5 Assistive Technologies That Can Help You Access a Computer

5 Assistive Technologies That Can Help You Access a Computer

5 Assistive Technologies That Can Help You Access a Computer

Introduction;

5 Assistive Technologies That Can Help You Access a Computer

5 Assistive Technologies That Can Help You Access a Computer

A computer can be an essential tool for work, school, and everyday life.

Most computers are designed with built-in accessibility features to make them easier to use by as many people as possible,

But several assistive technologies can help you access a computer if it’s not possible or easy to do so otherwise.

These include keyboard shortcuts, voice recognition software, speech-to-text software, and others that can help you get the most out of your computer use while minimizing the negative impact of disabilities on your life.

1) Voice Recognition Software

Voice recognition software is the most widely used assistive technology for computer access.

It is designed to help people who cannot type or use a mouse by providing customized voice commands to operate their computers.

This software provides an alternate form of input that can be much faster and easier than using other types of assistive technology.

The best way to find out if this is right for you is to talk with your doctor, therapist, or job coach about the pros and cons of voice recognition software and whether it could work for you.

In general, people who have good dexterity may do well with voice recognition software while those who have limited use of one arm or hand may not.

Also, if you are sensitive to loud noises or strong smells then this may not be the best option as it requires near-constant feedback from you to work effectively.

It is also important to note that there are different levels of expertise with this technology; some are free but others require purchasing licenses which means they come at a cost.

If your doctor has recommended voice recognition software for you then he/she will likely know what level of expertise would work best for your needs.

Some people feel frustrated after initially trying voice recognition software because they don’t like how mechanical it sounds and

how difficult it can be to get used to all the specific commands needed for the program to function properly.

2) Alternative Keyboards

Alternative keyboards are designed to make typing easier for people who can’t use their hands or fingers. They’re also called assistive technology for computer access. You can buy or borrow an alternative keyboard from your local hospital, rehabilitation clinic, or library. There are many different types of alternative keyboards, so find one that works best for you. Some examples include:
The sip-and-puff device is attached to the front of the keyboard and lets you type by breathing in and out. This device isn’t very accurate, but it may be helpful if you’re recovering from surgery or have limited mobility.
The head pointer is used when you can’t use your hands or arms at all, like after a spinal cord injury.

3) On-Screen Keyboards

On-Screen Keyboards are one of the more popular assistive technologies for computer access. It is not expensive and it allows you to use your existing computer with an on-screen keyboard. Several other brands and types of on-screen keyboards also work well, but On-Screen Keyboards have been one of the most used products in their category.
It can be difficult for people with limited mobility to type on a standard keyboard because they can’t reach all the keys. By using an on-screen keyboard, they can use their mouse or touch screen to move from key to key, which allows them to type faster and easier than ever before.

4) Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software

OCR software is one of the more common assistive technologies. This is because it can convert scanned images into editable text. OCR software recognizes printed characters and converts them to digital information that can be edited, searched, or accessed in any way you would use any other text file on your computer. The best part is that this type of software can be used with any image file: PDFs, JPEGs, TIFFs, etc.
OCR programs are also very easy to use. With most programs, all you need to do is load the image file onto your computer and then open the OCR program. The program will automatically detect and scan the images; all you have to do is click convert.

5) Screen Magnification Software

One of the most commonly used assistive technologies for computer access is screen magnification software. Screen magnifiers allow users to magnify the size of what they are viewing on their screen, making it easier to read the text and see images. Some screen magnifiers can also be set up to move around the screen as you navigate and automatically follow your mouse cursor.
Another type of software that can be used to increase computer accessibility is voice recognition software. These programs convert speech into text, allowing people with certain disabilities or dexterity issues such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome to input words without having to use a physical keyboard.

Conclusion

Every person with a disability is different and there are many types of assistive technology to help them access computers. The best way for you to decide which devices to get is to speak with your doctor or therapist about what would work best for you. If you’re not sure where to start, try downloading the free, open-source software OpenOffice, which can read aloud documents in multiple languages, including American English, British English, French Canadian, Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Spanish (Spain), and Spanish (Latin America).

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