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What is Adaptive Technology?According to Wikipedia, Adaptive Technology is the name for products which help people who cannot use regular versions of products, primarily people with physical disabilities such as limitations to vision, hearing, and mobility.
Adaptive Technology promotes greater effectiveness for persons with functional limitations or disabilities by enabling them to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing. Adaptive Technology provides changed methods of interacting with or enhancements to the technology.
Creating Technology that Adapts to YOU
According to a recent Newswise article, the University of Washington’s Computer Science & Engineering department is working on personalizing computer interfaces based on an individual’s needs. This will take into account your disability and the limitations it imposes, unlike the pre-made devices you buy in the store.
Examples of Adaptive Technology
Adaptive Technology helps people with the following Impairments:
|Blind or Visual||unable to see or difficulty seeing|
|Deaf or Hearing||unable to hear or difficulty hearing|
|Speech||inability to speak, or difficulty speaking and being understood|
|Co-ordination or Dexterity||difficulty using hands or arms; for example, grasping or handling a stapler or using a keyboard/mouse|
|Mobility||difficulty leaving the bed or moving around; for example, moving from one office to another or up and down stairs|
|Other Disability||including learning disabilities, developmental disabilities and all other types of disabilities|
Information retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptive_technology"
An Apple iPod Touch is modified to benefit people with disabilities, particularly people with Autism.
The device uses:
- the touch screen
- picture capabilities
- video capabilities
It has a built-in speaker, so the person can use the touch screen to select video recordings of common phrases or adaptive commands and verbalize them. The device costs about $250 per unit. Many devices, for multiple student use, can be synched within minutes from a central computer.
The term "closed" in closed captioning indicates that not all viewers see the captions—only those who choose to decode or activate them. This distinguishes from "open captions" (sometimes called "burned-in" or "hardcoded" captions), which are visible to all viewers.
Overview of Text Processing
The Text-to-Speech Process (from Wikipedia)
A text-to-speech system (or "engine") is composed of two parts: a front-end and a back-end. The front-end has two major tasks. First, it converts raw text containing symbols like numbers and abbreviations into the equivalent of written-out words... The back-end—often referred to as the synthesizer—then converts the symbolic linguistic representation into sound.
An annual gift from the Ross and Doris Dixon Foundation assists the Library with purchasing equipment and furnishings that enhances services to persons with disabilities. This photo shows a student sitting in one of the Adaptive Technology Centre's new ergonomic chairs.
People with disabilities meet barriers of all types. However, technology is helping to lower many of these barriers. By using computing technology for tasks such as reading and writing documents, communicating with others, and searching for information on the Internet, students and employees with disabilities are capable of handling a wider range of activities independently.
A 14-minute, Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology may be freely viewed online at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Video/wt_dis.html
Planning Instruction for all Students: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Rather than modifying an existing lesson, the UDL philosophy advocates designing lessons, assessments, and activities with accessibility in mind from the start. By presenting content in a variety of formats, providing alternative ways to demonstrate knowledge, and using flexible teaching methods, teachers can meet the needs of all students, including those who experience disabilities or learning differences.
Adaptive Technology in Educational Settings
College: You Can DO-IT!
College students with disabilities and staff share advice for success in college.
Classroom & Labs - Adaptive Technology
Information Technology Services is in the process of developing an Adaptive Technology program that will make current assistive software and hardware available to disabled students on campus.
Closing the Gap is a magazine published six times a year. It highlights hardware and software products appropriate for people with special needs, and explains how this technology is being implemented in education, rehabilitation, and vocational settings around the world. The Closing The Gap's annual international conference, Assistive Technology in Special Education and Rehabilitation, is held each fall in Minneapolis, MN, exploring the many ways that technology is being used to enhance the lives of people with special needs. Register for what's considered to be the most practical, educational Assistive Technology conference in North America.
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) helps to ensure that emerging information technology and practices are designed inclusively from the very beginning. Jutta Treviranus, Director of the ATRC, states that, "Inclusion benefits everyone, it should be everyone's concern and, in this digitally transformed reality that we live and work in - where consumption does not consume and space has no limits - there is no downside to inclusion and it is possible to make room for us all." This site offers the following links plus much more:
Conferences, Workshops & Training
Research and Development
AODA Standards & Compliance
Register for the AT4ALL Conference which will provide participants with the opportunity to gain additional insight into how assistive technology can support barrier-free learning environments through various presentations, workshops and plenary sessions. Download the Conference Flyer in PDF Format.
Paradox Sports offers Adaptive Technology and Resources to boost the active disabled
Michigan Department of Education (MDE) - Curriculum Integration 2006
Education Articles on Learning, K-12 Teaching, Special Education
Assistive Technology Training and Information Center (ATTIC)
Disabilities and Special Education
Tutorials for Adaptive Technology
Technology Info, Tips, and FAQs
Burgstahler, S. (1992). Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology. University of Washington,1-4. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/PDF/wtcomp.pdf
Creating Technology that Adapts To YOU. July 18, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2009 from http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/blog/tag/adaptive-technology/
Fries-Gaither, J., (March 2008). Planning Instruction for all Students: Universal Design for Learning. Ohio State University. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from http://www.cast.org/research/udl/index.html
New Equipment for Adaptive Technology Centre. March 16, 2006. Vol. 6, No. 3. Retrieved August 5, 2009 from http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/newsatlib/060316/new_equipment.html
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