Assistive technology is any item that can increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Those needing assistive technology can include people with visual or physical impairments (including carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress injuries) or learning disabilities.
Both the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services (OARS) and Information Technology Services (ITS) provide access to assistive technology. For information on other assistive technology resources, please contact ODS.
Assistive Technology Offered by ITS
ITS provides access to several pieces of software designed to enhance accessibility in the ITS open access computer labs, where the Accessibility Options in Windows XP have also been enabled.
ZoomText is a screen magnifier and reader program that can be accessed from any computer on campus. The ITS computer labs provide a desktop shortcut and keyboard short cut for ZoomText. Student consultants can assist users in accessing the program.
JAWS is a screen reader program which converts written text on the screen to speech.
Kurzweil is both a screen reader program and a "scan and read" program. It will read electronic documents and will also, when connected to a scanner, allow users to scan in documents which it then converts to speech. It can be found in the Assistive Technology area of the SuperLab.
Assistive Technology Resources
- Microsoft Accessibility Help
This page contains links to various documents concerning Microsoft program accessibility features, including Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer.
- Firefox (Mozilla) Accessibility Support
Information on how to access Firefox accessibility functionality.
- Apple's Accessibility Home Page
This is the place to start for information about obtaining and configuring Apple products. It also provides links to other vendors' accessibility product.
- The Adaptech Project Resource Page
The Adaptech Project conducts research on the use of computer, information and adaptive technologies by Canadian college, and University students with disabilities.
- The Adaptive Technology Resource Centre Technical Glossary
Descriptions of broad categories of adaptive technologies with links to various products and their vendors.
- Center for Accessible Technology
"Our purpose is to provide information and services supporting technology use that respects individual differences, encourages each person's right to make informed choices and builds the community's capacity to support the assistive technology user."
AccessIT promotes the use of electronic and information technology (E&IT) for students and employees with disabilities in educational institutions at all academic levels. This Web site features the AccessIT Knowledge Base, a searchable database of questions and answers regarding accessible E&IT. It is designed for educators, policy makers, librarians, technical support staff, and students and employees with disabilities and their advocates.
Of particular interest to instructors:
How can I tell whether a software application is accessible?
- The High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges
Information about various types of assistive technology and links to other sites.
- The N.C. Assistive Technology Project
From their Web site: "The N.C. Assistive Technology Project is creating a statewide system to coordinate assistive technology services."
- The National Assistive Technology in Education Network
- Section 508 Information
"The purpose of this part is to implement section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. Section 508 also requires that individuals with disabilities, who are members of the public seeking information or services from a Federal agency, have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to that provided to the public who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency."
A Commitment to Equal Access to Computing Facilities
Information Technology Services is committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of disability status, have equal access to computing resources at UNCG. If you have particular needs regarding computing facilities that you would like to discuss, please call 6-TECH at 336-256-TECH (8324).