Assistive Technology

Definition & Meaning:

Assistive technology refers to any device, software, or equipment that helps people with disabilities perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. It’s designed to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

For example, screen readers allow visually impaired users to listen to the text displayed on a screen, while speech recognition software enables individuals with mobility impairments to control a computer using their voice.

These technologies can range from simple tools, like a magnifying glass app that enlarges text on a screen, to more complex systems, such as a powered wheelchair controlled by head movements.

Assistive technology also includes applications and plugins that make website content accessible to people with various disabilities.

This could mean adding alternative text for images to help screen reader users understand visual content or ensuring website navigation is possible through keyboard commands for those who cannot use a mouse.

The goal of assistive technology is to support users in living more independent and productive lives by reducing the barriers they face.

It plays a significant role in various aspects of life, including education, employment, and personal care.

By integrating assistive technology, websites and digital platforms can ensure their services are accessible to a wider audience, including those with disabilities. This not only enhances usability for all users but also aligns with legal and ethical standards for accessibility.