What is Adaptive Technology?

Adaptive technology refers to special versions of already existing technologies or tools that provide enhancements or different ways of interacting with the technology. The adaptation helps individuals with a disability or impairment accomplish a specific task.

Examples include:

  • Large print books
  • Digitized text
  • Good lighting
  • Large monitors
  • Software to adjust screen colors
  • Computers with voice output
  • Computers with visual output
  • Electronic mail
  • Word prediction software
  • Adjustable tables
  • Keyboard modifications
  • Alternative types of keyboard and mouse
  • Accessibility tools built into popular OS, browsers, and software

Assistive Technology

Adaptive technology also includes what is known as “assistive technology.” This term refers to any light-, mid-, or high-tech tool or device that helps people with disabilities perform tasks with greater ease and/or independence. Examples include:

  • Screen readers
  • Magnification applications
  • Text-to-speech synthesizers
  • Alternative keyboards
  • On-screen keyboards
  • Keyboard filters
  • Electronic pointing devices
  • Sip-and-puff systems
  • Wands and sticks
  • Joysticks
  • Trackballs
  • Touch screens
  • Braille embossers
  • Refreshable braille displays
  • Light signaler alerts

If you think you might benefit from the use of adaptive technology, contact the ACT Center for an Adaptive Technology Consultation.