Assistive Technology for
Unlocking the Mind with the Keys of Understanding!
Carolyn P. Phillips & Liz Persaud
Tools for Life
Georgia Assistive Technology Program
Considering Computer Access:
What Works for the Individual
Why Assistive Technology?
For a person without
For a person with a
Assistive Technology Matching:
A TEAM APPRAOCH
The Person with the disAbility
Circle of Support
Family of Choice
Speech & Language Pathologist
Human Activity Technology
: represents the skills and abilities of the
person with a disability
a set of tasks to be performed by the person
with a disability
: the setting or social, cultural and physical
contexts that surround the environment in which the
activity must be completed
: devices or strategies used to
bridge the gap between the person’s abilities and the
demands of the environment
Developed by Cook & Hussey
Promoting Strengths &
A Holistic Approach
Selection of an AT Device
Depends on an analysis of the following
Prior experience or knowledge, and interests;
The individual’s specific strengths, weaknesses;
The specific device (reliability, ease of operation, technical
Usefulness across settings
Usefulness over time as symptoms manifest!
Able to level out the playing field
Work in cross
Easy to maintain
Affordable to replace and/or maintain
Good and reliable technological support
Accessible training format
Staying off the FAST
“Technology gives me
hope & I need a lot of
Universal design principles
flexibility in use
simple and intuitive to use
tolerance for error
low physical effort
size and space for approach and use
use more than one sense (or mode )
e.g. visual and aural senses: a text processor
may speak the words as well as echoing them
to the screen
Very hard to design a product for everyone
What happens when you can’t?
“Design for all” vs. “Design for most”
Any item, equipment or system, that is used to
increase, maintain, or improve functional
capabilities of a person with a disability
absence of a limb
all four limbs
lower limbs only
Speech & Conversation
Conversation is “a dialogue in which the one
taking breath is called the listener”
speed input for people with limited
Predictive interface, stored phrases, iconic boards
Use Word prediction
Windows’ Accessibility Features
Mouse: pointers, speed and trails
Display: resolution settings, high contrast etc., Magnifier (XP)
Cursor: repeat rate or delay and blink rate
Keyboard options: sticky keys, filter keys and toggle keys,
onscreen keyboard (XP).
SoundSentry: screen sounds for VI
Screen Reader (XP)
Accessibility Wizard Windows ME and above: for setting
features in control panel based on user need
Slow keys or disable auto
Modify keyboard mappings
Sip and puff
Dual switch (can be used for Morse code)
Switches for Access
Jelly Bean Red Switch by Ablenet
Buddy Button switch by TASH
Leaf Switch by Enabling Devices
Frog Switch by Enabling Devices
Untouchable a Proximity Single Switch
Voice Activated Switch by Enabling Devices
Activation Pressure Adjustable Switch by Penny and Giles
Ultimate Switch (with mount included) by Enabling Devices
Switch Tray for switch mounting by Maxess
Universal Switch Mount by Ablenet
Switch and Latch Timer for switch use by Ablenet
Battery Adapter (adapts battery operated toys to single switch) by Ablenet
Switched joystick or cursor keys
Head sensor or mouth stick
Penny and Giles joystick with keyguard.
Penny and Giles trackball.
Trackball from Crayola.
Trackball from Penny and Giles.
Mouse with switch interface from Logitech and Mini mouse (for small
Glidepoint touch pad by Cirque
Graphite Tablet with stylus for drawing.
Switch Interfaces for Computers
Macintosh Switch Interface by Don Johnston
USB Switch Interface by Quizworks
Switch Adapted Mouse by Logtec
SAM trackball mouse by Microspeed
IntelliKeys USB board by Intellitools
handed keyboards, possible chords
Membrane surfaces (minimize required
Alternative Input Devices
Dictation versus control
What is a Direct
… a system that captures signals directly from the
human brain, providing a channel to control
computers and other devices.
The GSU BrainLab Mission
is to pioneer
applications research for
biometric technologies to improve the quality of life
for people with severe disabilities, and to explore
Brain Signal Detection
electrodes (single neuron)
learns” how to move limbs via
Virtual reality hand
Restoring Physical Motion
The “Aware ‘Chair”
Integrated communication and environmental control
Intelligent, neurally controlled wheelchair
Conversation and environmental control prediction
Learns users habits and context
Provides emotional expression
Think about universal design principles
helps all users, not just people with
Technology can help provide access and
control of computer
Wide range of solutions
Try before You Buy!
Nothing About Us without Us
There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn.
In the distance he saw a older woman
appear to be dancing.
As he approached the woman,
he saw her picking up stranded
starfish and throwing them back into the sea.
The young man gazed in wonder
as the woman again and again
threw the small starfish from the sand to the water.
He asked, “Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time.”
The woman explained that the
stranded starfish would die
if left in the morning sun.
“But there must be thousands of
beaches and millions of starfish!”
exclaimed the young man.
“How can you make any difference?”
The woman looked at the small starfish
in her hand and as she threw
it to the safety of the sea, she said,
“It makes a difference to this one!”.
For Your Time & Interest!
We Want to Hear from You!