Assistive Technology/Talk

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There seems to be some confusion here. Assistive technology is technology that is used in addition to regular technology to enable a disabled user to access, ideally with normal speed and in an integrated manner, what non-disabled people can access without such technology.

For using the internet, asistive technology includes voice-enabled web browsersand read-back devices, braille readers and output devices, voice inout browsers, magnigying screen readers, etc.

The other side of the coin is what web developers can to do make their content more accessible. In software design, this is called universal access design. This does not necessarily require the disabled user to acquire any assistive technology. Items included here are keyboard-only navigation, possible in Microsoft Windows and most of their other software, as well as, the Opera browser, proper formating of links, atlernate attributes in tags for images etc. Many of these design principles, however, do assume some assistive technology on the part of the disabled user, and try to insure that such assistive technology is allowed to function properly. For exampled, for a blind internet user, it is assumed that he/she will be using some assistive technology like a voice enabled browser, at least. Then, some of these principles of universal design, like alternate attributes on images, do assume assistive technology. There are always additional advantages to such design, however, There are people with old enough, or weak enough computers that they can only access text only content. For them, such explanations of what an image describes is useful too.

In summmary, assistive technology should only include technology that supplements what the non-disabled user needs to access software, or even their computers at all. Another example-for those with with extreme mobility-impairments, breath-enabled controls for computers are available. (Opinion-If I am reaching a point that even one person is "beginning to feel uncomfortable at these details," I say, good!!!)

I don't see why you didn't just edit the assistive technology article rather than write the above review. --LMS---- Because that would be too simple...:-) RoseParks