Assistive And Adaptive Technology

February 23, 2017

In my previous article about 1980's and 1990's, I have touched on the nostalgia we all lived through. Now computers are so advanced that have many different awesome features… how many terabytes or how fast is the processor, but speech capability to special color customization is sometihng cool. I am a avid iMac user and both Apple and Microsoft computers, have many adaptive features have tand they don't cost anything, because basic accessibility tools already built in.  Others that require speciality have to be installed.

On my computer I enabled few useful tools, like verbal warning instead of the annoying bong I get a communique. For example if my keyboard or mouse battery is running low or if certain active program needs my attention. When I have highlighted text either online or documents it can be read with realistic human voice, to help me understand the information better or reread content. Also what I have is dictation I can speak and the computer will write for me. I have tried it and it is pretty accurate. I can zoom entire screen to specific area, even though my eyesight is excellent. And when I type the auto spell correct guess the word I am trying to type but still sometimes underlines mistakes. Other feature it has is voiceover. What voiceover does is speak speaks wherever you point and click with your cursor. Every thing comes in the box no need for extra software and it is all free. With the update to MacOs Sierra, laptops and desktops now come with Siri.

What is your favorite feature or gadget on your computer at home or office to utilize and improve your productivity? I don't have any disabilities but these features are very helpful and they are there if you need them. 


With peripherals like keyboards and mice, everyone what they are but some are designed that any one can benefit from them. There are tons of different designs that can make your life and compurer productivity whole lot easier.  There are mice for hardcore gamers and to individuals who have arthritis or some kind of defect. Also there are keyboards with larger buttons or they have keys painted different colors. There are special programs enables user to control the computer with their eye or brain waves.

There are a lot different gadgets as well. Assistive technology is not just computer based. To be honest, I don't know where even to start. Some accessories include a pen that doubles as a recorder to be a better note taker to speech synthesizers for those who can not speak and medical.

On the side note, acessibility don't stop here… Even office chairs and desks that are ergonomicly designed are for comfort. Sitting for long periods of time is very bad not just for your body but eyes as well. There are some offices that adopted standing desks, they can be also lowered if you wanted to sit. In Japan office workers in most companies every once in a while, throughout the day stand up and do couple of arm stretches and hip bending to keep them not only awake and motivated but to keep healthy stamina. And everyone does these small exercises together. And a ture fact, Japanese have one of the longest office hours in the world.  

Staring at the screen is damaging too. There as special filters that can mount to your monitor or  glasses that eliminate harmful blue light. And they can be also used while driving when it is dark. We have all been there… there is always one motorist waiting for a green light using unnecessary high beams especially at night. What is your favorite accessory or tool for the office or home? For me I can't tell… I like them all.

© E. P. Sendecki / EeroSendTheKey