The computer is a valuable tool Once I have accessed the information the computer makes me more independent. When I’m using a computer I am like any other student. (Dan) The computer is a vital
tool for education and employment. There’s really nothing that does the
variety of tasks that the computer can do. But it’s not perfect. (Narrator) That’s because not everyone can use the standard computer. And that’s where adaptive technology
comes in. With a little extra hardware or software, computers and the Internet can be accessible to people
with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. Adaptive technology delivers a big payoff
for a relatively small investment. (Dan) The cost of adaptive technology
really is quite small particularly when you look at
the impact that that can have for a person able to do their job
more effectively, more efficiently. (Narrator) Adaptive technology addresses
the challenges imposed by specific disabilities. For example, low vision. (Nate) I use a screen enlarger,
which allows me to see everything on the computer screen
that a normal person would see with regular type
on the computer. (Nhi) I have a computer
that has large screen and I also have a voice output
which reads what’s on the screen. When I use my computer
and using the Internet, I could research for a term paper
easily and faster. I could look up in the encyclopedia and have the computer read a subject
on the screen for me instead of using the encyclopedia book,
which would take me a long, long time. (Narrator) For someone who is sensitive to light, software can reverse the screen
from dark on light to light on dark. (Narrator) Large print key-top labels may also
be useful for people with visual impairments, especially if they’re just learning to type. (Narrator) The most common adaptation for
people who are blind is speech output. (Screen reader) The lab is well-equipped
with adaptive technology. Tours and demonstrations can be
arranged by appointment. (Justin) Really, it helps me out
a lot on the Internet. so I’m able to access anything
that I want to on the computer and it’s really helped me out a lot. (Wesley) Well, I’m kind of a
computer junkie but the aspect of computers that I
really like is this whole Internet bit. It opens so many doors.
And then the e-mail, too. (Narrator) A scanner
combined with speech output allows people who are blind
to read printed materials. (Screen reader) A tall fellow
in a Batman costume comes soaring out of the Winter sky. (Narrator) Other adaptations include
Braille displays and Braille printouts. (Narrator) People with speech
or hearing impairments can use their computers to communicate
with friends, teachers, or co-workers. (Katie) I really like using the Internet because it’s easier to communicate with
people rather than using the telephone. I can read it instead of listening, and
it’s easier for me to read it than to hear. (Jessie) Yeah, the Internet is helpful.
It allows me to communicate more easily, because of my voice. It allows me to say more
and express myself more easily. (Anthony) How… are… we…
playing… this… again? How are we playing this again? (Professor) There are places you could land where
you’re on blue, and you’re more conspicuous. (Narrator) People who can’t speak
can use communication devices to participate in group discussions and
one-on-one interactions. (Anthony) It’s like our army men
wearing their clothes. (Professor) That’s exactly right… (Narrator) Those who can’t hear require
visual alternatives to sound output. (Buffy) When the computer speaks,
they have ways of captioning that. (Lloyd) The computer system I use uses
visual output, rather than sound output, which means instead of making a chime or
a ring, it blinks the screen. (Narrator) People with learning disabilities
can use a variety of software to help with reading and with writing papers. Adaptive technology ranges from
spell check and grammar check to speech input and output. (Screen reader) Washington is
leading the world in global health. (Patrick) Schoolwork, it helps me ’cause when me and my mom, like,
try to work to do it, we usually fight, and so it
usually ends up being a bad consequence. So if I can do it on my own,
it’s way better. (Screen reader) Washington Phase Two
schedule, August 7 to 13. (Joshua) I’ve basically just used
standard word processors with a grammar checker and a spell checker,
and dictionaries on the computer. Just using the word processor alone reduces the amount of time
that it takes to write things. (Crystal) I have a voice box that
it will read it to me, so I understand what I’m reading… (Screen reader) Was Helen Keller the first
deaf-blind person in the United States to be educated? (Crystal) And then when I have to,
like, read books, I just scan those so they can
read the books to me so I don’t have to spend two hours
reading one page or something. (David) The things that I’ve found
really helpful have been speech-to-text programs, you know, you talk to your computer
and it writes. (Person dictating) At the University of Washington,
a variety of hardware and software… I’ve written papers at college
in a quarter of the time that it would have taken me
to type them by hand. With speech-to-text, I just say the word
and it shows up on the screen. (Narrator) People with mobility impairments have a wide range of
adaptive technology options. For some, flexibility in the positioning of table tops,
monitors, and keyboards is helpful. (Mitch) I had Dan make a special keyboard holder to hold my keyboard in a vertical position
so I could use both hands to type and we also turned my monitor on its side. (Rodney) I use a mouthpiece that I type with. I can do at least 30 words per minute when the words are going from
my head to the keyboard. I like to write lots of things,
and were it not for computers and word processing and spell checking
and things like that, it would take me ages. (Erofei) I have a track ball
which I roll around, and I use Sticky Keys, like,
to hold down “control” and “shift.” The computer helps me type reports better,
and it’s easier on my arm. I don’t have to wear my prosthetic. (Jeffrey) One thing that I use is a
keyboard where the keys are enlarged and there’s more space between, because when I hit keys on the
regular keyboard, I get double letters. (Narrator) For people who need
to type with only one hand, left- and right-handed keyboards
are available. You could also use
an on-screen keyboard with a head pointer or a mouth stick
for hands-free computer control. Word prediction software can
increase speed and accuracy. (Buddy) I have an on-screen keyboard,
and it also has word prediction to where I throw in a letter,
like let’s say I throw in a T, and like five words that
start with T will pop up, the most common ones that I use. They’ll pop up and I’ll click on it
and it’ll just print it up. I got fairly fast. (Narrator) Some people may choose to bypass
the keyboard by using Morse code. A sip-and-puff switch registers
dot with a sip and dash with a puff. Special hardware and software
translate Morse code into a form that computers understand. (Oscar) I’m a junior this year… (Narrator) Other people may choose
a voice-activated system to replace the keyboard. (Oscar) I use a program that helps me type. Whatever I say, it types. I talk into the microphone and
it types it out on the computer screen. Makes me feel a lot more independent and don’t have to rely on
somebody for so much, and I can do it myself. (Narrator) The Internet can be accessed
from almost any location, at any time that a person wants to use it. This is a real benefit for
people with health impairments. (Nadira) I think that computers
can help hospitalized kids. When I was in the hospital
for like, one month, I talked to other kids and I could,
like, socialize with them and people sent me mails,
greeting mails to get well. (Mitch) In the past year I’ve…
I lived in the hospital. And an Internet connection there
allowed me to communicate with teachers so I could attempt to keep up on studies. (Megan) I think the Internet would be
helpful for people with disabilities that have to be home-schooled
or stay home a lot because it gives them access to resources and
communication between the schools and the teachers, and access to people with
disabilities like themselves. (Narrator) For anyone with a disability, adaptive computer technology is a vital
link to success in school and in work. (Buddy) It’s more fun, I mean, I’ve had
people try to type for me and you know, it’s just no fun trying to tell
someone else what to write. Like I took a poetry class, and I felt weird trying to tell
some friends or my aide what I’m thinking and
what I’m trying to put on paper. (Nhi) I like using my computer because
it help me to be independent. (Hollis) It lets me express my ideas. (Shem) I virtually live on computers. On the computer, people
are more on an even keel. On the electronic field,
we’re all equal.

Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
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3 thoughts on “Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology

  • March 20, 2013 at 11:50 am
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    this good

    Reply
  • April 16, 2015 at 6:58 pm
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    Wow, You are very good. We Liked this, Well done.

    Reply
  • October 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm
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    Impressive! Keep up this important work!

    Reply

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