People with disabilities meet many barriers. Technology bridges these barriers. By gaining computer skills they are able to read, write and communicate with others. People with disabilities face meet barriers still when it comes to using a computer. These barriers are grouped into three categories:
- Barriers to providing computer input
- Output interpretation
- Reading supporting documents
Hardware and software tolls have been developed to provide functional alternatives to these standard operations.
People with physical disabilities may not fit under a standard computer table and those who do not have enough use of their hands and arms to operste standard keyboard or mouse.
Equipment that makes things easier for positioning monitors, keyboards, documentation is needed for many who have a disability. Accessible on and off switches make it easier for people with disabilities to turn equipment on and off without assistance.
Some technology helps individuals with little to no use of their hands when using a keyboard. People who have the use of one finger or access to a mouth or head stick or pointing device can control computer by pressing keys with pointing device.
Software utilities can create “sticky keys” that hold the SHIFT CONTROL and other keys allowing a sequence of keystrokes to input commands that normally need two or more keys to be pressed at the same time. The repeat function can be disabled for those who cannot release a button fast enough to avoid multiple selections.
Screen output does not present a challenge, but people with physical disabilities who struggle to obtain output from printers do need help.