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10 assistive technology tools to help people with disabilities in 2024 and beyond

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Assistive technology for people with disabilities has come a long way. Here are 10 tools that are improving their lives in 2023.

Living with a disability can be challenging for many people. Accessibility barriers may affect any aspect of an individual’s life, from daily living to work and school.

While society has come a long way in understanding and accommodating these barriers, much more still needs to be done. One area that has received significant progress is the development of assistive technology tools.

Assistive technology tools have significantly improved the quality of life for people with disabilities, enabling them to overcome challenges due to structural barriers in their surroundings. Let’s explore some assistive technology examples and the top assistive technology tools to help people with disabilities in 2023 and beyond.

10 different types of assistive technology tools for people with disabilities

Here are some of the high-tech and low-tech examples of assistive technology making the lives of people with disabilities and others much easier:

Braille display for the blind

Braille displays are assistive technology devices that help blind or nearly blind people read by translating digital text into braille characters. This adaptive technology can improve the reading experience of people with visual impairments who can read braille.

Voice recognition software for people with dyslexia

Voice recognition is a form of digital word-processing software that can help people with dyslexia write and edit their work much easier. By dictating their text, individuals with dyslexia can overcome their potential writing deficits and produce high-quality work.

Screen readers for people with visual impairments

Screen readers are software programs that read digital text out loud for people with visual impairments. They are a more advanced, all-encompassing form of text to speech. This high-tech assistive technology can help individuals with visual impairments access on-screen information on their mobile devices and computers.

Magnifiers for people with low vision

Magnifiers can help people with low vision to see small text, images, and other details. People with visual impairments can use magnification on printed material, such as books and newspapers to make things appear larger and easier to see. Digital devices, such as tablets and smartphones, can also perform the role of a digital magnifier, although less efficiently than a dedicated device.

Graphic organizers for people with ADHD

Graphic organizers are low-tech tools that can help individuals with ADHD to organize their thoughts and ideas. These tools help individuals stay focused and create a visual representation of their ideas in a clean and convenient manner.

Timers for people on the autism spectrum

Timers can help individuals on the autism spectrum manage their time and stay on task. Timers can set limits on activities, signal the end of a task, and provide structure to daily living. Timers are available as individual portable devices or even smartphone apps.

Alternative keyboards for people with motor disabilities

Alternative keyboards are assistive technology tools that help people with motor disabilities type on a computer. These customizable keyboards can accommodate the needs of individuals with physical disabilities, such as those who use pencil grips or have difficulty using a standard keyboard due to poor motor skills. They may also include additional features, such as word prediction for more efficient typing and note-taking as well as on-screen keyboards that are easier to see.

Hearing aids for people with hearing impairments

Hearing aids are popular assistive technology devices that help people with hearing impairment and older people experiencing hearing loss hear better. These devices amplify sound and can improve the quality of life of individuals with hearing impairments.

Smart glasses for wheelchair users

Smart glasses are high-tech assistive technology devices that can help wheelchair users navigate their environment. These glasses can provide a real-time visual display of obstacles, such as ramps and canes, and can help wheelchair users avoid hazards and move about their surroundings safely.

Text to speech software programs for people with reading, visual, or learning disabilities

Text to speech software can help individuals with different forms of disability, such as reading or learning disabilities, visual impairments, or even speech impediments. TTS helps people with learning disabilities access and comprehend text by reading it out loud.

This software can improve learners’ quality of life by enhancing their access to information. It can also give people with visual impairments access to written content and the digital world. Finally, people with speech impediments can use TTS to communicate easier without writing or sign language.

Get affordable assistive technology with Speechify

Speechify is a customizable and affordable text to speech software that can give individuals with disabilities easy access to digital text. It offers a personalized reading experience with speed control options and works across multiple devices, including iOS and Android. You can try Speechify with your Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows computer, Mac computer, and even use it as a web page browser extension.

It can assist people with various disabilities, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD, visual impairments, and speech impediments. Readers can try Speechify for free today to experience the benefits of this powerful assistive technology tool.

FAQ

What kind of assistive technologies can be used by people with disabilities?

Assistive technologies that people with disabilities can use include a wide range of devices and tools. These include screen readers, speech recognition software, voice recorders, audiobooks, magnifiers, alternative keyboards, hearing aids, and many others.

Assistive technology doesn’t have to be high-tech or digital. A regular wheelchair is an example of assistive technology.

What are assistive technology devices or tools?

Assistive technology devices or tools are any products or systems designed to enhance or improve the functional abilities of people with disabilities.

What is the difference between assistive technology and adaptive technology?

The difference between assistive technology and adaptive technology is assistive technology refers to devices or tools that exist for the specific purpose of helping people with disabilities perform tasks, although they may prove useful to the general public.

By contrast, adaptive technology refers to any technology that can be modified or customized to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities or for other diverse tasks.

What is the Assistive Technology Act?

The Assistive Technology Act is a federal law passed in 1988 and later reauthorized in 2004 that provides funding and support for programs that promote the use of assistive technology devices and services for people with disabilities. It also establishes state-level programs that provide training, information, and technical assistance to individuals with disabilities and their families.

What are Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)?

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are developed according to the Disabilities Education Act for students with disabilities eligible for personalized education services.

These plans outline the students’ educational goals and objectives with specific accommodations and modifications that help support their learning. IEPs ensure that students with disabilities receive an affordable and appropriate general education.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.