#10: How does Assistive Computer Technology work?

Assistive Computer Technology (ACT) allows individuals to interact with mainstream computer technology in a manner similar to that of their non-disabled peers. Generally speaking, ACT interacts with text content - particularly when using the Web.

Types of ACT

There are different types of ACT. Often times, technology designed for individuals with a disability also finds an application within the larger public (e.g., the "vibrate mode" on cell phones).

Screen-Readers
Screen-Readers allow blind or visually-impaired individuals interact with computer applications and on-screen content. On the Internet, these programs are designed to read text outloud to the individual..
Screen Magnification Programs
Screen magnification programs may simply enlarge the on-screen information for individuals who are visually-impaired. More advanced programs can provide different mouse cursors and screen contrast modes.
Speech to Text Programs
Speech-to-Text programs allow individuals to speak information and dictate messages, open files, and browse the Internet without relying on the mouse or keyboard. Web-based applications that require the use of the mouse make use of Speech-to-Text programs very difficult.
Learning Software
Learning software applications provide students with learning disabilities various tools to aid in reading and interacting with text content. These applications generally read and highlight words and sentences for enhanced learning.

Generally speaking, HTML-based pages provide the best medium for accessibility across different web browsers, assistive computer technology, etc.

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