Any tool or product that enables a person with a disability to complete a task that would otherwise be challenging or impossible is considered assistive technology, or AT. Any product, system, or piece of equipment used to raise, maintain, or improve a disabled person’s functional capacity falls under this category.
What is Classified as Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology can be as high-tech as proprietary computer software and hardware or as low-tech as a magnifying lens. For people with disabilities, there are thousands of AT options that can increase their independence.
Why Has Assistive Technology Become Increasingly More Common?
The inclusion of features and designs that enable accessibility for individuals with impairments in mainstream software and hardware solutions has increased during the past few years. This change has occurred for a variety of reasons, but we are going to discuss the three most common.
- The Increase of Digital Technology
Our reliance on electronic access is steadily growing in many aspects of our everyday life, including work, school, and entertainment. People with disabilities can access electronic access considerably more readily when it is combined with the required assistive technology solution(s).
Consider the widespread use of emails and SMS. A message on a scrap of paper shared between two students or coworkers in a classroom or meeting performed the same purpose as a text message today less than 20 years ago, just as a handwritten letter once would have replaced an email.
When combined with the accessibility features found in most smartphones, electronic access gives people with disabilities a level of independence and access that was previously unattainable. This includes people who are blind, have learning disabilities like dyslexia, or have ambulatory limitations that would prevent them from physically handling a handwritten letter or note.
- Increase in Market Share
The IT industry is becoming more and more aware that from a financial standpoint, people with disabilities offer a potential and frequently untapped market. Take Apple as an example. The business is renowned for “baking in” accessibility from the very beginning of development and frequently serves as the gold standard in accessibility. Apple continues to hold a significant market share among those who have disabilities, partly as a result of the business’ ongoing dedication to accessibility.
- Solutions for Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text
We can now easily request and receive information via speech recognition and speech output thanks to the widespread use of speech input interfaces like Apple’s Siri, Google Now, and the Amazon Echo.
Many people with impairments have easier access thanks to these hands-free and eye-free alternatives. This makes it crucial that IT companies take this into consideration when creating new technology, as well as how they offer assistance to someone who may have a disability. At JENLOR, we value the importance of assistive technology making technology accessible to your entire team. Reach out today to see how we can assist your organization