Center for Disabilities Studies : Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology Projects
Anything that makes a task easier to complete is assistive technology (AT). CDS currently is involved in several projects to bring AT to people of all ages to give them access to the tools they need to live life more fully.
The Delaware Assistive Technology Initiative (DATI) connects Delawareans who have disabilities with the tools they need in order to learn, work, play, and participate in community life safely and independently. DATI provides funding information and loans; coordinates a used equipment recycling program; publishes resource materials, and operates three Assistive Technology Resource Centers that offer training as well as no-cost equipment demonstration. More...
Delaware Recycles and Reuses Assistive Technology
The mission of Delaware Recycles and Reuses Assistive Technology is to ensure that Delawareans with disabilities have access to safe and appropriate equipment; and that equipment is used efficiently. Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County has been awarded the contract to collect, refurbish and distribute durable medical equipment that was purchased with Medicaid funds and is no longer being used. Goodwill has opened a facility in Wilmington. More information.
Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)
Through federal funding to the state, CDS is partnering with the Delaware Department of Education to help students, families, educators, and administrators understand the value of Accessible Instruction Materials and the ways to match student needs to various print alternatives. The AIM approach modifies the delivery of print in such a way that students can more easily access it. Examples include altering the appearance of the print by making it larger, changing the font, increasing the “white space” on the page, or decreasing the distractions on the page; providing an audio supplement to the text so that a student both sees it and hears it; or delivering print content with the support of a text reader (such as Kurzweil) that provides highlighting, supported horizontal tracking, word definitions, and other supports.
Stepping Stones (Customizing Language Representations)
Many children have visual processing difficulties that interfere with their perception of color, shape, or motion. In conjunction with a team of computer scientists, a CDS staff member has developed a prototype tool called Chauvet that tailors pictures to children’s preferences and abilities. With a digital camera, images meaningful to the child can be captured from the environment. The computer system then generates sequences of pictures — ranging from very realistic to more abstract — that can be incorporated into a communication device, a software application, or instructional materials in the classroom. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, CDS will use the images generated by Chauvet with children from Delaware and elsewhere to document how customized graphics help youngsters with disabilities to learn language and express themselves more effectively.
For more information