is defined as "Equipment that enhances classroom performance of students
with a disability." Students who use adaptive technology are not
getting an unfair advantage over the other students. Adaptive technology
helps students with disabilities compete at the same level as other students
without disabilities. This technology is like a helping hand.
Students who are deaf-blind use adaptive technology that is specifically
designed for their hearing and vision impairments.
It is OKAY to
use adaptive technology. You do have the right to access information
and compete just like everyone else.
is a general term that can refer to many different things. You probably
know of other names that can refer to Adaptive Technology; here are some
of the most common terms:
All terms refer to
the same basic thing: tools that help students with a disability succeed
in the classroom or learning environment.
The Adaptive Technology
section is divided into six areas: listing different tools that will support
students who are deaf-blind, there is also a brief description offered
for each specific tool. For a list of distributers, go to the Adaptive
As new technology
is always being invented, you may know of new and useful tools! If
you do have information, please let me know by sending
devices that help students who are deaf-blind navigate the computer environment
Large Cursor Utilities
- software options that enlarge the cursor for easier tracking and manipulation.
- software that magnifies the contents of tthe computer screen (e.g., Zoomtext).
Screen Readers -
software that generates speech to enable visually impaired users to navigate
the computer screen by "hearing" it. Most of these devices will have
volume control, so they can be turned up for those who have some hearing,
through the clarity of the speech may not be as good.
- hardware that allows the computer to prodduce synthesized speech when
used with a screen reader.
Tools that assist
students who are deaf-blind to read printed material, such as books, journals,
courseware, class notes, etc. They can be either enlargement devices
or voice reading machines.
Closed Circuit Televisions
(CCTV) - a device that displays a magnified image of printed text through
the use of a camera and display monitor. The books and documents
can be read when placed on a movable platform under the camera lens.
Magnifiers - low
technology devices that easily and quickly enlarge print from most sources.
Reading (OCR) - software used with a scanner that converts printed text
into electronic text that can be read on the computer or vocalized using
screen reading software.
Scanner - hardware
that scans printed or graphic material into a computer.
Tools that help
students who are deaf-blind access printed material on computer or assist
- hardware used with a computer that producces tactile Braille output when
used with Braille translation software.
Braille Printer -
hardware that prints documents in Braille on embossed paper through a Braille
- a portable laptop system which helps peopple who are deaf-blind to communicate,
especially with sighted, hearing people.
Tools that are
used to improve, but not replace, hearing.
FM (frequency modulation)
System – an amplification device that provides direct audio transmission
from a microphone, via radio waves, to a headset or the hearing aid of
a person who is hard of hearing.
Infrared System -
an amplification device that provides direct audio transmission from a
microphone, via infrared to a headset worn by the student.
- hand-held amplifiers used with telephoness, walkie-talkies, etc.
Tools that are
created specifically for people who are deaf-blind
Braille Lite - allows
the user to read and write Braille notes.
Brailletalk – a small,
black, plastic box, which has a Braille display and a QWERTY keyboard.
The sighted person guides the deaf-blind student’s finger to the appropriate
cell, spelling out each word of the message.
Telebraille - uses
a TTY modem. It was designed as a TTY for people who are deaf-blind
and is equally useful for face to face conversations.
Tools that assist
students who are deaf-blind, but are not in the above groups.
Typewriters (TTY) - devices that enable users to send and receive information
over the telephone.
Large Print Display
for TTY – a large print display, which plugs into the printer port of the
Omni Page - a paging
system designed for people who need to communicate to another person -
or need to be aware of a signal from an electronic device, such as a smoke
detector, telephone, sound monitor, or doorbell.
Coomber, S. Assessment
of Service Needs for Post-Secondary Students who are Deafblind, Interpreting
Services Project, Burnaby, BC, Ca 1998
Coomber, S. Inclusion:
Strategies for Accommodating Students with Disabilities who use Adaptive
Technology in the Classroom. Adult Services Program, HRDC-Disabled
Persons Participation Program, Vancouver, BC, CA 1996
“A-Z to Deafblindness” A to Z, 1999, On-line:
Post Secondary] [Classroom Adaptations]
Profiles] [Adaptive Links]