Most or all disabilities

Access to Videos

This article provides an overview of the issues people may have when accessing videos online, in theaters, and from DVD or Blu-Ray players, and the solutions that have been developed to address these. 

Barriers to Video Access

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Accommodating Individuals with Multiple Disabilities

Assistive technologies, like their mainstream counterparts, are often designed with assumptions about user capabilities. For example, screen readers for blind users require extensive keyboard use, which may cause problems if the user also has difficulty using their hands. Creative strategies may help people with more than one disability to accomplish their goals using technology.

Consulting with the User

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Independent Living As We Age

In honor of National Falls Prevention day this Friday, Sept. 23rd, the National Council on Aging posted an article debunking the commonly held belief that the older we get the more likely we are to fall. They've responded to 10 popular myths such as "4. As long as I stay home I can avoid falling or 5. Muscle strength and flexibility can't be regained".

At the Accessible Technology Coalition we are all about how technology can promote and support living independently. There are many types of devices that can help to keep people active and strong as we age.

Regarding falls, technology may not be preventing them just yet but new fall detectors, with gyroscopes, mean that a fall can be reported even if the person can't press a button. One product and service from Phillips never needs charging and is waterproof.

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Content Management Systems (CMSs) and Accessibility

Content Management Systems (CMSs) let you create websites without having to write software or know much about web technologies -- they separate the task of creating and managing the content of your site from the task of building and maintaining the underlying structure. This lets 'average people' set up and manage a site, and makes it easy for contributors to write and comment. Drupal, Joomla!, WordPress, and Plone are popular CMSs. This article provides an overview of CMSs and accessibility, and how to get started.

Note: this article does not cover the specific types of CMSs used widely in education, called learning management systems, such as Blackboard and Elluminate.

How CMSs Work

CMSs are all about simplicity, and they use 2 techniques to achieve their goal of simplification; both have accessibility implications.

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Telling Our Stories: Sarah Triano

Thursday, September 15, 2011
10:00 - 11:00 Pacific Daylight Time

Join us for an interview with Sarah Triano, Executive Director of San Jose Independent Living Center! Sarah is a Disability rights activist and leader known for being dynamic, provocative, and engaging.

Guest Speaker: Sarah Triano

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Assistive Technology for Cooking and Cleaning

Some homemaking products designed for the mainstream work especially well for people with various types of disabilities. Other products have been specifically designed with accessibility features. This article covers products from both categories that are useful for cooking and cleaning tasks.

Cleaning

Automatic devices for cleaning floors such as the Roomba and Scooba have become commonplace, and may herald more widespread development of robotic devices for similar functions.

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Reading and Writing Solutions: Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
10:00 - 11:00 Pacific Standard Time

Join us for Reading and Writing Solutions, tips and tricks including, great low tech tools, software and apps. Some of the things you will learn about will include: reading support tools such as visual and auditory supports, adapted and alternative writing tools, incredible software and helpful apps.

In this archived webinar: Reading and Writing Solutions: Tips and Tricks we review great low tech tools, software, and apps. Some of the things you will learn about will include: reading support tools such as visual and auditory supports, adapted and alternative writing tools, incredible software and helpful apps. Presenter: Laura Simmons-Martinez. 

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Assistive Technology for Safety and Security

There are three types of products related to safety and security that may be of interest to people with disabilities:

  • Products that provide redundant alerts for people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Products that allow people with various disabilities to signal for help
  • Products that provide assistance to people with cognitive disabilities

This article covers all three.

Redundant Alarms

Most alarm systems use a loud sound. People with hearing loss need a redundant signaling method that uses lights, vibration, or both, or may connect to a lamp that flashes when activated. These features are available on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, burglar alarms, and baby monitors; many can be found in home improvement stores or big box retailers.

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Accessibility Considerations and Library Software

Software designed primarily for use by libraries may or may not be accessible or compatible with assistive technologies. This article covers three types of library software:

  • Information resources that provide information or point to information, such as databases
  • Administrative software that interfaces between users and applications and controls computer usage
  • Security systems that prevent malicious usage of software and reset system/programs to their defaults

Potential Accessibility Issues

Accessibility problems with library software usually occur for one of three reasons:

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Funding Assistive Technology for Libraries and Other Organizations

There are two primary ways to fund assistive technology acquisition: build it into your organization's budget, or seek outside funding. When these don't work, it may be worth trying some creative strategies. This article covers all three approaches.

What to Budget For

When putting together a budget, keep in mind that it needs to cover more than assistive technology hardware and software. It should also include as many of the following as appropriate:

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