Webinar: Assistive Technology Overview and Examples

 

 

audio version (opens in a new tab)

 

Introduction

As an individual with a disability, assistive technology (AT) is a frequent theme on my blog because of its usefulness in the lives of individuals who have disabilities. I suggest that readers review some of my past assistive technology articles such as

Assistive Technology 101,

Screen Readers 101,

Alexa 101

and

Assistive Technology Tools.

On August 10, 2021, I attended a webinar hosted and presented by the

Job Accommodation Network

Entitled “AT Update: What’s New in 2021”. The presentation discusses assistive technology on-the-job. In this blog post, I will summarize what I learned.

 

Assistive Technology Overview/Accommodations Interactive Process

Assistive technology is not always expensive. JAN said that the

Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA)

endeavors to be a go-to source for information. I suggest that Delawareans check out the

Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative.

Assistive technology options may be limited for some workplaces or overwhelming for other companies. The interactive process can usually lead to providing sufficient on-the-job accommodations. An employee needs to specify that a change is needed at work for a medical reason (such as disability). The employer then gathers information about available accommodations. The employer chooses what accommodation will be provided. The presentation then switched gears to focus on a variety of assistive technology examples.

 

Assistive Technology Example: Healthcare

Assistive technology can pose challenges in the health-care industry. Specifically, electronic health-care record systems vary in their levels of accessibility. A presenter gave the example of someone who changed jobs (the hospital where she worked) because one system was more accessible than another.

 

AT example: hearing

For meetings, captioning can help some people. It is also important for one person to speak at a time. To accommodate employees who use hearing aids, limiting background noise is crucial. JAN stated that during the pandemic, people who are hard-of-hearing or deaf have identified effective assistive technology solutions. Example: meetings can be attended using video relay service or telephone captioning. Other people used a telephone amplifier. Remote captioning has become a common accommodation. Automated captioning is not always as effective as a professional captioning. Bottom line: A variety of assistive technologies are available to help people with a variety of disabilities.

 

Question for readers

What assistive technologies do you find useful in your everyday life; why? I will return next week with another article.

 

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