"Assistive Technology" is defined by the Technology-Related Assistance Act of 1988 as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off-the-shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintained or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities."
Used as a compensatory tool, persons with disabilities may become productive and independent members in school, work and life. The implementation of assistive technology affords opportunity for the provision of equal access.
- Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. A screen reader is the interface between the computer's operating system, its applications, and the user. Example: Use of JAWS software for persons with visual impairments.
- Software allow users to control the size of text and or graphics on the screen. Unlike using a zoom feature, these applications allow the user to have the ability to see the enlarged text in relation to the rest of the screen. Example: Screen enlargement software such as ZoomText, a closed circuit television which magnifies an image onto a video monitor, or a simple low tech tech device such as an LED pocket illuminator magnifier.