Today, I’m coming to you from our smart
technology room and our telehealth room at the Assistive Technology Center. Well,
welcome to module 7. Last week you were introduced to control interfaces in
Chapter 6 of Essentials of Assistive Technologies. You should now have a
better understanding of control interfaces and the anatomical control
sites that an individual uses to interact with the control interfaces. This week we will focus on computer access as described in Chapter 7 of
Essentials of Assistive Technologies. Chapter 7 applies the concepts of user
inputs and control interfaces to the activity of computer access. Essentially
we will investigate the numerous interfaces an individual can use to
control a computer, and the numerous outputs a computer can generate to
provide feedback to the individual. For example, consider a computer. The
control interface is typically the keyboard and the mouse. The output is
typically a visual display on a monitor. However, another control interface could
be a microphone that uses automatic speech recognition to translate the
spoken word to text within an email message. Another user output could be
speech to text software that turns written text into speech… into
synthesized speech. Individuals with a visual impairment, for example low vision,
may find text-to-speech software very useful. I’d recommend checking out the
accessibility features built into your own computer. I provided links to the
accessibility websites for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS 10, and Google
Chrome in the module overview. As was the case. [Google Home voice in background – inaudible] So you can disregard the reference to some of the smart
technology that we use here. As was the case with last week’s material the
easiest way to learn the material is to consider how you access a computer on a
daily basis. How do you access the device? Is it with your hands, your feet, your
voice, or another anatomical control site? What is the control interface? Is it a
keyboard and mouse? If you had to use a different anatomical control site what
would you use? What impact would have on a selection of a control interface? This
week we have a special guest joining us. I interviewed Megan Fogle, instructional
designer in the Ohio State University’s Office of Distance Education and
e-Learning. She is a wealth of information on online accessibility in
design. She describes her professional path to her current position as an
instructional designer focusing on accessibility.
She also discusses the importance of developing accessible software and
hardware from the ground up, not just as a patch a fix or an afterthought. I think
you will find a response is just as interesting and refreshing as I did, and
learn how the university operationalizes accessibility features within its
educational materials. I hope you enjoy module 7 on computer access and reach
out to me if you have any questions.

HRS 5100 – Introduction to Module #7 – Computer Access
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