Nuggets #8: Assistive Technologies

Know and Share About Assistive Technology for Students and Faculty

Assistive technology, or AT, is a tool or device that reduces a barrier for individuals with disabilities. Many students use assistive technologies on a daily basis to help them access and comprehend course materials in different ways. It’s important for instructors to understand AT and the various ways that students interact with content so they can be accommodating for students using assistive technologies, and to help share these resources to students with accessibility needs.

Some examples of AT used in the classroom include screen readers, text-to-speech software, text magnifiers, and alternative keyboards. Lucky for us, Campus Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) maintains a list of assistive technologies available to University students and faculty.

Dig Deeper

How to accommodate for students using AT:

Encourage students to take advantage of DRES assistive technology resources by sharing information in your syllabus or in course resources.

Try out some of the assistive technologies on your own course content, course tasks, and assessments. For example, you can turn on your computer’s screen reader and try to go through a page of content or course website.

For more information on obtaining software, please contact Ann Fredricksen at DRES also offers information and assistance to faculty and graduate teaching assistants, see Resources on the DRES Instructor Information page.

Students can try out different assistive technologies through DRES.

These technologies are available to all students and faculty, and are great resources for considering additional accessibility tests for technology development as well. Check out their Try It Out section.

Learn more about efforts to identify, build, and incorporate more assistive technologies on campus.

See more information about IT Accessibility efforts and policies at Illinois, including information about the Technology Accessibility Review Committee and the Digital Accessibility Policy (HR-86).

See you again next week!

-UDL and Accessibility Group