Assistive Technology for Accessibility
"The term "assistive technology device" means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities".Assistive Technology Act of 1998
Assistive (or Adaptive) technology such as screen readers and speech recognition software enables people with physical disabilities to navigate web pages and take online e-Learning courses -- tasks they couldn't otherwise perform or would find very difficult and limited.
Assistive Technology vs. Usability
Merely operating within the technology is not enough. Courses must be designed to be truly usable by the person taking the course. Regrettably, much of the e-Learning market has been slow to enhance their courseware for use with assistive technologies.
CourseAvenue and Assistive Technology
CourseAvenue's Accessibility Player provides e-Learning developers the opportunity to produce courseware that is ADA, Section 508, AODA and DDA compliant as well as truly usable by those with assistive technology.
Screen Reader Technology for Learners
Our Accessibility Player enables access to e-Learning courses through these and other assistive technologies available on the market:
- JAWS Screen Reading Software for Windows, by Freedom Scientific
- Window-Eyes Screen Reader for Windows, by GW Micro
- NVDA free, open source Screen Reader for Windows, by NVDA
- VoiceOver Screen Reader for Mac, by Apple, Inc.
Screen Reader Survey
- Survey of Screen Reader Users conducted by WebAIM. This survey emphasizes that screen reader accessibility is about real people - people that have diverse abilities and preferences.
Speech Recognition Technology for Learners
A CourseAvenue e-Learning course can be completely navigated with voice recognition (VR) software. This is best accomplished by having the VR software (e.g. Dragon Naturally Speaking) execute simple keyboard commands.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking Speech Recognition Software, by Nuance Communications