What assistive technology is used for computer access?

Computer access is a term describing a group of devices that allows an individual to operate the computer who would otherwise not be able to do so. Special devices may provide access to computers for individuals who can not use the standard keyboard or mouse. There are a variety of special devices to help operate the computer. Here are some examples of some Computer Access Adaptations and/or Tools: 

  • adapted keyboard
  • keyguard
  • alternative key arrangement
  • voice activated computer access
  • infrared computer access
  • mouse access
  • trackball
  • joystick
  • power pad
  • switch (e.g., mouth, lip, chin)
  • touch screen
  • pointers
  • drag and click desk accessory
  • sticky keys
  • onscreen keyboard
  • printer for written work

  • http://www.priorywoods.middlesbrough.sch.uk/resources/restop.htm Another site for teachers offers online games or downloads of teacher tools. Go to the KIDS ONLY link for more activities; Senswitcher is a complete teaching package for children who are learning to operate a computer with switches and it's FREE.

  •  www.rjcooper.com  Visitors will find free downloads of trial versions of special needs software. A free demo CD can be ordered featuring all R J Cooper products including software and hardware such as trackballs, touch screens, augmentative communication, scanning, joysticks, onscreen calculator and math aids, plus much more.
  • www.aboutonehandtyping.com This site offers a free demo of one-handed typing, plus a product guide, free typing tutorials and testing. Visitors can also find information on kid-sized and one-hand only keyboards.

  • www.ahf-net.com Visitors to this site can access free demos of REACH, an on-screen keyboard that comes with a vast assortment of assistive technology tool,; SoothSayer, a word prediction software program, and ScanBuddy, a full screen scanning tool that allows one to quickly and easily position the mouse using one switch, two switches, or keys on the computer keyboard.


  • http://rbx.de/big-cursors/  This site offers the ability to download large, thick, black versions of Windows pointers and timers.  This is useful to those with limited visual acuity or for those with motor impairments who need a larger icon to manipulate.

  • www.anicursor.com/special.html  On this site, the user can download a variety of cursors: large-size, different colors, left-handed, and animated.  These are helpful for people with visual or motor impairments and attention disorders, plus they are more engaging for young children to use.

  • www.qiat.org QIAT stands for Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology Services in School Settings.   This site offers indicators for schools to follow in providing, choosing, integrating, and determining compliance related to assistive technology services.  These indicators are helpful for both educators and parents during the IEP process.

  • www.microsoft.com/enable This site offers information on Microsoft products and their built-in accessibility features.  It includes tutorials, shortcuts, and information for businesses to assist in implementing accessibility for employees and consumers.

  • www.internet4classrooms.com Information is provided for teachers to help them integrate technology into their classroom curriculum. This information is intended to help teachers utilize computers effectively with all their students and especially to aid them in delivering accessible content to their students with disabilities.

  • www.accessingenuity.com Information is provided on products for all types of disabilities, with descriptions, uses, prices, and ordering information. Free resource guides and demo CDs of various devices can be ordered through this website.

  • www.publisherspipeline.com  Software is sold at a discount through this site.  Available titles sometimes include accessible software such as voice-input programs in addition to Microsoft software and games.

  • www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher Visitors to this site can order Dasher software, a text-entry and pointing program used in place of a full-size keyboard, at no cost. This software is especially useful for one-handed users or for those who cannot use their hands at all. It can be used with a mouse, head pointers, and eyetrackers. Many links to other hardware products are also provided.

  • www.lakefolks.com Click-N-Type, a FREE on-screen virtual keyboard for anyone with a physical disability, is available at this website.  It is especially useful for navigating the Internet and using Email.

  •  Don Johnston Switch Interface Pro www.donjohnston.com/catalog/switchpro.htm
    The Switch Interface Pro 5.0 has more functionality and is even easier to use! Just push a button to change function sets. Bright indicator lights tell teachers which functions are active. All functions are available for both Macintosh and PC computers. Extra-small size easily tucks into small spaces on computer desks.

  • Big Keys Keyboard www.tfeinc.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=BKPPC
    For children, early learners and adults with basic needs for word processing, spreadsheet and internet access.

  • IntelliKeys USB Keyboard www.intellitools.com/products/IntelliKeys/home.php
    IntelliKeys is a programmable alternative keyboard for students or adults who have difficulty using a standard keyboard. It plugs into a computer’s USB port, providing computer access to individuals with physical, visual, or cognitive disabilities.

  • Magic Touch 16-17" USB Mac Touch Screen   www.magictouch.com/monitor.html
    This patented external add-on touchscreen kit is the perfect solution for home, office, school business, and government where a user-friendly input device is needed. The Magic Touch Add-On Kit can be easily mounted on ANY monitor and used for ANY mouse driven application. Magic Touch can help young children and exceptional children to start learning how to use computer without the difficulty of using the mouse.

  • SmartNav3 AT www.naturalpoint.com/smartnav/
    The NaturalPoint SmartNAV is the perfect hands free ergonomic mouse for people with carpal tunnel, RSI and other special needs. Increase productivity by simply moving your head to control your computer, with our ergonomic mouse alternatives.

  • SwitchHopper Switch Interface rjcooper.com/switchhopper/index.html
    SwitchHopper provides a place to plug switches into a computer. There are 3 switch inputs in SwitchHopper. When you plug a switch(es) into a the SwitchHopper jack(s), the switch(es) ‘become’ standard mouse-clicks (Win: left, middle, right; Mac: left, drag, control-click), and with installation of the accompanying software, you can configure each button to 'be' any mouse-button event or keystroke you’d like! SwitchHopper does not interfere with the operation of other pointing devices, such as a mouse. It works in addtion to your mouse. Your mouse retains all of its normal functions.

  • USB Switch Interface by CrickSoft www.cricksoft.com/us/products/access/usb.asp
    Have you ever become frustrated setting up different switch boxes for different applications? Our USB Switch Interface does it for you. The switch box comes with software (USBKeys2) that can start automatically when the computer starts, detect the application you are using and set up your switches for the appropriate key presses or mouse clicks.

  • USB Switch Interface by QuizWorks quizworks.com/usbswitch.html
    The USB Switch Interface is the link between single switch input devices and Macintosh or PC/Window computers with USB capabilities. The interface is utlized by software written for one to five single switches. Primarily used in the special needs area.

  • Wireless IntelliSwitch Interface www.intellitools.com/products/intelliswitch/home.php
    IntelliTools' newest product, IntelliSwitch™, engineered by Madentec, is a wireless switch interface. IntelliSwitch provides wireless access to most switch accessible software from IntelliTools, Madentec's Discover software, and other software programs. IntelliSwitch is an easy and flexible switch interface. Simply install the driver software, plug a switch into one of IntelliSwitch's five switch ports, and plug the receiver into your computer's USB port. Users can then access switch software with one or more switches - wirelessly!
  • www.polital.com/pnc Point-N-Click is a free stand-alone on-screen virtual mouse designed for anyone with a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to click a computer mouse. As long as they can move a mouse, trackball or other pointing device, they can send mouse clicks to virtually any Windows application.

  •  www.sunmoonusa.com/TryAl.htm Parents or teachers of younger children can download Al Bunny’s TypingClass, a keyboarding game that introduces youngsters to the computer keyboard.

  • E-Speaking   http://www.e-speaking.com/  is a free or shareware program ($15) that enables a user to command and control the computer, dictate emails and letters, and have the program read documents back. For individuals with motor impairments that make it difficult or impossible to use a mouse and keyboard, this might be a viable and affordable alternative.

  •  Digital Storytelling Powerpoint reprinted with permission from Michele Fry, MS, CCC/SLP, Stillwater Public Schools


    We will be looking to add new free and low cost AT alternatives.  If you have a great idea you would like to share, please send it to the following:

    AT Committee Site Manager

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