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Assistive Technology: People with Disabilities

In this series of articles I would like to introduce technologies that are probably known to many people with disabilities, but not to some because not everyone with disabilities is automatically an IT expert.

What are assistive technologies for people with disabilities?

People with disabilities encounter barriers or obstacles when using computers, iPads, tablets and mobile phones. Therefore, there are a number of assistive technologies that support people with disabilities in using computers, iPads, tablets and mobile phones. The term assistive technology is an attempt to translate the English term assistive technology (AT). In the Austrian-speaking world, the term assistive technology is used. Rehabilitation technology is another synonym. In the health and social sector, the Nevada Assistive Technology resources is partly also generally translated as a technical aid, following the German aids directory of the statutory health insurance. Assistive technologies belong to accessibility in computer science. Other terms for accessibility are accessibility.

Information about Assistive Technologies in Operating Systems

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to find assistive technologies in operating systems. This is due to the fact that the operating system manufacturers still could not agree on the fact that there is a menu “Accessibility”. The following terms occur in the operating systems:

Easier operation with Windows
Input help for Android smartphones from Samsung
Servants at Android
IOS service assistants
Access aids for Linux and Ubuntu

Aids for visual impairment / blindness

A visual impairment is a mostly permanent massive limitation in vision. Blindness is a complete limitation of vision.

Study Assistive Technologies

The legislator is currently primarily concerned with the topic of data protection, keyword DSGVO. But accessibility is also being upgraded, especially at universities such as the Jade Hochschule. The Assistive Technologies course can now also be chosen. Knowledge, skills and abilities of assistive technologies are taught here. Studying Assistive Technologies therefore means choosing a course that requires engineering know-how and uses it for a social goal. The focus of this course is on:

Computer Science
Assistance systems
Building systems technology

Of course, this course of studies does not only aim at the implementation of assistance systems in the Internet, which are suitable for visually or hearing-impaired people. After graduation, students can also work in the automotive industry or in science, for example. In the medical sector in particular, however, people who have studied assistive technologies are in demand.

With regard to health, we would then return to the point of accessibility. Accessibility is of course not only an important topic on the Internet, but also in many other areas of practical life, such as shopping in a supermarket, operating terminals in a bank or similar facilities and institutions.

There are already indications that in the end it is not only physically handicapped people who can benefit from assistive technologies. Assistive technology is a major economic factor with a great deal of economic potential, which can also benefit companies that can possibly expand their target groups and clientele through the use of assistive technologies.

Technologies that support everyday life can make an important contribution to maintaining the independence and self-determination of older people.

Within the framework of the model programme “Care”, the state supported measures and projects for technology and knowledge transfer regarding technological innovations in the field of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) from 2011 to 2014. The potential of these techniques and technologies is too little known so far, and as a result possible support services, especially in cases of need for long-term care, are not used to any great extent.

Together with the Ministry of Finance and the Economy and the Ministry of Science and the Arts, the state, under the leadership of the Ministry of Social Affairs, is promoting concepts for technology-supported care as part of the “Medicine and Care” impulse programme.

On the one hand, the project lines cover the area of emergency detection and the further development of monitoring technologies as well as the care services based on them as successors to the classic home emergency call. On the other hand, the establishment of a market and innovation centre for technology transfer, in which market-ready AAL technologies can be presented and marketed, and the construction of an exemplary residential environment as a demonstration object for the public will be promoted.

Thirdly, a research project will select and adapt applications that are as compatible as possible with current information and communication technologies. Solutions will be developed for the use of these techniques in a care context which can be combined with other auxiliary concepts and which can also be applied with equal success in other regional contexts.


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