What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology refers to equipment or software that can diminish or eliminate barriers and maximize productivity and independence for people with disabilities. There is a vast range of technology designed to suit the needs of people with different disabilities. These may include:
Text to speech support
- ZoomText and Coloured Closed Circuit Television Reader (CCTV)
Task lighting [lamps]
- FM System (available for loan from AccessAbility Services)
- TTY or teletypewriter (available for use when communicating with AccessAbility Services)
Optical Character Reader (OCR) software
- Kurzweil 3000 and other OCR software.
Screen Reader/Writing Assistance Program
- textHelp, Kurzweil 3000, WordQ
- Dragon Naturally Speaking
Brainstorming, Concept Mapping, Organize Thinking Software
Portable note taking device/writing tool
- Digital recorders, Livescribe recording pen
- Electric height adjustable work station
- Manual height adjustable work station (in Computer Centre, Library, Writing Centre, Resource Centre - Career Centre, in some lecture halls)
- Adjustable height chairs (in AccessAbility Services Resource Lab, Computer Centre, Library, Writing Centre, Resource Centre - Career Centre, chair available for lecture hall on request)
- Documents stands
- Other features found include adjustable keyboard tray, monitor risers (in Library and Computer Centre); wrist rests, mouse rests, footrests, lap desks, slant board [tilt writing surface], task lighting [lamps], forearm supports [available upon request], back rests and lumbar rolls [available upon request].
- Touch screens, Trackballs
Funding may be available to help students purchase the needed technology and receive training on specific software.
Funding sources include:
- OSAP Bursary for students with a Disability
- Canada Student Loan
- Assistive Devices Program
- Employability Assistance for Persons with a Disability
Other sources may be available to students. For more information on funding go to Financial Assistance and/or speak to the Disability Advisors.
Resources used for development of this information:
2001 Fossey, M.E., Fichten, C.S., Barile, M., Asuncion, J.V.
Computer technologies for postsecondary students with disabilities. ISBN 2-9803316-6-X. Montréal: Adaptech Project, Dawson College.
Assistive Devices Program
Canadian Hearing Society - Technical Devices
Canadian National Institute for the Blind - Technical Aids