ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES
By: Carmen Willings
Any adaptive device or service that increases participation, achievement or independence for a student with a disability may be considered assistive technology (AT). The following is a list of AT resources for students who are blind or visually impaired.
Ability Hub offers assistive Technology solutions for people with a disability who find operating a computer difficult, maybe even impossible. This site includes resources to adaptive equipment and alternative methods available for accessing computers.
AbleData is a publicly funded organization through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education. It provides objective information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available from domestic and international sources to consumers, organizations, professionals, and caregivers within the US.
AccessWorld is a branch of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) that offers comprehensive product evaluations, user-friendly explanations of current technology, practical tips on using technologies, news and reports from the field specific to technology. It also features interviews with industry leaders. All current and past issues and articles can be accessed online or through the AFB Access World app, AFBAW.
The American Foundation for the Bind (AFB) provides a comprehensive product database of assistive technology products used by persons who are blind or visually impaired. Users can browse products by category, manufacturer, or by task. You can also link to product reviews found on AccessWorld.
ATA is a national network of community-based resource centers, product developers, vendors, service providers, and individuals that provides information and support services to persons with disabilities. Their mission is to increase the use of technology by children and adults with disabilities and functional limitations.
ATIA is a membership organization of manufacturers, sellers, and providers of technology based assistive devices and services. They hold an annual conference on assistive technology.
Beyond Sight specializes in independent living aids and adaptive technology. Products include braille embossers, computer technology, games, kitchen aids, magnifiers and mobility aids. In addition, they provide training for using the products
Bookshare provides access to books that are legally scanned for people who are visually impaired or print disabled. The books can be read with adaptive technology or in embossed braille.
CANnect is a consortium of schools and philanthropists who provide courses designed toward people who are blind or visually impaired. Accessible and comprehensive online courses cover a wide range of subjects specific to visual impairments as well as the core curriculum and workplace tools like spreadsheets and word processing. CANnect solves problems for people with vision impairments so they can get on with learning.
Closing The Gap provides information and training necessary to best locate, compare and implement assistive technology into the lives of persons with disabilities. They hold an annual international conference, online magazine and live webinars.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a membership association for educators and education leaders who are engaged in improving learning and teaching through the advancement of technology in pre-k-12 and teacher education.
The Michigan Department of Education has compiled a great list of Assistive Technology Resources. Visit there site and view all the resources or use the filter feature to locate the exact AT support you are looking for.
Paths to Technology is designed to assist educators and families in learning and staying current on ever-changing technology for students with visual impairments and blindness. The goal of the project is to enable students with visual impairments and blindness to succeed in paperless mainstream classrooms and post-school opportunities for employment by achieving digital literacy and by staying current with rapidly evolving technology. Paths to Technology is a resource for defining and disseminating best practices, training, and support for teachers of the visually impaired, braille transcribers, other education professionals, parents and students.
The National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials features the AIM Navigator. The AIM Navigator is an interactive tool that facilitates the process of decision-making around accessible instructional materials for an individual student. The tool helps teams determine the need of AT; select the format; consider the acquisition of formats; and select the supports for use.
The VI/Assistive Technology program at the Region 10 Education Service Center in Richardson, TX has developed Technology Olympics, a great activity for motivating students with visual impairments to develop their assistive technology skills. Technology Olympics provides students the opportunity to compete at their individual skill levels using the latest technology equipment available for individuals who are blind and visually impaired. Check out the information and forms on their site to develop a Technology Olympics for your area!
FREE VI Program Templates
Become a member for FREE to access the Printable VI Program Templates to support your district's vision program. Includes VI Program resources, FVE/LMA templates and NEW Sample FVE Reports ebook. Simply click on Log In|Register in the navigation bar at the top of the page and follow the directions to register and create your password.
Sign up for free membership and receive the latest news, notification of recent articles and updates, current job postings, announcements of training opportunities, and access to FREE forms and templates to support your VI program. Read More
Due to the nationwide shortage of vision professionals, it can be challenging to locate personnel. Announce a job vacancy on the Job Exchange of Teaching Students with Visual Impairments, an online listing of jobs specific to the visual impairment field.
Hi! I'm Carmen Willings. Welcome to my website! I developed this web resource to support fellow TVI's and to educate those new to the field of visual impairments in how to best support students who are blind or visually impaired. Read More