TermDefinitionTags
Abbreviation Expansion SoftwareSoftware that automatically "expands" a word, or phrase, that the user has pre-stored under an abbreviated form. (For example, the software could be programmed to expand a typed first and last initial into a complete name. Abbreviation expansion software is designed to reduce the number of keystrokes....A 
AccessStrategy, method, and site of contact between the person and the technology....A 
Access MethodThe action by which the person operates the assistive technology....A 
Access UtilityAn access utility is a software program that modifies a standard keyboard to simplify operation of the keyboard, replace the mouse, substitute visual cues for sound signals, or add sound cues to keystrokes. Example: In the case of a young person with a mobility impairment, an access utility is important because it can alter the way keys on the keyboard respond to touch. For example, Jimmy, a young boy with muscular dystrophy, has difficulty pressing the keys quickly; he lingers a bit longer on each key than necessary, or inadvertently presses multiple keys in-stead of the intended key. Altering the relay time on these keys can enable Jimmy to process information more effectively when using his keyboard. Many basic modifications can be made through software that already exists on your computer. Altering font size, color contrast, and adding or modifying audio alerts can all be done without purchasing additional software. “Sticky keys” are another very useful modification tool that c...A 
AccommodationIn the context of education, an accommodation is a change in the format or presentation of educational materials so that a student with a disability can complete the same assignment as other students. Accommodations can also include changes in setting, timing, scheduling, and/or response mechanisms of tests. Accommodations include: audiotapes of textbooks, tape recorders for capturing classroom lessons, calculators, allowing a student to submit an illustration of key concepts rather than a written report, providing reproduced copies of textbook pages that can be marked up and highlighted, and assignment of a “study buddy” or notetaker. There are dozens of accommodations that can change a student’s experience from frustration to success if teachers, aides, and parents are creative. A list of possible accommodations is provided by The PACER Center and can be downloaded from their Special Education Rights Publications page (Publication Code PHP-c49) athttp://www.pacer.org/publicatio...A 
Activities of Daily LivingActivities of Daily Living (ADL): Frequently used in national surveys as a way to measure self-care abilities in daily life, ADLs include basic tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, getting in and out of a chair or bed, and getting around while at home. National surveys also measure another level of self-care functioning, Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), which include activities such as doing everyday household chores, preparing meals, conducting necessary business, using the telephone, shopping, and getting around outside the home....A 
Adaptive TechnologiesAdaptive technologies are a type of assistive technology that include customized systems that help individual students move, communicate, and control their environments. Adaptive technologies are designed specifically for persons with disabilities; these devices would seldom be used by non-disabled persons. Examples include augmentative communication devices, powered wheelchairs and environmental control systems. These assistive technologies are not used exclusively for education purposes, and can be used in all of the child’s environments....A 
Alternative Access/Input DeviceAn alternative access/input device allows individuals to control their computers using tools other than a standard keyboard or pointing device. Examples include alternative keyboards, electronic pointing devices, sip-and-puff systems, wands and sticks, joysticks, and trackballs. Example: A “modified mouse” such as a joystick or trackball can make a world of difference to a child with limited mobility. While using an ordinary mouse would be difficult for someone with limited refined motor skills, the design of a joystick would allow him to have more complete control of his Web surfing experience....A 
Alternative KeyboardAlternative keyboards may be different from standard keyboards in size, shape, layout, or function. They offer individuals with special needs greater efficiency, control, and comfort. Example: Alejandro is a child with cognitive disabilities. The traditional QWERTY key- board is confusing, so his mom replaces it with a keyboard that lists letters A-Z in big, bold letters and doesn’t contain a lot of “extra” keys. This makes focusing on spelling and typing words a lot easier for him....A 
Ambulation AidsDevices that help people walk upright, including canes, crutches, and walkers....A 
Americans with Disabilities ActThe American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL101-336) prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities and makes such discrimination a civil rights violation. Providers of public services, schools, public buildings and public transportation services also must provide accessibility to people with disabilities....A 
Architectural AdaptationsArchitectural adaptations are structural fabrications or remodeling in the home, work site, or other area. Examples that remove or reduce physical barriers for an individual with a disability include ramps, lifts, lighting, altering counter top heights and widening door frames....A 
Articulated Forearm SupportAn articulated forearm support follows the user’s movements and drastically reduces the muscle work involved in sustained keying or mouse use....A 
Assistive Technology DeviceAn assistive technology (AT) device includes any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functioning of individuals with disabilities. It may be purchased commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such a device. Example: Almost every example in this glossary is an example of an AT device. From low tech, such as a pen or pencil grip; to high tech, such as a computer that responds to touch and allows a child to communicate more effectively, the tools fall within the category of AT devices....A 
Assistive Technology ServiceAn assistive technology service is one that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Examples include evaluating, selecting, buying, designing, fitting, customizing, maintaining, repairing, replacing, coordinating, and training of students, teachers and family members....A 
Augmentive Communication SystemAn augmentative communication system is any system that increases or improves communication of individuals with receptive or expressive communication impairments. The system can include speech, gestures, sign language, symbols, synthesized speech, dedicated communication devices, microcomputers, and other communication systems....A 
Auxiliary Aids and ServicesUnder the Americans With Disabilities Act (see definition above), professionals and organizations must communicate as effectively with people with disabilities as they do with others. Auxiliary aids and services assist in this effort. Auxiliary aids may include taped texts, interpreters or other effective methods of making materials usually delivered orally available to students with hearing impairments; readers in libraries for students with visual impairments; classroom equipment adapted for use by students with manual impairments; and other similar services and actions....A