that can help students who struggle to do math on paper.

Smartphone and Service for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Project  RAY and Odin Mobile offer America’s first accessible smartphone and full cell coverage designed specifically for persons who are blind or visually impaired.

Turn an iPad 3 Into a CCTV With the EyeSight App
EyeSight from SightTech is a mobile app that turns any Apple iOS device into a portable electronic magnifier for blind and visually impaired users.

Select a Text Document to Convert
To use RoboBraille, click

Select output format
Once you choose the file to be converted, specify the format you want RoboBraille to convert it into.

Specify Audio Options, enter email address, and submit
When converting a text document to an audio file, RoboBraille will ask you to select the appropriate language and playback speed, add your email, and submit.

Get receipt, check email, and access your document
Once your conversion request is processed, RoboBraille issues a receipt. Users then check their email and follow the link to the new accessible file.

Things to Keep in Mind
Tips for using RoboBraille. Assistive Technology.

I-MerSee Accessible Social Networking Portal for the Blind
iMersee is an accessible social network for blind and visually impaired persons that also provides access to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds.

Desktop Video Magnifiers
Video magnifiers enable people with vision loss to easily enlarge newspapers, bills, bank statements, pill bottles, and photographs as much as needed for reading, writing, and viewing.

Autism Communication Apps for iOS
Communications apps enable autistic and other non-verbal persons to generate speech by pressing images or typing words on their iOS device.

Speech Generating Devices
Speech generating devices (SGDs) give nonverbal persons tools to communicate, e.g. word & symbol libraries they can tap and voice via text to speech.

The iPad is the Ideal Learning Tool for Visually Impaired
The iPad is especially accessible to blind & visually impaired students and -- says Tara Mason -- is a remarkably robust, low-cost, low-vision aid.

ZoomText for Mac
ZoomText Mac, developed by Ai Squared, is screen magnification software for the Mac (OS X 10.7 and up). The program also provides enhancement tools to adjust contrast, maintain clarity to enlarged text (font smoothing), and make the cursor and mouse pointer easier to locate.

Chorded Keyboards
A chorded keyboard (or keyset) is a device that enables full keyboard input from a small number of keys. Keys are pressed in various combinations to from letters execute commands. Keysets are designed for one-handed typing to aid those with limited mobility or dexterity. Fewer keys also make creating accessible mobile devices easier.

Footmice
A footmouse enables users to move a mouse pointer and execute other functions such as clicking using their feet. A footmouse consists of floor pedal – one that either tilts or lies flat and slides. Footmice are ideal for people with limited use of hands or who have back and shoulder problems. Some non-disabled people also use them to increase productivity by freeing the hands to type without having to reach for the mouse.

Keyboard and Key Variations
There are many alternatives to the QWERTY keyboard. There are specialized keyboards and ways to modify a standard keyboard to make it easier to use. This section explores the various options mobility impaired persons have for entering text and commands into a computer

LOMAK Keyboards
A LOMAK (Light Operated Mouse And Keyboard) is a simplified keyboard set vertically by a computer monitor that enables input from a head-mounted or handheld laser pointer. A LOMAK plugs into a USB port and requires no software. The keyboard has three circles of keys each encircling a Confirm sensor; setup and control keys are in a horizontal bar below. Keys light up when selected and are entered when users hit Confirm. Keyboard commands also control mouse clicks and pointer and cursor movement.

Onscreen Keyboards
An onscreen keyboard enables users to enter data by selecting keys or characters displayed on the monitor. Input to onscreen keyboards can be done using a mouse, pointing device, switch, or, if one has a touch screen monitor, by touching the keys onscreen. Onscreen keyboards are now built into both the Apple and Windows operating systems.

Sip-and-Puff Input Devices
With sip-and-puff (SNP) switches, users sip (inhale) or puff (exhale) air through a special tube. Pressure changes activate and control devices, such as movement of a motorized wheelchair or a computer mouse. Sip-and-puffs are designed for people who lack use of their hands, including quadriplegics and ALS patients. Sip-and-puff input combined with scanning software and a pointing device can make most computer functions accessible.

Switches
Those with sever physical and cognitive impairments can input computer data using a switch that replaces mouse and keyboard functions. Switches can be designed for activation by almost any physical action or part of the body. Touching, pressing, kicking, and blinking are common switch-control methods. A special interface is required to connect a switch to a computer. This section profiles the variety of switches available to make computers and environment control devices more accessible.

Touchscreens
Touchscreens are interactive visual displays that can receive input from direct touch, such as by a finger, wand, or stylus. Touchscreens eliminate the need for a mouse or other intermediate device. This immediacy can make using a computer far easier for one with limited dexterity.

Wands, Laser Pointers, and Eye Tracking
This section explores the many types of pointing devices a mobility impaired person can use instead of a mouse to execute computer functions. Products covered include wands and pointing sticks, laser and light pens, head and eye-tracking technologies, and joysticks.

Handheld Video Magnifiers
Handheld video magnifiers are pocket-sized CCTVs that provide an on-the-go reading aid that enable persons with low vision enlarge text and images virtually anywhere, including stores, libraries, and restaurants. Most models have a freeze frame function for temporary image capture; others let users store and transfer multiple image files.

Assistive Technology as “Reasonable Accommodation”
If you need an assistive device to perform a job you’re qualified for, your employer must provide it under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA mandates employers provide “reasonable accommodations.” Disabled employees, however, must make formal requests. Employers have options on how to provide solutions and may qualify for federal funding and tax deductions for accessibility renovations. It’s important to know your right to make such requests and to make them when needed.

OCR Reading Machines
Standalone OCR reading machines convert text to speech in seconds for people who just want to read, but who either don’t need or want to use a computer. Such devices are ideal for reading mail, the newspaper, and books. This section explores these types of read-only machines.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities
Many disability organizations, government agencies, manufacturers, and nonprofits award scholarships to students with disabilities. Most scholarships are for the college or graduate school bound, but opportunities to participate in enrichment programs – such as internships, specialized summer camps, or contests -- also exist. Sometimes, assistive technology is the prize, e.g. the PacMate Pocket PC awarded to winners of the Braille Challenge.

Social Security Administration
Though not a direct funding source for assistive technology, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefits that enable many persons with disabilities to support themselves and lead independent lives. For assistive devices, SSA work incentives such as the Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) allow disabled people to set aside funds to purchase work-related aids without affecting monthly benefits.

Special Education
Schools buy assistive technology for disabled students in special education programs. Usually, justification for devices and how they’ll be used are outlined in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). If a student does not qualify for, or refuses special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides a path to procuring assistive devices. Schools lose federal funding if they discriminate against a student with a disability.

Vocational Rehabilitation
Vocational Rehabilitation provides resources to help disabled students become self-sufficient adults. This includes subsidizing college tuition and providing adaptive devices and training. After college, Transition Programs assist students with job placement and training, sometimes including assistive devices in an Individualized Transition Plan.

Accessibility in the Windows Phone
The Windows Phone has built-in accessibility features that make it easier to see, hear, and use. Users can adjust the phone's brightness and visual scheme or use it with a TTY or hearing aid. The phone supports voice commands, voice dialing of synced email and Facebook contacts, and “pinning” of contacts to Start for quick access. It also features text prediction for faster typing and the ability to zoom in on apps and web pages using gestures.

Captioning Technologies
Now that we know what the main types of captions are and how each is used, let’s look at the technologies used to create them. Even those onscreen words requires far more than a keyboard to transcribe dialog. And captioning taped TV programs is far different from making live broadcasts accessible. This section profiles the technologies that enable captioning, broadcast standards, types of captioning services and the companies that provide them, and consumer products.

Closed Captions in Broadcast Media
How often do you hear “Closed captioning provided by…” while watching a TV program? How often do captions appear on your screen? This section talks about accessing captions: the equipment needed, how to find captioned content, and how to turn captions on and off. Media covered include TV, DVDs, web videos, digital media players, accessible movie theaters, and captioning at live events.

Disability Organizations
Disability organizations are a great resource for learning what assistive devices are available, where to find them, and how to use them. Some organizations manufacture products; others resell. Some offer special pricing, financing options, and opportunities to buy used products in good condition. Many organizations publish classified ads on their websites and in newsletters.

Assistive Technology Grant & Loan Programs
There are many low-interest loan programs that can help persons with disabilities purchase assistive technology. Many states have offices to administer programs established under the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (PL 100-407). The law provides funding for assistive technology information and training. Check with your state’s Technology Act Office to learn what programs are available.

Microsoft Accessibility Resource Centers
Persons with disabilities wishing to explore what Windows has to offer can find Microsoft Accessibility Resource Centers located throughout the U.S. The Centers’ experts match users with the right assistive technology products, provide demonstrations and accessibility tutorials, and address technical issues users might face.

Pointers and Mouse Variations
Using a mouse can range from tedious and time consuming to excruciating and impossible for persons with mobility impairments. Fortunately, there are many assistive devices that hands-free pointer manipulation. These include specialized mice; laser pointing devices, and switches activated using many different motions or parts of the body. This section covers the wide range of input technologies and devices that provide alternatives for using a standard mouse.

State & Federal Programs
Most assistive technology a disabled person needs for education and employment is available for free through federally mandated programs such as Special Education and Vocational Rehabilitation. It is vital to know whom to contact, how programs work – especially their role in supplying assistive devices – and what your rights are. Most federal programs are administered at the state level. Your state’s Department of Education is a great place to start.

Text Telephones (TTY)
TTY phones enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired to converse via text over landlines and cell phones. Both callers need a TTY to communicate. Unlike text messaging, TTY phones support synchronous conversation, i.e. real-time, but in written rather than spoken words. This page reviews popular TTY devices, including portable, public, printing, and mobile TTY phones as well as smart phone apps.

Voice Carry Over Phones
VCO telephones enable a person to use their own voice when making calls and read responses the other caller types using a TTY phone. Calls are placed through a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS).This page explores types of VCO call services and reviews popular phone models.

Types of Captioning
What’s the difference between closed and open captions? And what about subtitles – where do they fit in? This section defines the main types of captioning, explores similarities and differences, and talks about how and where each form of captioning is used.

Voice Recognition
Operating a computer via voice command is becoming a popular alternative to using a mouse and keyboard -- for mobility impaired persons and other disabilities. Voice recognition software enables users to dictate documents, navigate the computer, run applications, and browse the web without touching anything. Popular programs such as Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking are becoming faster, more accurate, and, some believe, making all other input devices obsolete.

Alternative Format Book Publishers
Visually impaired readers can access books in alternative formats such as DAISY audio and web braille from several key sources. With most, you must apply for membership and provide proof of a print disability, e.g. from a low-vision specialist. Most are free; some charge annual fees. Some also convert requested books into accessible format.

Playback Equipment for DAISY Audio & Specially Formatted Books
Many books in alternative formats require special players to restrict access to copyrighted material to persons with documented print disabilities such as blindness. Some players support one proprietary format; others play many types of files, e.g. DAISY, MP3, commercial audio, and text. Some players are free to qualified readers; others are available through agencies that serve the disabled.

Mobile Apps for Reading DAISY and Commercial Audiobooks
Increasingly, blind and visually impaired readers are reading e-text and audiobooks on their smartphones or tablets rather than a dedicated player. Most publishers of accessible books offer mobile apps that enable members to download, play, and store books from their online library.

Magnification Apps for Mobile Devices
There are mobile apps that can turn one’s smartphone or tablet screen into a video magnifier using the device’s built-in camera, light, and processor. Such apps provide most of the same functions found in handheld CCTVs, though image quality depends on the device’s components. Apps are far cheaper than dedicated devices.

Accessibility in Apple TV
Apple TV is a receiver that transfers digital content from an iPad or other Internet source onto a high-definition TV. It supports content from such sources as iTunes, Netflix, YouTube, and MobileMe. The device also supports Apple accessibility features VoiceOver and Zoom, enabling visually impaired persons to easily transfer what’s on their iPad, whether a video or photo album, to the larger screen for easier viewing. This section explores Apple TV accessibility features.

Accessibility in Mac OS X
Mac OS X version 10.6, called Snow Leopard, is the operating system that runs Apple’s desktop computers, including the iMac, Mac mini, Mac Pro, and MacBook line. Mac OS X has many built-in accessibility features to help users who are blind and visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, learning disabled, or mobility impaired. This section explores all the now-standard features that make the Mac easier to see, hear, and control.

Accessibility in the iPod touch
The iPod touch, Apple’s portable PDA, media player, and game console, is the first iPod with wireless access to the iTunes and App stores. This section covers accessibility features built into the iPod touch, including its high-contrast display, magnification, touch screen, closed-caption support, and voice controls.

Alternative Computer Input Devices
Computer work on commands users enter with a mouse or keyboard. Even a simple action, e.g. launching a browser to open a bookmarked website, requires pointing, double-clicking, and selecting. There’s no writing and little thought. But for the mobility impaired, such tasks are often impossible. Fortunately, there are a number of alternative ways one can enter data and commands into a computer. This section examines the main types of data input devices and profiles the most popular products.

Windows Internet Explore Accessibility
Users of Internet Explorer 9 can customize the program to work with a screen reader or voice recognition software. You can also zoom in on web content, and make text on printed pages easier to read by eliminating background colors. IE also provides keyboard shortcuts and keyboard-controlled web browsing.

Microsoft Office Accessibility
Microsoft Office 2010 promotes universal access through Accessibility Checker – a utility spots content that may be hard for some persons with disabilities to read or use. The programs enable users to add alternative text to pictures, tables, and graphs; use text-to-speech to hear documents read aloud, and add closed captions to audio and video files included in PowerPoint presentations. You can also create accessible PDF files and save files in accessible formats, such as DAISY.

Assistive Technology for Outlining & Organizing Ideas
This section reviews products designed to teach learning disabled students how to think clearly and organize their thoughts. Topics include concept mapping software, graphic organizers and outlining, personal information systems, freeform databases, and related tools -- solutions that aid students in processing and applying knowledge.

Microsoft Windows Accessibility Overview
Microsoft Windows (including Windows 7, Vista, and XP) have built-in features designed to make a PC easier to see, hear, and use. This section profiles Windows accessibility features and shows users how to activate and use them. Topics covered include Windows’ Ease of Access Center, which helps users identify key features such as Magnifier (which enlarges what’s one the monitor), Narrator (a screen reader), speech recognition, and the On-Screen Keyboard.

Windows-Supported Assistive Technology Programs
The PC’s popularity has resulted in many assistive technology programs being built for Windows compatibility. This section profiles and reviews accessibility software designed to help disabled computer users. Product types include: screen readers, voice recognition, large-print word processors, magnification programs, braille displays and embossers, alternative input devices, and TTY conversion modems.

Accessible Apps & Computer Resources
Mobile technology offers seniors many new ways to connect with loved ones and access information and services that can make life a little less stressful. The Jitterbug J cell phone, with its large number keys, bright screen, and powerful speaker, offers services such as Medication Reminder and LiveNurse; there are phones that show caller name and picture; and a growing number of apps, including WebMD Mobile and Dragon Dictation. The section also includes tutorials on technology access and use.

Captioning in the Workplace
Closed captions are about inclusion and making messages accessible to all coworkers and potential customers. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 broadened corporate America’s embrace of closed captioning. More recently, digital technology and the trend towards universal design and accessibility prompt their presence in corporate communications. This section provides resources and tutorials on creating captions for various types of content.

Talking Products for Communication
Products that talk to us can sometimes make it easier to talk with others. This section looks at communications products such as talking telephones and caller IDs, auto-dialers, voice-activated smart-phone apps, and screen access software that reads emails and instant messages.

Talking Products for Personal Maintenance
Talking products for personal maintenance include such things as watches, pedometers, compasses, GPS navigation systems, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, thermometers, medication organizers, bathroom scales, color and currency identifiers, thermometers, and weather forcasters. This section offers product profiles, reviews, and user stories.

Personal Monitoring Systems
Devices that let loved ones know where you are or that enable you to contact help when needed provide peace of mind. This section profiles personal monitoring and tracking products and services. There are many types: some are designed for personal safety; others, for medical emergencies. Some products facilitate spoken communication; some enable others to find you. Such products promote autonomy as much as safety.

Talking Household Products
This section covers talking products one might regularly use at home. Examples include alarm clocks, kitchen scales, timers, measuring cups, meat thermometers, labelers, tape measures, calculators, reading machines, thermostat controls, and tire gauges.

Speech Recognition Software
This section provides profiles, reviews, tutorials, and tips on the major types of speech recognition products. Programs such as Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking can be used to dictate text. Others, including speakQ, combine speech recognition with other technologies to help users write more effectively. Other applications enable navigation, communication, or program use through voice commands. In all products, accessibility via voice is designed to enhance productivity.

Captioned Telephones
Captioned telephones route calls through captioning services where spoken words are translated into written text displayed on the phone’s window. Like VCO phones, captioned phones are popular among people who can speak but cannot hear well. Text messages are created with voice recognition rather than callers typing. Captioning is free; it’s funded by Telecommunications Relay Service under of Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Talking Products for Media & Entertainment
This section covers talking products relating to entertainment. For TV viewers, this includes talking remote control devices, set top boxes, and software that enables accessible viewing on a computer. Descriptive video services, for TV, movie theaters, DVDs, and the web are also explored.

Tech Products for Daily Tasks
Technology addresses many daily challenges seniors face – from reading the mail to remembering if they’ve taken or reordered medication. Products that enlarge or read text aloud, signal mail delivery, automate tasks, or provide reminders can be all one needs to maintain independence. This section profiles technologies such as reading machines, smart pill bottles and medicine cabinets, talking clocks, thermostats, and blood-pressure meters, and voice-activated appliances.

Voice-Controlled Technologies
This section profiles and reviews high-tech products (excluding speech recognition software) that operate via voice command. Examples include stereo components, entertainment systems, remote control devices, add-on voice controls, telephones, auto-dialers, answering machines, recorders, light switches, and Bluetooth devices.

Accessibility Features Built Into Apple OS X and iOS X Products
Apple has built accessibility features into its operating systems for the Mac OS X, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch + iTunes. The functions help users with vision-, hearing-, and mobility impairments and persons with learning disabilities. They include a screen reader called VoiceOver, a screen magnifier called Zoom, closed captioning, iChat videoconferencing, word completion, and text-to speech.

Accessibility Features Built into Microsoft Windows Operating Systems
Microsoft has built accessibility features into its Windows operating system and many of its applications, including Microsoft Office 2010. This page covers Accessibility Checker, used to create accessible Office documents. Other topics include Active Accessibility 2.0, SharePoint’s More Accessibility Mode (MAM), and accessibility shortcuts that work most Windows-based applications.

Suggestions and Strategies for Purchasing Assistive Technology Solutions
Most assistive technology costs more than tech products aimed at the general public. Fortunately, disabled people have more buying options. Funding sources covered on this page include Special Education, Vocational Rehabilitation, technology grants and loans, programs from disability organizations, employer accommodations, philanthropic organizations, and tax credits and deductions on purchases.

Technology for Persons with Dyslexia and Other Cognitive Impairments
This page covers products designed to help those with learning disabilities and cognitive impairments to learn to read, write, and process information more effectively. Solutions include text-to-speech and word completion software, utilities that simplify computer navigation, cognitive software applications, and digital audiobook services and playback equipment.

Computer Technology For Persons with Limited Motor Skills
If you’re unable to, or have difficulty using a standard keyboard and mouse, this page explains different accessibility options for computers. Such things as alternative keyboards, touch screens, Morse code input switches, head and eye-actuated pointing devices, and speech recognition software give people with mobility impairments full access to computer and Internet technology.

Closed and Open Captioning Technologies
Captioning displays spoken words as onscreen text to make broadcasts accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Most TV shows, movies, and entertainment products employ the technology wherever possible. Captioning is also becoming integral to corporate documents and presentations. This page covers captioning technologies, products, and how to access and provide captioning services.

Lingraphica AAC Devices Help Persons with Aphasia
Lingraphica develops augmentative and alternative communications technology -- notably speech generating devices -- designed to help persons with aphasia and related disorders limiting one's ability to speak or process language

Turn On Closed Captions on Windows Media Player
Turn on Closed Captions on your Windows Media Player to make videos more accessible, especially to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who struggle to decipher what's being said.

Talking Book Library for Blind and Disabled Readers
Talking Books are audiobooks the National Library Service for Blind and Physically Handicapped records to make books accessible to print disabled readers.

- By Category
An index of categories in the

Focus 14 Blue
The Focus 14 Blue is a pocket-sized braille keyboard and refreshable display providing Bluetooth and USB connectivity for controlling computers and mobile devices.

Optelec ClearView+ Speech Desktop Video Magnifier
The Optelec ClearView+ Speech is a desktop video magnifier featuring an interactive touchscreen and a “point and read” function enabling users to touch parts of documents to hear the text read aloud.

Type & Speak Faster on Custom Keyboards with RocketKeys AAC iPad App
RocketKeys is an AAC app for iPad that enables users to customize keyboards to type faster and generate spontaneous speech more efficiently.

Texthelp Fluency Tutor™ for Google
Texthelp’s Fluency Tutor for Google is an assessment app enabling teachers to assign and score reading passages to monitor each student’s progress.

ASL Video Dictionary App For iOS Devices and Android Tablets
The American Sign Language (ASL) Dictionary App for iOS and Android devices provides video definitions for over 5,200 signed words in a searchable list.

MBraille Puts a Braille Keyboard on an iPad or iPhone Screen
MBraille is an iOS app for an onscreen keyboard that lets blind users tweet and send text messages using contracted or uncontracted English braille.

Zoomax Snow 7 HD Video Magnifier
Zoomax Snow 7 HD is a portable video magnifier with a high-definition camera and 7 in. screen designed as a reading aid for visually impaired persons.

Switch Control in iOS 7 on an AbleNet Blue2 Switch
Apple’s iOS 7 has enhanced the switch control capabilities, enabling persons with mobility impairments to access their entire device using switches.

Victor Reader Stream Gives Print Disabled Readers Wi-Fi Access to DAISY Books
The Victor Reader Stream from HumanWare is a pocket-sized DAISY book and multimedia player designed to help persons with print disabilities -- including visual impairments and dyslexia -- to access and read texts in alternative formats.

Tobii I-12 & I-15 Speech Generating Devices
The Tobii I-Series are speech generating devices that facilitate computer access, environmental control, speech, and long distance communication.

iLearnNEarn ABA Therapy App
iLearnNEarn is an education app -- a mobile version of Shanesh COLORS -- designed to teach children with autism and other learning disabilities.

Kindle for iPhone App
The Kindle app gives blind readers audio access to over 1 million Kindle books, as well as newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and PDFs on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

LightAide Helps Children with Special Needs Learn Reading & Math
LightAide displays programmable, multi-colored LED lights to teach preparatory math and reading skills to young children with low vision.

Download & Play NLS Braille & Talking Books with BARD Mobile
The BARD Mobile app lets qualified National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped users play braille and Talking Books on their iOS device.

Accessibility Features in iOS 7
Apple’s iOS 7 operating system features many enhancements that make iOS devices more accessible to persons with sensory and physical disabilities.

Windows On-Screen Gives Mobility Impaired an Alternative Input Option
Windows free On-Screen keyboard provides an alternative input method for users, especially those with mobility impairments, who are unable to use a standard keyboard.

Eazy Reader Deluxe is Low-Vision CCTV Solution
The Eazy Reader Deluxe is low-vision reading aid, a digital camera that displays magnified images on a TV or LCD monitor.

Panasonic Voice Guidance
Panasonic has added Voice Guidance to many of its 2012 plasma and LCD TVs. The company developed the text-to-speech technology with England's Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) and introduced the accessible sets in the UK in April 2012.

iCommunicator Translates Speech into Text or Sign Language
The iCommunicator is an application that enables conversations between persons who are deaf and those with no hearing loss. The solution combines assistive technologies such as voice recognition, text to speech, and a database of sign language video clips that quickly translate spoken language and signs into text or speech for real-time conversations.

Tech Products That Talk
It’d be great if the kitchen scale could tell you how much flour you’ve poured – even better if the talking bathroom scale could learn to keep its mouth shut. Many products now talk; text-to-speech technology makes many tasks, from setting an alarm clock to checking one’s blood sugar, accessible or easier. This section will review and profile talking technology products in the areas of daily living, personal maintenance, communications, and entertainment.

Software for Dictation and Computer User Through Voice Commands
No assistive technology product has generated more mainstream consumer interest as voice, or speech recognition software. These programs enable dictation, web browsing, and execution of most computer functions use via voice command. Programs such as Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking and MacSpeech Dictate serve people with many different disabilities. Their widespread use in fields such as medicine and law also expand career options and help disabled people live fuller, more productive lives.

High-Tech Devices to Help Independent Seniors Perform Daily Tasks
Technology enables seniors to lead independent lives. Some products aid vision, memory, or mobility; others assist in managing medications, reading the mail, and taking blood pressure or glucose readings. This page discusses the latest products, from brain fitness software to personal tracking and safety systems, which offer seniors, caregivers, and loved ones peace of mind.

Blog


Computers for the Blind & Visually Impaired
This article on computers for blind and visually impaired students focuses on key technologies such as screen readers and screen magnification software.

Top iPhone Apps for the Blind & Visually Impaired
Here are some of the top iPhone apps for blind users which, along with VoiceOver, make iOS devices accessible to persons who are visually impaired.

22 Useful Apps for Blind iPhone Users
This National Braille Press booklet profiles 22 mobile apps especially useful to blind and visually impaired iPhone users.

Smartpen - Definition, Use, Benefits for the Disabled
Smartpens are mini-recorders that sync spoken words with notes students write on special paper, enabling retrieval of any part of a lecture by tapping the pen’s tip on words written during class. Livescribe's Echo is among the most popular smart pens.

iPad Tactile Screenshot Quick References
The iPad Tactile Screenshot Quick References are raised representations of various iPad screens to show iPad users who are blind what appears where on their device.

Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 for PC
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 supports built-in PC mics and expands voice recognition to web applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Outlook, and Chrome.

Common Core State Standards for Blind & Visually Impaired Students
In this interview, blind education & assistive technology expert Tara Mason discusses how Common Core State Standards (CCSS) relate to blind students.

DAISY Books Are Free, Downloadable Digital Audio Books
DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) is a set of standards for synchronizing text, audio, and navigation files to make books accessible in multiple formats.

Co:Writer Word Prediction Makes Writing Easier
Co:Writer helps learning disabled students write by predicting words and displaying choices in a window accessible through most writing applications.

BookSense Digital Audiobook Player
BookSense is a portable, multi-function audiobook player-recorder and document reader that supports many digital formats, including DAISY audio, MP3, WMA, and Audible books.BookSense also enables users to record memos, listen to music, and access both a clock and alarm. Page 3.

SpeakEasy Reading Machine
The SpeakEasy is a simple, standalone reading machine that reads aloud the text from any scanned document using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and text-to-speech technology. It provides an immediate reading solution for seniors and those who are blind or visually impaired. Page 2.

Victor Reader Stream LE
The Victor Reader Stream Library Edition supports most digital audio file formats, including DAISY, which is used to record structured, navigable audiobooks for readers who struggle to read standard print.

UNH AT Lab Image 1
First of three images from the Assistive Technology Lab at the University of New Hampshire.

Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology. Page 2.

UNH AT Lab Image 3
Assistive Technology. Page 3.

Digital Audiobook Players
This gallery highlights the wide range of devices one can use to play digital audiobooks.

UNH Assistive Technology Lab
Disability services organizations at schools such as the University of New Hampshire provide crucial assistive technology training and access for students with disabilities, as well as faculty and staff. UNH's AT Lab on its Durham campus helps nearly 750 students find and leverage the tools they need to participate in college-level courses.

Acrobat HD-Mini Makes Desktop CCTV Power Portable
The Enhanced Vision acrobat HD-mini video magnifier lets low-vision users enlarge text, images, and distant objects at work, school, or at home.

Learning Ally Free Audio Books Online
Learning Ally is a free online audio book library where blind and learning disabled students can download DAISY files to their PC, MAC, or mobile device.

Braille Sense U2 MINI With Perkins Keyboard & 18-Cell Display
The Braille Sense U2 Mini (HIMS) is a compact braille device with a keyboard, braille display, and numerous communications and media file functions.

iPad Apps for Autistic and Nonverbal Students
This list features five iPad apps designed to help young people with autism and other developmental disabilities communication more effectively.

Windows Mouse Keys Moves Pointer Using Number Pad
Windows mouse keys enable users with limited dexterity to move the pointer by pressing keys on the keyboard’s number pad.

Smart Reader Portable Reads Scanned Text Aloud
Enhanced Vision Smart Reader is a portable OCR machine that scans printed text, reads it aloud, and can also magnify it when connected to a monitor.

Enlarge iPad Contacts & Calendar with Low Vision Center
Low Vision Center is an iPad app from MeltedSpork that provides large print and a high-contrast background for viewing one’s Calendar and Contacts.

iBooks Offers Print Disabled Free, Accessible Content
Apple's free iBooks app gives readers with vision- and learning disabilities another option for making content accessible. The iBookstore has many classics in e-book form users can download for free. Once loaded into their iOS device, a student can listen to the text using VoiceOver, enlarge it using Zoom, add highlights, notes, and bookmarks to the text.

Learn to Use the Mac with VoiceOver
Learn to Use the Mac with VoiceOver: A Step-by-Step Guidefor Blind Users (National Braille Press) guides low-vision users transitioning from Windows.

Bookshare Offers Print Disabled Free Audiobooks Online
Bookshare offers free online books in DAISY format. Free memberships enable print disabled students to download any of the 175,000 digital audiobooks.

Click your age on the Bookshare signup screen
Step 1 in signing up for a Bookshare membership is entering your age.

Download Free Bookshare Audiobooks
The next step in obtaining a Bookshare membership is entering your name, address, and date of birth.

Student status and school name and address
Bookshare needs to know your school's name and address and whether you have an IEP.

Sign up for Booksahre newsletter and tell how you found them
On this page, tell Bookshare how you learned about them and, if you like, sign up for their newsletter.

Bookshare membership agreement
You must read and sign the Bookshare agreement which prohibits you sharing its content with others.

Provide Booksahre with proof of your print disability
You must have a qualifying print disability to access Bookshare's online library.

Now, you can download Bookshare titles
Once Bookshare receives proof of your print disability, you can begin downloading titles from its online library.

Top Portable Video Magnifiers
Portable video magnifiers enable low-vision users to enlarge text and images in printed matter and from a distance, such as words on a whiteboard.

Tactile Books that Teach Kids Science
Teaching science and astronomy to young students who are blind or visually impaired is a challenge. National Braille Press has several books that make concepts more accessible by combining braille, large print, and tactile illustrations.

Radio Shows on Blindness
Traditional and web radio programs and podcasts give persons with disabilities -- especially low-vision listeners -- actionable information on adaptive solutions and assistive technology that can enhance independence and quality of life.

AbleNet Wireless, Bluetooth, and USB Switches
Switches offer persons with limited mobility alternative input methods for accessing computers, toys, and appliances. Here are five switch solutions from AbleNet.

Find Video Described Content
Video description is becoming increasingly available in all forms of media. Description makes key visual elements accessible through narration and enables blind and visually impaired people to get more enjoyment out of movies, TV shows, and live attractions.

BIG Launcher Large Print Android Interface
Big Launcher is a large print Android interface for seniors and people with low vision and is designed to make mobile devices easier to see and use.

ODIN VI Talking Mobile Phone Settings
The ODIN VI Talking Mobile Phone provides numerous settings that can make its display and menus more accessible to users with visual impairments.

ODIN VI Talking Mobile Phone for the Visually Impaired
The ODIN VI is a talking mobile phone designed to be fully accessible to persons who blind or visually impaired, including seniors.

soundAMP App Turns iOS Device into High-Quality Hearing Solution
The soundAMP app sends amplified sound from an iOS device's built-in mic through a listener’s earbuds to create a high-quality hearing solution.

Computer Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The most popular computer access solutions used by the blind and visually impaired, including screen readers, OCR products, screen magnifiers, and others.

Low-Cost Mechanical Brailler for Blind Students
Praveen Gorakavi, an Indian inventor, has created a low-cost mechanical braillewriter to promote literacy among blind people in developing nations.

Lime Lighter Music-Reading Solution for People with Low Vision
Dancing Dots Lime Lighter is a low-vision aid consisting of software, a PC monitor, and foot pedal that enables users to magnify and mark sheet music.

Music Zoom for iPad Lets Low Vision Users Scroll Enlarged Sheet Music
Music Zoom is an iPad app that integrates with a foot switch to let visually impaired musicians scroll through enlarged sheet music as they play.

Merlin ultra HD Desktop Video Magnifier
Enhanced Vision’s Merlin ultra is a high-definition video magnifier that makes text and images easier to see for persons who are visually impaired.

Sendero Seeing Eye GPS App for iOS
The Seeing Eye GPS™ is an accessible turn-by-turn GPS app for iOS for blind persons whose features include simple, VoiceOver compatible navigation.

Texthelp Adds Word Prediction to Read&Write for Google Docs
Read&Write for Google, a suite of literacy tools from Texthelp, provides a powerful word prediction engine accessible when working with Google Docs.

EqualEyes Accessibility App for Android
The EqualEyes Accessibility app is a suite of mini-applications built into a high-contrast interface that makes Android devices more accessible.

Window-Eyes Screen Reader Makes PC Programs Accessible to Blind Users
Window-Eyes is GW Micro’s screen reader that converts commands into synthetic speech to make Windows applications more accessible to blind PC users.

Tobii PCEye Go Eye Tracker
Tobii’s PCEye Go is a Windows-based eye tracking system designed to run any PC application typically controlled by a standard computer mouse.

iPhone is Crucial Low Vision Assistive Device for Blind People
The iPhone has changed expectations for how much assistive technology for blind persons should cost, says VIBUG president Amy Ruell in this 2011 interview.

Jitterbug J Cell Phone for Seniors
The Jitterbug J cell phone for seniors is easy to see, hear, and use, and provides classic comforts such as a dial tone and live operator assistance.

Nuance Dragon MouseGrid Navigation
MouseGgrid in Nuance Dragon Dictate and NaturallySpeaking enable users to access any part of a web page by calling out numbers displayed on concentric grids. This navigation feature can help those with mobility impairments execute mouse commands using their voice.

Keys U See High-Contrast Large Print Keyboard
Keys U See is a large print computer keyboard designed for persons with visual impairments. The keyboard uses high contrast colors -- yellow keys on a black background -- and larger letter fonts to make typing easier for low-vision users.

HumanWare's Prodigi
HumanWare’s Prodigi Duo is a 2-in-1 video magnifier that combines a desktop CCTV with a detachable camera that functions as a handheld (tablet) magnifier

Dragon NaturallySpeaking as Assistive Technology
The popularity of speech recognition programs such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking raise both assistive technology's image and questions about its development. Will mainstreaming the technology erode accessibility for persons with disabilities? Nuance Communications senior product manager Colleen Hendry addresses this and related topics in the following interview.

Dimensions iOS Game App
Dimensions is a mobile game app for iOS devices that uses augmented sound to create a six-level

iCanConnect Campaign
The FCC's iCanConnect campaign seeks to educate the public on the range of free and low-cost communications products available to persons with vision and hear loss -- a provision of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).

Read&Write for Google Docs
Read&Write for Google Docs is a free Chrome extension that integrates many tools from Read&Write GOLD literacy software and enables real-time, cloud-based collaboration on Google documents in the Chrome web browser.

Mountbatten Braille Writer
The Mountbatten Braille Writer is an electronic braille typewriter and embosser that provides text-to-speech and connectivity with standard PCs, printers, and keyboards. Many teachers feel the Mountbatten can be an easier machine for young students to learn braille on than the more popular Perkins Brailler.

Transformer Portable Video Magnifier Low Vision Reading Aid
The Transformer from Enhanced Vision is a portable video magnifier that can serve as a desktop and distance reading aid for visually impaired students.

VisioBook
The VisioBook from BAUM Retec AG is a portable video magnifier that enables visually impaired people to enlarge text and images for reading and distance viewing.

Pebble HD Video Magnifier
Enhanced Vision’s Pebble HD is a handheld video magnifier designed as a low-vision and reading aid that also stores 200 images users can recall and transfer to a PC.

Fluency Tutor Improves Reading Comprehension
Texthelp Systems' Fluency Tutor is an online application that enables students to improve their reading fluency by providing written passages appropriate to grade level students can listen to, practice, record, and be graded on. Fluency Tutor also has built-in quizzes, literacy tools such as a dictionary and translator, and graphing tools to track progress.

Bookshare Free Online Book Library for Print Disabled
Bookshare is a free online library of DAISY books that students with documented print disabilities can download as audio files.

Texthelp Literacy Software is Assistive Technology for the Classroom
Texthelp develops literacy software, especially Read&Write GOLD, which provides a toolbar that helps print-disabled readers improve comprehension, research, and writing skills.

PDFpen
PDFpen enables users to edit, annotate, and combine Portable Document Format (PDF) files, providing readers with print disabilities and teachers greater access and flexibility working with electronic texts used in education.

Insignia Narrator Advanced HD Radio Helps Blind Access Radio Reading Services
The Insignia Narrator Advanced HD Radio has voice activated controls and is designed to enable blind and visually impaired people to more easily access radio reading services in their area.

Download Free Talking Books from BARD
BARD is a website of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) on which readers with qualifying print disabilities can download digital Talking Books and magazines to listen to on an NLS-supported audiobook player.

NLS Digital Talking Book Player
The NLS Digital Talking Book player was released in 2006. It plays NLS DAISY audiobooks that are recorded on (or downloaded to) small digital cartridges that have replaced the use of cassette tapes.

AbleNet Profile
AbleNet creates products and software that give persons with physical and cognitive disabilities greater access to communications and computer technology. The company's 800+ assistive technology products are designed to enhance independence and quality of life for persons with special learning needs.

Use the Siri Voice-Activated iPhone Assistant
Siri is a voice-activated “personal assistant” introduced with iPhone 4S that executes tasks and retrieves information based on spoken requests.

BrainPort V100 Vision Device
The BrainPort V100 is a non-surgical vision enhancement device -- still in the prototype stage -- that converts video images into electrode patterns on an array affixed to the tongue. Users translate tactile data to the corresponding shapes and movement of objects in their environment.

Orion & Create First Talking, Graphing Calculator for the Blind
Orbit Research and the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) have developed the the Orion TI-84 Plus, the world’s first graphing calculator accessible to blind and visually impaired math students.

Hadley School Online Courses
The Hadley School for the Blind offers free online courses to help students and aspiring professionals hone their screen reading, Internet, word processing, and Microsoft Excel skills.

Amigo Portable CCTV is Low Vision Magnifier & Reading Aid
Enhanced Vision’s Amigo is a portable CCTV with 14x magnification, a “freeze frame” text capture feature, and a tilting screen for easier reading & writing.

Install Dragon Dictate for Mac
Dragon Dictate for Mac is easy to install. The speech recognition software walks you through the process of creating a user profile and training your voice. Within 20 minutes, you can write documents and control many of your Mac applications using voice commands alone.

Change Behavior With MotivAider
The MotivAider clips to a belt or pocket like a phone pager and vibrates at preset intervals to help users maintain focus and develop or reinforce more productive habits. The device is designed to help modify behavior in students with learning disabilities or ADHD.

VisionAssist iOS App
VisionAssist is an iOS app from Slinkyware that turns one's iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch into an electronic video magnifier to help persons with visual impairments make text and images larger, clearer, and thus easier to see. The app provides most of the same functions and features found in portable CCTVs, such as Enhanced Vision's Pebble.

Learning Ally Audio iOS App
Learning Ally Audio is an mobile app that enables readers with print disabilities to access over 75,000 DAISY audiobooks -- including key texts for education levels -- on their iOS device

SpeakEasy Reading Machine Reads Scanned Documents Aloud
The SpeakEasy Reading Machine is a low-vision aid that reads scanned documents aloud, giving seniors private access to virtually all reading material.

Therese Willkomm, AT in NH
In this interview, Dr. Therese Willkomm, director of Assistive Technology in New Hampshire (ATinNH), discusses her approach to ad hoc innovations that have made her the “MacGyver” of assistive technology.

AbleData
AbleData is an online database containing over 40,000 assistive technology products as well as information on vendors, services, and organizations dedicated to helping persons with disabilities, rehabilitation professionals, and caregivers in the United States.

oMoby Visual Search App
oMoby is an app that provides product information on photo or bar code searches users click or scan with their mobile device. The app uses IQ Engine's VisionIQ platform, originally designed for persons who are blind, and now used by companies to add visual search capabilities to apps.

ZoomReader App
ZoomReader is a reading app developed by Ai Squared that enables visually impaired iOS users to magnify text, scan and extract text from images and hear it read aloud, and email or copy text they wish to share.

SoundingBoard AAC App from AbleNet
SoundingBoard from AbleNet is an iOS app that enables non-verbal and speech-impaired persons, teachers, and caregivers to quickly create and link communication boards (consisting of symbols voiced via text-to-speech) to express needs, wants, and emotions in all settings and situations.

SoundGecko
SoundGecko is a free service that converts web articles into audio MP3 files, providing readers with print disabilities -- such as visual impairments or dyslexia -- a convenient way to make online content more accessible.

iPod touch for Blind & Visually Impaired Users
The iPod touch has several built-in features that make it accessible to users who are blind or visually impaired. These include the VoiceOver screen reader, Zoom magnification, Voice Control, and a high-contrast white-on-black display option.

Digit-Eyes
Digit-Eyes is an iOS app that scans and reads UPC and EAN bar codes and lets users make text and audio labels they can later read using their mobile device.

Tablets as Assistive Technology
Chad Udell of Float Mobile Learning feels tablets such as the iPad have fundamentally changed how we interact with the world and offer special needs students unprecedented access to assistive technology that enables them to learn.

UltraCane
The UltraCane is a mobility aid for blind persons that uses ultrasound waves to echolocate potential obstacles -- at both ground and eye level -- that appearing in one’s path as they walk.