7 Cool Assistive Technologies Driving Accessibility for Intellectual Disabilities

Intellectual Disabilities

Assistive Technological solutions are improving accessibility options for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. First defined in federal law with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (IDEA), assistive technology can include any software, device, or equipment used to bolster or maintain the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. For this article, we’ll focus on a few assistive technological solutions that have or are improving accessibility for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

1. Audible

Whether the issue is reading problems, vision complications, or a number of other barriers to accessing traditional books, Audible is a powerful tool that can be used. In fact, Audible is the leading provider of premium digital audio content and entertainment solutions on the Internet. 

It boasts a massive library of over 215,000 different programs from the top broadcasters, publishers, magazines, entertainers, and business information providers. People with developmental disabilities, ADD, dyslexia, or any other challenge that could prevent them from reading can make excellent use of Audible to access content. 

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2. Co:writer Universal

Co:writer Universal is a comprehensive software for Google Chrome and iOS with exceptional word prediction abilities. While it can be used by anyone, it’s useful for helping people with IDDs communicate more easily. Users can access the speech recognition software or enter data through traditional means. 

In either case, Co:writer universal has proven to be helpful to people with autism, learning disabilities, dyslexia, or other challenges with writing. In addition to helping those with intellectual disabilities write, Co:writer Universal can also help bolster their writing style and grammar. 

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3. VisionBoard KeyBoard

The VisionBoard KeyBoard is an extremely helpful assistive technology for anyone who may have difficulty using the QWERTY style keyboard or for people with low vision or poor fine motor skills. This keyboard has over-sized keys that measure .5” x .5” on top, so users will enjoy easy viewing and additional space between the keys. 

It also features large-print numbers and letters, and all letters are high contrast to help ease typing and reduce eye-strain. You can order the VisionBoard with white keys or yellow keys with black print. 

Learn more about the VisionBoard KeyBoard

4. Spanish Talking Calculator

The Spanish Talking Calculator is an innovative solution designed with speech technology that will read numbers out loud that are input. The Spanish Talking calculator can be especially helpful for helping adults solve math problems. It functions identical to a standard calculator by performing math operations based on the user’s input and presenting the answers on a large display. 

However, the Spanish Talking Calculator has an extra feature of reading out loud which has proven to be helpful to people with certain disabilities. Best of all, this key assistive technology is portable, which means adults and students can easily carry the calculator around with them to solve math problems on the fly. 

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5. Ginger 

Ginger is a cutting-edge assistive technological solution that can quickly provide definitions of words and check spelling. This tool can be helpful for people with a range of disabilities. Ginger can be used to help strengthen writing skills because it works to correct mistakes as they write. It can also provide assistance by reading out content that has been written.  

Ginger and similar assistive technologies are ideal for use in the classroom as well as in the workplace, especially in instances where an adult with disabilities has to engage in writing activities. In addition, Ginger can be downloaded on different devices. 

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6. PXC 550 Wireless

PXC 550 Wireless improves accessibility for adults with developmental disabilities by allowing them to reduce or eliminate certain noises that may hinder concentration. People can use these headphones to bolster on daily activities as well as complete jobs faster by limiting distractions from unnecessary noises.  

Users can access the easy-to-use control panel and voice system to quickly choose and adjust settings. This technology offers a 30-hour battery life for extended periods use and ample time to finish tasks. And with Bluetooth functionality, you can pair the PXC 550 Wireless with many devices.

Learn more about the PXC 550.

7. Inspiration

Inspiration is a useful assistive technology that can be used as a mind map or graphic organizer. Graphic organizers allow users to simply dump data or information in a relatively random and unstructured manner and then later work through the data to create a course of action. This can be especially helpful in professional as well as classroom settings. 

Based on the nature of the work, graphic organizers can be used to map out a sequence of events, prompt the user to describe an object, or complete some other task that can help in planning. Inspiration can be downloaded on Windows devices and Mac devices to help users quickly organize ideas into a visual form to to best understand concepts and develop new ideas.  

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