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Term Definition Additional Comments
AAC (augmentative alternative communication) An AAC system is one that increases or improves the communication abilities of individuals with receptive or expressive communication impairments. Systems can include sign language, graphic symbols, digital speech, dedicated communication devices, and applications for computers, phones or tablets. AAC technology spans a wide range of products, from low-tech picture boards to high-tech speech recognition programs. AAC components may have value for other learners including second language learners, the deaf and those with experiencing barriers to literacy
Accessibility Features Accessibility features are a range of functions within products that allow a user to adjust settings to meet their individual needs. Devices can come with various accessibility features that can adjust to meet visual, mobility, hearing, language, and learning needs. Accessibility features allow those with disabilities to access products and services that may not otherwise be available and may operate as assistive technology in themselves. Accessibility features can often be found within devices, operating system and productivity software. They are not all limited to people with a disability and may be of value to those with preferences or simply to make the digital experience more comfortable
Accessible / Accessibility Persons with disabilities accessing, on an equal basis with others, the physical environment, transportation, information and communication, including information and communications technologies and systems, and other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas (UN, 2006). Accessibility is closely related to Universal Design. Some access features are of value to those with specific impairments some are more generic.
Accessible Design Accessible Design refers to the intentional designing of tools, services, and spaces to be accessible to everyone, with consideration given to the specific needs of those with cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities. Examples of accessible design include a website that is compatible with text-to-speech programs or a building that is designed to be fully accessible to a person in a wheelchair
Accessible ePubs Accessible ePubs are ePubs that are structured correctly and include features and design for persons with and without a disability. Some features of accessible ePubs include: Image Descriptions, Semantic tagging in HTML, Support for high contrast and text resizing, support for TTS readers, correct metadata referring to the accessible features etc. Many of the authoring tools include accessibility checking functions to help when writing
Accessible Formats Information available to people with different types of disabilities including displays of text, Braille, tactile communication, large print, accessible multimedia, written, audio, plain language, human-reader, and augmentative and alternative modes, means and formats of communication, including accessible information and communication technology (UN, 2006). Accessible formats are sometimes described as being those that are usable by all people, whereas alternative formats are those that are designed to accommodate a specific group of needs, A document that is design to be accessible, can usually be converted into an alternative form for an individual to access. Alternative formats can be helpful for htose without a disability but who may find it easier to listen to a document rather than try to read text for instance - such as when driving
Accessible Interactive Activities Accessible activities generally written in JavaScript or a similar language that allow the user to interact with questions and answers. This content may be embedded within an ePub and separately on the web. Such activities are increasing integrated into eLearning to stimulate attention and motivation Some examples include:
Accessible Textbooks An accessible digital textbook is a digital tool that allows for all learners, including those with disabilities, to access information in alternative accessible formats, allowing children with different learning styles to access the same content, participate in the same textbook-based activities inside and outside the classroom, and have equal opportunities to achieve positive educational outcomes than their peers. Accessible digital textbooks are an adapted version of the curriculum-based textbooks used in classrooms. They differ by being digital, accessible, and versatile, allowing users to customize and combine diverse features like narration, sign language, interactivity, audio-description of images, and other functions to suit different preferences, learning styles, or access needs. It requires installation on an electronic devise (tablet, computer, smartphone) or, in some case, the textbook can be downloaded from a source and installed using an internet connection. Once installed, the learner can use the textbook offline on the devise.
Accomodations An accommodation is a change in the format or presentation of materials, tasks and activities so that a person with a disability can complete the same task as others. Accommodations can also include changes in setting, timing, scheduling, and/or response mechanisms. Assistive technologies may provde the basis of accomodations for many people with a disability
Alerts and Notifications Auditory, visual or tactile based devices that are designed to alert those with sensory impairments to circumstances and situations such as doorbells, pagers, telephones smoke alarms, security alarms, and wake up alarms. Many such alerts and notifications are now built into phones and other smart devices
Alternative access or input device An alternative access or input device allows an individual to control their technology using tools other than a standard keyboard or pointing device. Examples include alternative keyboards, pointing devices, switches, sip-and-puff systems, wands and sticks, joysticks, and trackballs. Most alternative access devices work best when they are tuned to the response of the user through the accessibility features on the device they are connected to
Alternative Keyboard Alternative keyboards may be different from standard keyboards in size, shape, layout, or function. They offer greater efficiency, control, and comfort. Choosing a keyboard will require consideration of where and how it will be used as well as the needs of the user. Keyboards can include ergonomic keyboards to reduce strain and can be combined with work prediction software to speed up typing
Aspect Ratio The aspect ratio describes the relationship between the width and height of a screen or content irrespective of exact pixel dimension. i.e. 4:3, 16:9, 16:10 4:3 aspect ratio can be a number of resolutions: 1024 x 768, 2048 x1536 both have the same aspect ratio although the second is twice as large.
Assistive Listening Devices Assistive listening devices (ALDs) are used to aid those with hearing loss to hear more clearly. System can to amplify things such as televisions, radios, doorbells, and PA systems. ALDs can be used with or without hearing aids. New forms of ALD can also recognize sounds and create an alert of notification in text for users. These can be received on some wearable technologies with tactile alerts
Assistive Technology Assistive technology describes additional software or hardware that can enhance operation of a digital device to serve the needs of users with or without a disability. Assistive Technology can be defined more widely and includes wheelchairs, mobility aids etc. It may also include self care products and aids to daily living. Some examples include: Refreshable Braille Display, Orbit Reader, JAWS, and Switch Control.
Assistive Technology Implementation and ecosystem Assistive technology implementation refers to the ways in which selected AT will be put into use. An implementation plan may outline how and when the tool will be used, specific activities it will be used for, and potential training needs. The AT ecosystem has been suggested as describing all of the main features that are necessary for successful implementation. These include definitions by the WHO described as the 5 P's or by others as including awareness, assessment, information, provision, training, support, accessible design, research, and policy and co-ordination
Audio Assisted/Supported Reading AAR is a technique used to assist or reinforce the reading of printed text with pre-recorded speech. ASR is a technique used to increase reading proficiency (speed) of digital text by displaying portions of text simultaneously with synthesized speech. With a variable highlighting feature the user is able to choose the amount of text highlighted in the display (word, sentence, or paragraph)..
Audio Description AD is a form of narration used with video to describe the visual elements of action, characters, locations, costumes and sets without interfering with the production’s dialogue or sound effects. They allow those who are blind or have vision impairments to access and enjoy video in greater depth.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices An AAC system is one that increases or improves the communication abilities of individuals with receptive or expressive communication impairments. Systems can include sign language, graphic symbols, digital speech, dedicated communication devices, and applications for computers, phones or tablets. AAC technology spans a wide range of products, from low-tech picture boards to high-tech speech recognition programs. AAC components may have value for other learners including second language learners, the deaf and those with experiencing barriers to literacy
Authoring tool An authoring tool refers to a resource such as software of website which provides function and features that can be used to create resources for use by learners. Authoring tools can range from those used by large numbers of people such as slideshow software, or may be more technical to create eLearning resources, videos, audio files or eBooks. Some of the authoring tools are standalone solutions, whilst others “plug-in” to other software of learning management systems.
Braille Braille is a tactile printed script that allows people who are blind or low vision to read content on a page by touch. It consists of a series of raised dots that each represent a letter and in turn represent words. Braille can be manually or electronically created. Braille is not universal and is related to specific languages
Braille Display Braille displays are tactile devices with a row of cells. Each cell has 6 or 8 pins made of metal or nylon; the pins are controlled electronically and move up and down to display characters as they appear on the display of a computer or Braille note taker. A number of cells are placed next to each other to form a refreshable Braille line. As the pins of each cell pop up and down, they form a line of Braille text that can be read by touch. Braille Displays can be combined with text to speech and a keyboard to create an aid for the blind referred to as a Braille Notetaker. Innovations have been driving down the cost of notetakers in the last three years
Braille Notetaker A braille notetaker is a portable device with a refreshable braille display used by people who are blind or visually impaired. This device is the primary option available for people who want to read and write electronically in braille. Typically a notetaker allows the user to read and write files in a number of formats, listen to media files, handle email, and create voice memos. Traditional notetakers are highly expensive and great care should be taken in selecting one that is fit for purpose
Captioning Captioning is a text transcript of the spoken parts of multimedia including movies, television programs, lectures and meetings. Captions are synchronized with the speech. Increasingly AI is being used to create automatic captions of varying quality Captions are useful for those with hearing impairments and can be others with a range of visual and auditory processing problems. It has also been shown to enhance learning for those without disabilities, and is increasingly used to consume video content by all users when the settings makes listening difficult or antisocial
Catalog and resources A catalog and resources is a form of content library which is more carefully curated and presented to be easy to find. Catalogs may be formed of resources from one or more sources and may be dynamic and updated frequently. Many catalogs invite users to submit additional resources to be included.
Closed circuit television magnifiers CCTV magnifiers offer a camera and screen which is used to magnify books or other materials on a large screen. Smaller devices are also available and can be handheld to read text including labels and instructions Many handheld magnifiers are being replaced by apps with the same functionality that are available at low cost on smartphones or tablets
Communication Communication refers to the act of transferring information from one place, person, or group to another. Every communication involves (at least) one sender, a message, and a recipient. People with communication impairments face an obstacle or barrier at some stage in the communication process. Communication is the basis of interaction and can be verbal or nonverbal.
Conferencing Conferencing refers to software and apps that facilitate people meeting online for in person discussion using voice, video and chat. Conferencing tools are the basis of virtual classrooms and webinars and are widely used during the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Some conferencing tools have additional features that allow files to transferred, shared whiteboards and a screen to be shared and viewed by everyone in attendance. Conferencing software may have some accessibility features integrated such as support for a screen reader or automated captions.
Content library A Content library is an online collection of resources and materials that have been collated, curated, and organised for online or offline use. Content may include resources for learners such as eBooks or could be resources for educators or designers to help develop their own resources or implement inclusion.
DAISY Daisy is the leading consortium for providing accessible content to users with print disabilities. They offer tools, standards, advice and best practices for publishing and reading to ensure accessibility for people with print disabilities in both specialist and mainstream formats. DAISY Specification offers a flexible and navigable reading experience for people who are blind or print disabled. The current version of the specification DAISY 3 is also a NISO Standard for digital talking books (DTB) which offers the print-disabled user a significantly enhanced reading experience—one that is much closer to that of the sighted reader using a print book.
Device Orientation Most screen-based devices can be operated as either portrait or landscape. The user can adjust how the view the device depending on the nature of the underlying content. This is important for applications that require landscape (generally native apps or design heavy apps) or responsive and reflowable content that can adapt to the user's preference for holding the device.
Digital Talking Book (DTB) A digital talking book is a book that is encoded with recorded audio in human speech. The audio is synchronized with the text and may be accessed by a person with disabilities to increase the quality and availability of information. DTB's can also be developed with synthesized speech using the Daisy standard
Disability Long-term impairments that affect the functioning of a person and which in interaction with attitudinal and environmental barriers hinder the person’s full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (UN, 2006). The distinction between disability and impairment has been summarized as A disabled person is a person with an impairment who experiences disability. Disability is the result of negative interactions that take place between a person with an impairment and her or his social environment. Impairment is thus part of a negative interaction, but it is not the cause of, nor does it justify, disability.
DPOs Disabled People Organisations. Associations of people with disabilities and/or their representatives, including self-help groups, federations, networks and associations of parents of children with disabilities. An organization is considered a DPO if a majority of its board and members are persons with disabilities (PWDA, 2016). Some examples include: World Federation of the Deaf, the World Blind Union, Disabled Peoples International and national or local organisations. DPO's operate at different levels and offer a range of services fulfilling different roles. Most include an advocacy role.
eBook An eBook is an all-encompassing term for a digital publication that represents or replaces a traditional book. eBooks come in a range of formats. Some devices are locked to specific formats and may include digital rights management to prevent unauthorized duplication and distribution
eBook Reader eBook readers are handheld devices that store and present books on screen. Some have text to pseech integrated and can read books out loud. Many smartphones and tablets have apps to replicate this functionality The amazon Kindle is the best known dedicate eBook reader for consumers. eBook readers can also be software and apps for phones and tablets and can access the same content as a hardware device. Some people prefer a dedicated device, others like an app.
Environmental Control Environmental controls allow people to control devices in their environment through many access methods, including touchscreens, such as switch or voice. These include lights, televisions, telephones, music players, door openers, security systems, and kitchen appliances. These systems may also be referred to as Electronic Aids to Daily Living (EADL). Environmental control systems need to be installed with due regard to safety measures These systems are increasingly being replaced by smarthome technology whch include AI and Machine learnign to automate control
ePub EPUB is an e-book file format that uses the ".epub" file extension. The term is short for electronic publication and is sometimes styled ePub. EPUB is supported by many e-readers, and compatible software is available for most smartphones, tablets, and computers. EPUB is a technical standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum. It became an official standard of the IDPF in September 2007, superseding the older Open eBook standard. (Source: ePub is current
ePub Layout ePub layout defines how an ePub is displayed by the reader across the page spread and is either ‘fixed layout’ or ‘reflowable layout’
Eye Gaze Board An eye gaze board is a tranparent plastic board used as a simple communication device. Pictures are mounted at strategic areas on the board and the user communicates by looking at a selected picture. These are low cost and easy to make and can be combined with open symbols to aid communication There are sometimes referred to as eTran frames
Eye Tracking Device Eye gaze or eye tracking technology is a way of accessing a computer or communication device by focusing the eyes on a picture or area of the screen. The technology is able to determine exactly where a user is looking and operates as an input alternative to a mouse and keyboard. Eye tracking fundamentally replaces a mouse to navigate a screen, "dwelling" in one location to activate a "click" Eye tracking technologies are increasingly seen as an option for mainstream access for people where there is a need to be handsfree. the first eyetracking devices are being integrated into the latest high end phones and tablets
Fixed Layout Fixed Layout describes an ePub who's pages a locked to predefined dimensions and cannot adapt to varying screen sizes. This is similar to the way a PDF operates. It is most suitable for image rich books or complex layouts where the design is required for correct comprehension. the alternative to fixed layout is reflowable or "liquid" layouts
Games Games are forms of activities for learners that are based upon principles of play. Games can be designed for an individual to complete or may be the basis of collaborative play between two or more people. Some games have explicit educational content whilst others offer incidental learning.
Graphic Thought Organisers Graphic thought organizers present ideas and the links between ideas and information as visual charts using shapes and text connected by lines or arrows to structure the reading or writing process. These can include mindmaps and concept spiders. Graphic thought organizers can use different resources including text, images, diagrams or even sound and video Software for graphic thought organizers is available for both computers and most mobile devices
Guidance and training Guidance and training refer to resources available online that are designed to help parents, educators, designers, or policy makers to enhance their use of technology and promote access and inclusion. Guidance refers to those resources that offer advice to those that download them whilst training refers to resources that aim to increase knowledge, skills and understanding
Hardware Hardware refers to physical devices and peripherals that can be handled and used by learners or other users. These may include devices such as phones or tablets, or additional technologies such as a keyboard or mouse.
Hearing Aid Hearing aids are design to help with hearing everyday sounds such as the doorbell and phone and to improve ability to hear speech. They can help wearers feel more confident when talking to people and make it easier to follow conversations in different environments, or enjoy listening to music and the TV, at a volume that's comfortable for others those around the wearer. Hearing aids can only help if the wearer has some residual hearing. Hearing aids are digital devices and can take two forms - in ear and behind the ear. Hearing aids can be connected to phones and other devices to help provide clear information and communication
IDPF International Digital Publishing Forum is a governing body made up of publishers, technology companies, DPOs and other special interest groups in the digital publishing sector. The organization looks after the standards that facilitate the way the digital publishing industry presents
Inclusion A process that aims to ensure that the most vulnerable people are considered equally and that these people participate in and benefit from development and humanitarian programmes. Inclusion is an organizational effort and practices in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed, and equally treated. The breadth and depth of inclusion of people with a disability varies according to history and culture
Inclusive Education An approach that ensures that barriers to participation and learning are removed and that teaching methodologies and curricula are accessible and appropriate for students with disabilities. All individuals are welcomed and supported to make progress and their individual requirements are addressed (INEE, 2010b). Unicef state that Inclusive education is the most effective way to give all children a fair chance to go to school, learn and develop the skills they need to thrive. Inclusive education means all children in the same classrooms, in the same schools. It means real learning opportunities for groups who have traditionally been excluded – not only children with disabilities, but speakers of minority languages too. Inclusive systems value the unique contributions students of all backgrounds bring to the classroom and allow diverse groups to grow side by side, to the benefit of all.
Induction Loops An induction loop is a means of providing enhance hearing assistance to hearing-aid users. Induiction loops can be installed into a building or can be a portable device
ISPs Internet Service Providers.
Joystick A joystick can be an alternate input device. Joysticks are attached to the device via a usb port or can be connected wirelessly using bluetooth. Such pointing devices can be used with phones and tablets as well as with computers
Keyboard additions A variety of peripheral are available to make keyboards more accessible to people with disabilities. Keyguards are hard plastic covers with holes for each key. Someone with tremor or using a pointing device can avoid striking the wrong key by using a keyguard. Moisture guards are thin sheets of plastic that protect keyboards from spills and saliva. Alternative labels add visual clarity or tactile information to the keys. Increasingly these peripherals can be designed and printed using 3D printing technologies
Large Print Most printed text is six to ten points in height Large type is fourteen to eighteen points (about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch) and sometimes larger. The format of large print books is also proportionately larger (usually 8 1/2 x 11 inches). The capcity to change font size in elctronic books and eReaders can replicate the capacity of large print books
Learning tool Learning tools usually refer to technology-based learning or multimedia materials used to enhance classroom activities. Key categories of learning technology tools include tutorials, simulations, productivity tools, communication tools, such as email or messaging, and others
Media overlays Media overlays enable text and audio synchronization to enhance accessibility for users who have difficulty following the text of a traditional book. Media Overlays also provide a continuous listening experience for readers who are unable to read the text for any reason, something that traditional audio embedding techniques cannot offer. They are even useful for purposes not traditionally considered accessibility concerns (e.g., for language learning or reading of commercial audio books). (from W3C)
Messaging Messaging refers to software and apps that facilitate the sending of information in a variety of formats to one or more people. They are sometimes referred to as “instant messengers” as they are delivered immediately to the device of the recipient. Most messages tend to be short and succinct and may use abbreviation or emojis to reduce size and convey extra information.
Mice alternatives A mouse operates as a pointing device moved by hand to navigate and point to items on a screen. The buttons on a mouse are used to click on items. A wide variety of adaptations or alternative mice have been developed to address a range of access needs, which accomodate different sizes of hand and dexterity
Mobile app A mobile application, often referred to as an app, is a type of software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. They often aim to provide similar services to those accessed on PCs. Most Apps are small, with more limited functions than on a PC. A mobile application also may be known as an app, web app, online app, or smartphone app.
OCR - Optical Character Recognition Optical character recognition (OCR) software works with a scanner to convert images from a printed page into an accessible text file. The resulting digital file can be edited. OCR works by scanning pages of text but may also be useful in recognisng text within an image. OCT can be combined with text to speech to enable printed books to be digitally transformed and read aloud
On Screen Keyboard An Onscreen keyboard replicates a physical keyboard as software. When combined with an access device such as switch, mouse or touch, and with word prediction it can offer a very accessible way of adding text to documents On screen keyboards have a range of "scanning" options such as row/column to make selecting a letter faster. Such keyboards have become very mainstream with the use of touchscreens and mobile devices
Open Source Open-source software is software that is freely available for anyone to download, modify, build upon and use in development, and is governed by a license determining its use in commercial applications. Ideally, open source software is developed ‘in the open’ meaning as changes are made, they are contributed directly to a shared repository with a history of changes made by specific contributors supervised in part by moderators. The example application is one such example of open-source software. Readium is another example of open-source software. UNICEF supports and contributes to open-source projects where possible to further the development and adoption of new technologies.
Persons with disabilities (children, adolescents and adults) Persons who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others (UN, 2006). Many other terms are used to describe people with a disability or with disabilities. These vary from language to language and according to culture. Many people feel strongly about the use of language but it is important to understand the norms within the community within which they live
PWP Portable (Packaged) Web Publications are a packaged version of WP that has limits defined to ensure all web publications conform to the same expected structure and feature set.
Read aloud Read aloud refers to the use of TTS (text-to-speech) to read out the words written on a page. It may differ from a screen reader by only speaking out the content and not all of the controls and features of software or websites
Reader Reader refers to software both online and offline that allows the learner to access written content like books, textbooks, documents and articles. Readers can support a number of formats including PDF, ePub and are generally focused on file formats that cannot be edited in the software. Readers like Thorium support accessibility features like read aloud and text-resizing. Some readers allow the learner to take notes. Larger software companies like Amazon and Apple have their own proprietary readers tied to hardware products like Kindle.
Readium Readium is an ePub Reader application that is maintained by a working group consisting of experts from technology companies, publishing companies, DPOs and ePub developers/designers. The application is Open Source. Readium is under development for both computers and mobile operating systems
Reflowable Layout Reflowable Layout describes an ePub layout format where the text on the pages is not locked to any width or height and can flow freely into the next page. This is similar to the way the web works, responsively for tablets and mobile devices.
Screen Magnifiers Screen magnification enlarges what is viewable on screen andincreasing visibility for those with limited and low vision. Most have variable magnification levels and some offer text-to-speech options, or the ability to see the text in high contrast Screen magnifiers can mean that words become pixelated at high magnification, pages can also become difficult to navigate. At high magnification many people prefer text to speech
Screen Reader A screen reader is a feature, software or an app that uses synthesized speech to “speak” graphics and text out loud. These options are often used by people who are blind or have low vision or have a print disability, such as dyslexia. screen readers may be combined with magnification or Braille
Smart Devices A smart device is an electronic device that is linked to other devices or the internet through wireless systems such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or 4G/3G. Smart devices are used to control or monitor activities, often paired with a mobile app. Examples include smartphones, fitness trackers, biofeedback devices, home automation devices that control outlets or appliances, and voice-activated devices such as the Amazon Echo. Smart devices are often combined with speech recognition to allow voice searching for information or controlling other devices. These may use a limited set of commands that have to be learned
Smartpen Smartpens are writing tools that help users take notes by recording the speaker and syncing the recording as the user takes notes. The recording can be accessed later when the user taps on specific words on the special paper used for note taking. Some smartpens can also be used to convert diagrams and doodles into editable images. They may require specialist "paper"
Software Software refers to programs, and code that are associated with the use of a computer system. It may refer to the Operating system without which the computer cannot operate, of may be additional programs that add features to the system. These can range from word processors to forms of assistive technology.
Speech/Voice Recognition Speech recognition converts spoken words into text, recognition can also be used to command and control a device. Speech recognition responds to a range of voices, although some may require the user to enroll and create a "voice model" for greater levels of recognition. Recognition solutions can be used to create written documents without the use of a keyboard, to control devices including phones, tablets and smartspeakers and are increasingly integrated into smart televisions and other consumer goods Most major operating systems for computers, phones and tablets have a form of speech recognition built in. Specialised software is also available which will allow specific vocabulary to be added Speech recognition may also be available through productivity software such as Microsoft Office or Google Docs.
Stylus A stylus is a pen-shaped tool designed to be used with a touchscreen, such as with a tablet. A stylus can offer greater accuracy than using a finger. Some people also use a stylus with a physical keyboard often combined with a keyguard a stylus can be mounted elsewhere on the body to faciltate pointing and touching
Switches Switches are a form of device that offers a method of accessing a device when a standard keyboard or mouse is not an option. Switches come in a range of sizes, shapes, methods of activation and placement options. Some software and apps are designed specifically for use with a switch and can employ scanning, where the device highlights options available to the user, to select the desired action. Switches usually need an interface box to work on a device Switches are often a low cost option and can be set up to respond to most controlled voluntary movements of any body part
Tactile Graphics Tactile graphics are raised or embossed representations of images or diagrams that convey non-textual information such as maps, paintings, graphs, and diagrams. Some tactile graphics are used to support communication
Text expansion Text expansion works by expanding abbreviated words or phrases based on prepared commands entered by the user. The abbreviation expansion allows the user to minimize the number of keystrokes necessary and to write more efficiently. It can be combined with word prediction programs to aid in the writing process.
Touch Screen A touch screen is an access option that allows for control of a device or software through direct touch on the screen. Almost all touchscreens today are multitouch and respond to sets of gestures to complete actions. Touchscreens are often combined with preset gestures for specific actions on the device. Touchscreens were extremely rare 10 years ago but are now the basis of most interaction with mobile and portable devices.
Trackball A trackball is an alternative to a mouse where a ball sits on top of the device and can be manipulated to move a cursor on screen. A trackball often has ergonomic benefits and may be more accessible to people with physicl disabilities as it may require smaller movements than a mouse. Trackballs can be combined with a switch to provide easier access to mouse buttons for those with a physical disability. They are increasingly used by people with arthritis or age related disabilities
Trackpad A trackpad or touchpad is a pointing device with a small flat area that detects touch and movement and is used to interact with a computer screen. It is often used as an alternative to a mouse, especially on laptops, where it often sits below the keyboard Large trackpads such as graphic tablets used with a stylus can also be used for access
TTD/TTY TTD and TTY are telecommunications devices for the deaf. Many are devices with a keyboard that send and receive typed messages over a telephone line. These can be combined with text relay services A telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) is a teleprinter, an electronic device for text communication over a telephone line, that is designed for use by persons with hearing or speech difficulties. Other names for the device include teletypewriter (TTY), textphone (common in Europe), and minicom (United Kingdom).
TTS Text-to-speech – describes the capability to turn text in audio using a text to speech engine. It is sometimes called “read aloud” technology and is available on most digital devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets. All kinds of text files can be read aloud, including documents, web pages and presentations. Effective text to speech is reliant upon content be written in an accessible way Text to speech is the basis of many communication systems and screenreaders
UDL (universal design for learning) Universal Design for Learning is an educational framework recognizing that all children learn differently and benefit from differentiated learning techniques in the classroom. Essentially, UDL uses practices, space, and materials that engage all of the learning strengths mentioned above. UDL seeks to accommodate individual learning differences and styles by developing and making use of flexible learning environments. Such approaches particularly accommodate children with different types of disabilities and facilitate their inclusion in the classroom. Technology is widely used within UDL classrooms It follows the representation, action & expression, engagement model. Representation – Present content in different ways, Action & Expression – differentiate ways the learner can express themselves, Engagement – stimulate learners w
Universal Design The design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extend possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Does not exclude assistive devices for particular groups of persons with disabilities where needed (UN, 2006). There are seven principles of universal design that seek to guide the design of environments, products and communications. In our case, universal design refers to allowing users the flexibility to turn on and off features. The seven principles are Principle 1: Equitable Use, Principle 2: Flexibility in Use, Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use, Principle 4: Perceptible Information, Principle 5: Tolerance for Error, Principle 6: Low Physical Effort, Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use
Video calling/conferencing Video conferencing allows people to participate in meetinga with shared audio and video. This method of communicating with others can be helpful for people with disabilities that may not be able to physically attend a meeting. A high speed connection is needed to get a whole quality video signal. At high speed the system supports both lip reading and sign language use. Increasingly such calls offer options for captions for those who are deaf and a range of additional features such as chat and whiteboards for interactions
Voice Banking Voice banking allows a person to record sounds and phrases with their own voice, while they still have the ability to use it. The recording is converted digitally to create a personal synthetic voice that can be used in speech-generating devices or VOCA when they are no longer able to speak. Voice banking is typically used by someone who has been diagnosed with a condition that is known to lead to loss of speech. This is a new innovation with intriguing possibilities
Voice output communication aids (VOCA) A VOCA is a device that generates spoken language for those who are cannot use speech to express their needs and to communicate or interact with others. These devices are intended solely for communication purposes and are sometimes referred to as Speech generating devices. A VOCA may be combined with an access method such as touchscreen, switch, or joystick to provide a means of control for the user. Many dedicated devices have now been replaced by apps and software used on phones and tablets, these vary in price and complexity
Wayfinding Wayfinding systems including orientation and navigation are designed to guide people through a built environment and enhance their capacity to travel independently. They provide step by step instructions on maps, text or by speech, they increasingly offer further information about the local vicinity in addition to routes The very latest wayfinding applications use augmented reality to display information and routes
Wearable Technology Wearables include clothing and accessories such as watches that incorporate technologies to operate as input or output devices. Many wearables can interact with other technologies, to display content or control actions. Examples include Apple’s iWatch, wearable GPS trackers, head mounted displays or smart glasses and a necklace with a personal amplifier. The growth of fitness trackers has made wearable technology very widely available. Other forms of wearable include low tech such as spectacles and very widely available technology such as headsets.
Web Accessibility Web accessibility is the field that defines how to make a website accessible to all users with and without a disability. Guidelines are developed by the W3C web accessibility initiative and WCAG 2.1 guidelines primarily specifies techniques to make a website accessible to people with a range of needs notably those who are blind and low vision, but also includes some techniques to benefit users with intellectual, developmental or motor disabilities. Web accessibility guidelines and standards are led by the W3C. The standards provide the basis of audit, remediation and design activities
Word/Text prediction Word prediction solutions allow the user to select a word from an on-screen list located in a prediction window. The technology predicts words asletters are typed. The word is selected from the list and inserted into the text. Such word prediction has beome very mainstream as a result of the need to reduce key presses on phones and tablets
WP Web Publication is a standard published by the w3c that defines how content by publishers can be published directly on the web, viewable in a browser. Check the context for the use of this abbreviation as it has several other uses including Word Processing and Word Press which are related terms