WHAT IS ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Adaptive Technology is a broad term often used to describe both the products and services for people with special needs.
It enhances the vocation, recreation, education, and independence of the user.
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired Commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
The next thing that comes to mind is the question of who, how, where and when does one require and should be entitled to adaptive/assistive technology as well as to what extent and at what cost should it be available.

Adaptive Technology can provide equality between visually impaired individuals and their sighted peers within the emerging information society. With the aid of the appropriate technological devices, visually impaired persons can independently access, process, store and transmit the same information handled by sighted people. Both use computers to manipulate this information. The only difference lies in the form in which the information is displayed.
The vast proportion of employment, education and daily living activities require access to electronic information. Technology can, in a innumerable of instances, assist individuals who are blind or visually impaired to become active participants in their societies.

There are essentially five methods of output that can render computers and printed materials accessible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired:
Screen Reader, Braille Printer, reading device, electronic Braille displays, and text magnification.

Screen Readerrs:

The Screen Reader convert computer outputs and text entering cues into major spoken languages.
The person with visual impairment can access computers with the help of speech output to use any word processor application to write letters, school assignments or any other writing.
The exploration of the Internet and sending electronic-mail (E-mail) are possible for a blind endividual by the use of a speach synthesizer.

Braille Embossers:

A Braille Embosser is a hardware device for "printing" a hard copy of a text document in Braille. A Braille translation software program is required to translate the text from the computer into Braille. Most Braille translation software programs can translate material into several grades or versions of Braille. Computerized Braille embossers definitely has great advantage over the manual Brailing method.

Reading Devices/Scanners:

The reading devices for the blind allow access to hard copy of ink printed materials into the computer where it becomes accessible.
Once the text has scanned within a second, the user can start Listen to the text in a clear voice. In the mean time, the user can save the scanned material for later use.
Indeed, with this type of adaptive technology, it no longer presents a barrier to persons who have difficulty to read ink prints.

Braille Display:

There are also devices that are able to convert ordinary print or the symbols on a computer screen into an exact tactile replica.
Braille Display is vital communication device Exceptionally for persons with Deaf-Blind
There are also read-write systems, mostly doubling as word processors and computer terminals.
Braille text is entered and manipulated by means of a simple six-dot keyboard and a few additional keys or switches. Text is displayed on a small tactile screen. To produce hard copy, the device is interfaced with ordinary standard printers or with Braille embossers.
Magnification:
For persons with partial sight there is an ever increasing range of useful magnifying lenses. By means of closed circuit television devices, print can be enlarged and brought into focus and small objects observed closely.

>The progress of technology has meant that blind and visually impaired persons can have access to practically everything through spoken messages, natural or synthetic, through tactile markings and readings, through enlarged or enlargeable characters, through optical character recognition systems etc.

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