541 Assistive Technology Blog

I am using a Dell Latitude D531 Laptop for this class. When I checked the control panel under Accessibility Options here is what I found:

Accessibility Options- Keyboard- FilterKeys- ignore brief or repeated keystrokes

This would really be great for anyone with a physical disability or a neurological disorder like Parkinson’s Disease.

Accessibility Options- Sound- Sound Sentry- Windows will generate visual warning when the system makes a sound

This would be helpful for anyone with a  visual impairment.

Accessibility Options- Sound- ShowSounds- programs will display captions for speech and sounds

This would be helpful for anyone with a  visual impairment.

Accessibility Options- Display- High Contrast- Windows will use colors and fonts designed for easy reading

This would be helpful for anyone with a  visual impairment.

Accessibility Options- Cursor Options- changes the speed that the cursor blinks and the width of the cursor

This would be helpful for anyone with a  visual impairment.

Accessibility Options- Mouse- MouseKeys- to control the mouse with the numeric keypad on the keyboard

This option would be helpful to people with physical disabilities who may not be able to grasp a mouse.

Accessibility Options- General- SerialKey Devices- allows alternative access to the keyboard and mouse features

This would be helpful to anyone with a disability who would need to plug in an alternative piece of equipment.

Overall, I was very disappointed with the Accessibility on my laptop. I expected there to be many more options. As this laptop was provided by the school district I work for and was purchased through a bid process, there is no doubt it doesn’t have many upgrades.

I did find a website that listed many items for purchase to improve accessibility on a laptop:  http://www.makoa.org/computers.htm and this one: http://www.abilityhub.com/. I also found “Apple’s Commitment to Accessibility” at http://www.apple.com/accessibility/. As these sites offer many programs, for purchase, I hope there are grants available to make these necessary softwares and equipment low cost for those who greatly depend on them.  Roblyer and Doering state “Although students with disabilities have gained physical inclusion into general education, access to the general education curriculum is still limited” (p.410).  Although students are included in the classroom, they are excluded from learning because the classrooms are limited in their accessibility options. Teachers and Administrators need to work together to find a way to include all students in the curriculum.

Resources:

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2010). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Alex Greenwood on March 7, 2011 at 12:14 am

    What operating system are you using? I am curious if Windows updated their accessibility options for Windows Vista. I did my blog on Windows XP and it seemed like it was only a bare-bones program.
    Thanks
    Alex

    Reply

  2. Posted by Laurana Alves on March 14, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Liz, I also using a Windows operating system and their accessibity options are just the essentials. This leads me to believe that most people with accessibility needs have to look for outside software.

    Laurana

    Reply

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