A computer, device, App or piece of software may increase opportunities for users, alleviate or resolve an area of difficulty, assist in making them more productive and confident, increase levels of independence, able to sustain greater effort and/or for longer, reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety or enable them to accomplish what may have been previously difficult, arduous or impossible.
Inclusive Technologies do not constitute a total solution, a cure or a panacea for a person with a disability, impairment or disadvantage. It does provide more equity in them accessing, fulfilling their dreams, meeting their needs and enjoying a life style that others who not do suffer from their predicament.
Users when studying training or working encounter a variety of situations where they may require specific or more general IT solutions. The Inclusive Technologies included in this resource may offer one or more products, strategies or solutions that can be used to make everyday life more meaningful. It is not an exhaustive or complete resource. It does, however, attempt to provide some information pertaining to the existence, use and efficacy of inclusive technology in post school life.
Most importantly, the links, resources, articles, research documents, video and audio clips and lists of software, devices and Apps listed on this site accrue benefit to people with disabilities, but can also assist anyone who has a need to obtain and use them.
Many items are off the shelf, mainstream products. It does not represent an entire list of Inclusive Technology solutions. It does try to represent the most commonly used, popular and/or well-regarded inclusive local and global resources as available in 2012 . Universal Design aspects of technologies have also been taken into account as to how they accommodate users with different abilities and needs.
The application of these resources was targeted at the post secondary, study, training, tertiary and workplace. It was created and designed to accommodate a diverse population and educate users themselves, clients, students, trainees, apprentices, educators, employers and trainers to make sure that Inclusive Technologies are recognised as being universally available. Many are applicable to every student and user, whilst others perform specific tasks or meet individual needs.
Purpose and Intent
The purpose and intention of including this section is to alert users themselves to the implications of Inclusive Technology in people’s lives. The potential of accessing and learning to use and master these technologies in alternate ways can empower individuals to become more resilient, self reliant and independent.
There are often many different and alternate methods of achieving a goal or negotiating and completing a task. Many technologies exist that are hand held, portable and inexpensive. Some popular devices have universal access features inbuilt, ready to be gainfully employed to overcome a difficulty.
There are sections that include lists of useful Inclusive Technology resources and products that individuals may not realise exist or have not been considered in light of their features, functions and application.
These include software applications, Portable Apps and Apps for tablets and Smart devices and phones.:
- Freeware – software that can be freely installed, used and copied on any computer in any situation or context
- Open Source – software with unlimited use, can be freely copied and reengineered and distributed
- Shareware – trial software that can be used for a limited time period or number of sessions before purchase at an agreed price with licence limitations
- Development or Beta – software or devices that are still in the engineering phase and are yet to be classified as finished, fully working or tested products
- Demonstration CD, DVD or download – trial software that functions partially or fully for a set time period or number of sessions before purchase.
- Trial ware or demonstration versions might last for 15, 30, 45 or 60 days or on a number of trials basis.
- Commercial Products – software or devices that are purchased with legal limitations as per use on one or more computers/devices according to licence agreements
- Inclusive Devices – devices that have functions and features that are generic in design or can cater to people with different communication, learning, research, data collection and storage, study, productivity, social interaction or learning needs
- Apps are at cost or free and can be downloaded and used on portable Smart devices or tablets, running various operating systems (iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Android)
The links provided should encourage individuals who require support and guide them to possible solutions, or more relevant research and information. It is an important process. In instances where needs are quite complicated or the solutions are not apparent, expert advice may need to be sought.
In helping oneself to find solutions, users can guide others, whether they are parents, educators, trainers or employers to discover information that might improve their quality of peers, colleagues and work mates in learning and employment opportunities.
It is not exhaustive or fully comprehensive. It does include the major resources, documents, literature and web links that are currently available in Australia and from overseas.
All technology moves rapidly, issues such as obsolescence and model churn is frustrating and burdensome in many situations and instances, especially with regard to funding regimes and rollout of technology. A device or piece of software, once identified, might become an old version before the equipment is even purchased.
Change is constant. Often keeping up-to-date knowledge and skills to operate it are difficult to acquire and maintain. Exploring the web and conducting research is vitally important, as is evaluation of the technology and the process in obtaining and realizing it.
Use the links judiciously to advantage. Read the other introductory sections as well so that a more complete picture and appraisal of what is available is more apparent.
A range of benefits are evidenced in users obtaining and using Inclusive Technologies. These include:
- Self determination
- Increased independence
- Increased confidence
- Enhanced skills using technologies
- Ability to function without extra assistance or help
- Ability to become more self sufficient
- Ability to function in different contexts
- Capacity to overcome difficulties
- Being more mobile
- Being more aware of abilities and skills
- Increased capacity to self monitor and solve problems and issues
- Use existing skills and strategies to greater advantage
- Be more attractive to employees
Potential Areas of Application
- Reading Writing and Comprehension
- Organisation and Planning
- Alternate formats and OCR
One to one
One to many
- Art and Design
- Movement and Dance
- Physical Education and Health Sciences
- Outdoor Education
- LOTE and ESL
- History and Geography
- Bright Hub - The Benefits of Assistive Technology in Schools
- Assistive Technology Industry Association: Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits (ATOB)
- What is Assistive Technology?
Last Updated ( Monday, 23 April 2012 12:20 )