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What is Assistive Technology and its devices & products
Definition of Assistive Technology, history, information on things it includes, different products and technological devices and Microsoft's contribution in this field. All information has been compiled from Wikipedia,Washington etc.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive technology refers to technology used by the disabled people to perform day to day activities which is otherwise impossible to do. It is also called "Adaptive Technology(AT)", an umbrella term which includes new techno devices like electronic wheel chairs, movable walkers etc.
History of Assistive Technology?
A formal, legal definition of assistive technology was first published in the Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (The Tech Act). This act was amended in 1994; in 1998, it was repealed and replaced with the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 ("AT Act"). Throughout this history, the original definition of assistive technology remained consistent. This same definition was used in the Access Board's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, developed as required by 1998 amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
What all does it include?
iBOTJohnson & Johnson's Independence Technology and DEKA Research and Development made iBot.
This is an electronic wheelchair and its designing it is similar to the conventional wheel chairs, with a slight input from the technology field, it is battery powered and enables disabled people to even reach great heights. It also has eye to eye sensors for impaired conversations.
Personal Emergency Response SystemThis includes all those electronic systems which can be used as an assistance to keep independent and lonely people safe and secure by alarming and alerting those nearby. Sensors and detectors come under this category.
Keyboard alternatives-for autistic and other disabilities.
Some people cannot distinguish between keys, while some other find difficulty in typing on standard keyboards. For these type of people, Assistive Technology plays a major role. Keyboards with bigger keys and communication softwares along with screen-readers.
Other examples include:
Footmouse — Foot-operated mouse.
Keys with dots to help find the 'home' keys, F and J, on the keyboard, LOMAK keyboards,Eye Trackers and many more such electronic devices.
Who pays for assistive technology?
Funds for assistive technology are raised by several means:
Government sets aside a lot of its income for the assistive technology developments
Schools raise enough funds to support this technology
Further the government gives job training in this fields to those capable of improving it.
Assistive Technology Industry Association (often abbreviated as ATIA)
It is an NGO, which looks after the manufacture, production , marketing etc of technology based devices. They also provide services to help the disabled and those who are in need of help.
The members of ATIA are highly experienced and have great knowledge which is needed in the designing of assistive technology. It is the members of ATAI who bridge the gap between the needs of the disabled and the manufactures. They also hold forums, workshops and seminars for those who help the disabled with assistive technology. They have recently started the Internet-based on-line seminars(often called webinars).
Microsoft's Contribution in Assistive Technology
Microsoft has developed many softwares and programs such as screen magnifier , onscreen keyboard and screen readers etc.
Softwares developed by Microsoft in all fields , for more info click here
There are many companies that offer help for people with various kinds of disabilities. For instance Microsoft share in the development of this field is the highest and today many different companies have come in collaboration with Microsoft in achieving their goal for a stable and basic life for the uncommon man.
Assistive Technology has been a boon for those who had unfortunately had a bad life. It has transformed the manner in which these people have seen their future and has given them the ability to once again fulfil their dreams and their desires. It has been as good as GOD for them.
Even today, newer and newer technology are being tested and designers are trying to build as close as reality devices which can further boost our economy and help the incapable of achieving great heights of success which were once thought to be unattainable by the very same people!
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