Occasional Thoughts on Educational Technology and Life by Judy Brophy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Assistive Technology

We are all users of Assistive Technology

As a newly appointed member of the Keene State College Accessibility Committee, I admit I have been more aware on accessibility issues around campus and around town.

I am also learning the “jargon” associated with accessibility and one phrase that leapt to my attention and made me think is “assistive technology”.  Assistive technology is used to refer to devices that allow students with disabilities to compensate in some way.

What makes assistive technology even better, as far as I can see, is that it no longer stigmatizes users. We all use “assistive technology,”  smart phones, ipads, phones that take pictures and video, phones that read foreign languages, software that creates Braille and printers that print it.

"It’s a great time to be disabled," a disabled friend said to me recently.  There are so many ways to speak, hear, act using technology that were not available even five years ago. It is truly an amazing time and I love the way it both levels the playing field and makes us all into users of Assistive Technology.

My hope and expectation is that a generation that is accustomed to relying on electronics will develop more understanding and be more accepting of people with disabilities.