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What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology means software or equipment used to accommodate students with disabilities. Some assistive technology is high tech, such as a laser head-pointer for mobility impairment. Other assistive technology is low-tech, such as a tape recorder for students with auditory processing deficit. There is a wide variety of assistive technology available to overcome many types of barriers.

For example: Sachi has Cerebral Palsy, and limited use of her left hand. She is studying English, and has many writing assignments. Her one-handed typing is very slow, and she is getting behind in her assignments.

Solution: Sachi enrolls with the DRC, and her Counselor orders a one-handed keyboard. Sachi borrows the one-handed keyboard, and learns to type fast enough to keep up with her assignments. In this situation, the assistive technology accommodation has created a “level playing field,” so that Sachi has an equal chance to do well in her classes.

 Assistive Technology at Mendocino College

At Mendocino College, the DRC Counselor is responsible for determining which students qualify for assistive technology. The Alternate Media Specialist checks out and installs the equipment (or software,) and  the Instructional Assistant teaches them how to use it.

The following Alternate Media accommodations are available at Mendocino College:


Software: ZoomText, JAWS.

Hardware: Hand magnifiers, CCTV, large-screen Monitors, enlarged keyboard.


Software: Captioned video.

Hardware: Audio Amplifiers (Sound Wizard and Easy Listener.)


Software: Kurzweil, Inspiration, Scanners,

Hardware: Calculators, Spell-checkers, Tape Recorders, Daisy Players.


Software: Dragon Naturally Speaking,

Hardware: Adjustable workstations, one-handed keyboardstrackballs and joysticks, lapboards.

Created: May 04, 2009 @ 12:41 PM
Last Modified: August 05, 2010 @ 01:11 PM


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