Assistive Technology – General Resources Guide

The following are comprehensive, cross-disability, and/or multiple product web sites that offer a wealth of information about assistive technology (AT).
AbilityHub[added 2/28/01]
Developed by AT practitioner Dan Gilman “for people with a disability who find operating a computer difficult, maybe even impossible,” AbilityHub “will direct you to adaptive equipment and alternative methods available for accessing computers.” This attractive site is one of the best-organized guides to computer-related AT products on the web that we’ve seen. It is arranged by topic (e.g., augmentative communication, keyboard alternatives) and subdivided by type of equipment. There’s also an excellent list of frequently asked questions. Concerned about the site’s objectivity, we contacted Mr. Gilman in February 2001 and were assured that his web design and hosting company did not receive any compensation from the listed product sites; the limited number of ads and sponsor notices were discrete.
Looking for an assistive technology product? Whether it’s a simple, low-tech device or a sophisticated computerized product, you’ll probably find it in ABLEDATA’s searchable database of approximately 25,000 assistive devices. You’ll also find some invaluable fact sheets, consumer guides, and related material on this web site.
Alliance for Technology Access
Find out about this network of community based AT centers throughout the country. FAQs, success stories, directory, newsletter, and links.
Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) [added 3/3//01]
ATIA is a membership association for companies and others in the industry. Its hyperlink member list is a useful way to find the websites of specific vendors. [updated 2/28/01]
Created by Georgia Tech’s Center for Rehabilitation Technology, this website features an AT database that visitors can search by function/activity, keyword, product type, and vendor. Although the homepage indicates an anticipated completion date of November 1002, we have used it successfully to locate AT products.
Bytes of Recreation [link not working 2/28/01]
Computer games for people with disabilities – cool!
Center on Information Technology Accommodation (CITA)
The Center is a technical demonstration and resource center assisting Federal agencies to achieve successful investments in IT architecture and public service applications. The web site includes information about CITA Pilots and Partnerships,assistive resources for hard of hearing persons, “Make Your Web Page Accessible.” accommodating desktop users, public and nonprofit resources, a vendor listing for telecommunication and input/output devices. a handbook, list of ergonomic vendors, and more.
Closing the Gap
This site features articles from Closing the Gap, a popular monthly newspaper about assistive technology, and a huge searchable database of hardware and software for people with special needs. Product descriptions, prices and contact information are included.
Computers for Handicapped Independence Program (C.H.I.P.)
Summaries of specific software and hardware products for persons with motor, vision, learning, hearing, and cognitive skills.
EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information)
An affiliate of the American Association for Higher Education, EASI’s mission is to serve as a resource to the education community by providing information and guidance in the area of access-to-information technologies by individuals with disabilities. This web site is packed with information, articles, documents and links, geared particularly to higher educators, librarians, etc. EASI also offers fee-based online technology courses.
Fact Sheets
A very good series of fact sheets from ICAN (Increasing Capabilities Access Network) on such diverse topics as: Assistive Technology in the College Classroom, Selecting, Buying, and Maintaining Adaptive Equipment, Kitchen Aids, AT for Public Facilities for People who are Deaf or Hearing Impaired, and more.
Family Center on Technology and Disability [added 8/28/00]
“The Family Center was formed by United Cerebral Palsy Associations and partner organizations to provide assistance to programs and organizations to respond to the technology needs of parents and families of children and youth with disabilities.” Its web site includes basic information about assistive technology, a materials database, model programs, links, and more.
Microsoft Accessibility
Microsoft’s web site includes a wealth of information about assistive technology, with a particular focus (of course) on this computer giant’s role. Check out the “Products and Aids” section for a wealth of information about accessibility features and options included in Microsoft products, and how to adjust them to meet your personal preferences.
RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America)
RESNA is an interdisciplinary association for the advancement of rehabilitation and assistive technologies. Though geared primarily for members and professionals, this site includes conferences, links, and related information. The RESNA Technical Assistance (TA) Project provides information and consultation to assistive technology programs in states and territories funded under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998; links to state Tech Act projects are provided.
Software Accessibility (IBM)
A concise overview of software accessibility for software developers, plus information about web access. (See Disability Resources’ section on World Wide Web Accessibility for more information about this topic.)
Trace Research and Development Center [updated 2/28/01]
Based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Engineering, The Trace Center currently focuses on universal design in information technologies and telecommunications. Its website provides a wide array of information, resources, and links relating to universal design of new technologies, including its own innovative work on accessible kiosks and ATMs.
Tech Connections [added 12/12/01]
Sponsored by the UCP Center for Rehabilitation Technology, this website provides an excellent overview of AT resources, including lists of state assistive technology and vocational rehabilitation projects, resources by disability, and a monthly newsletter. We especially liked the “Quick Reference Series,” which provide good overviews of topics such as computer workstations, one-handed keyboards, and mouse alternatives.
Related Subjects
Assistive Technology (Index)
Resources in your state
Disability Resources Monthly frequently features books, pamphlets, videos, organizations, and other resources about assistive technology.