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Did You Know...

Individuals with hearing impairments often use some combination of lip-reading, sign language, and amplification to understand spoken information. People who are deaf from birth generally have more difficulty speaking and understanding the structure of language than those who lost their hearing later in life. In a job setting, everyday noises -- fans and lights -- that are not a bother to hearing people, may have a profound effect on the ability of people with hearing impairments.

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Assistive Technology

The term "assistive technology" refers to all devices that increase the capacity of people with disabilities to function in all aspects of daily living, including work and leisure. The following are some examples of assistive devices (the list is not comprehensive):

  • Devices for people with mobility impairments: e.g., wheel chairs, trolleys, tricycles, calipers or braces, crutches, walkers and artificial limbs
  • Devices for people with sight impairments: e.g., braillers, low-vision devices, white canes, adapted precision measurement instruments, educational devices and adapted toys
  • Devices for people with hearing impairments: e.g., hearing aids and telecommunications devices for deaf people (TDD)
  • Devices for people with cerebral palsy: e.g., adapted crockery and cutlery

Below are some samples of the assistive technologies available:


Visual thinking is a learning style where the learner better understands and retains information when ideas, words and concepts are associated with images. Research tells us that the majority of students in a regular classroom need to see information in order to learn it. Some common visual learning strategies include creating graphic organizers, diagramming, mind mapping, outlining and more. 

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Window Eyes Professional

Window-Eyes is nothing less than the most stable, secure and customizable screen reader available on the market today. Featuring comprehensive support for computers running Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008, Window-Eyes enables individuals who are blind or visually impaired to be completely independent on a PC and be more successful and productive at school and in the workplace.

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JAWS for Windows is a popular software program that was developed for computer users whose vision loss prevents them from seeing screen content.


ZoomText Magnifier/Reader

Zoomtext Magnifer/Reader is a software program designed to help people who have difficulty seeing what is on the computer screen. This program enlarges the screen size and reads text out loud.



The iCommunicator software program is a communication program that provides help for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing by translating information from speech to text or speech to sign language. The program is suitable for both adults and children and is intended as an alternative to sign language interpreters in the appropriate situation.


Kensington SlimBlade

Comfort and productivity are at your fingertips with the Kensington SlimBlade™ Trackball. The slim, low-profile design provides all-day comfort while the advanced dual laser sensors and large ball deliver exceptional precision. Your computing experience gets smoother, faster and easier with the Kensington SlimBlade™ Trackball different user modes.

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Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech recognition software program designed to help people who have difficulty reading and writing, using a computer keyboard and/or typing.


Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 Black & White for Windows was first introduced in 1996. This assistvie software program is the leading reading, writing and learning solution for individuals of all ages with learning difficulties like dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and other literacy difficulties. This software is also used by people with visual disabilities.