Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology (AT) is any device or piece of equipment that allows a person to do something they couldn’t do otherwise. Essentially, AT is anything that makes participation in life easier, no matter age or ability!

AT solutions range from high-tech and expensive, to low-tech and simple.

AT for vision impairment can be broken down into several categories of technology.  A few of these categories, in relation to employment are:

Access to Print Materials

This category of devices assist the user in receiving information in an alternate way, when they are unable to visually see it.

Magnifiers

Video magnifiers, what used to be called closed-circuit television (CCTV), consist of a video camera used to project a magnified image onto another monitor.  Magnifiers enlarge the print for those with low vision to see.  The following companies offer a variety of magnifiers for different needs:

Digital Daisy Book Players

Talking book players are devices that play digital audio books. The National Library Service for the Blind provides a free player for audio books and magazines, based on eligibility. Click here for more information!

Here are some additional options for players:

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Scanning and Book Readers

OCR technology uses a camera to scan printed text and then speaks it aloud.

 Scanning and Reading Solutions

Taking Notes and Writing

Braille Embossers

Braille embossers are impact printers that convert text to tactile Braille cells. Using Braille translation software, a print document can be embossed with relative ease, making Braille production efficient and cost effective.

Electronic Braille Notetakers

An electronic braille note taker is a personal digital assistant with speech and Braille output. The user can read and write files, keep contacts and appointments, and do basic web browsing with email handling.

Braille Displays

A refreshable Braille display is an electro-mechanical device for displaying Braille characters, by means of computer driven pins. Blind users can use Braille displays to read text output.

Braille displays provide access to information on a computer screen in braille.

Braille printers print hardcopy information from computer devices.

Braille note takers are portable devices with braille keyboards for entering information.

Computer and Internet Use

Screen Magnification

A magnifier enlarges texts and graphics on the screen, and can also adjust the resolution, to create a viewable screen.

Screen Readers

Screen readers are software that allow users to read the text displayed on the screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display.

The contents of this website were developed with support from the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Targeted Communities (VR TAC TC: Project E3) at the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA through a subcontract to the University of Kentucky, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (Grant# H264F15003). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U. S. Department of Education or SUBR.

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