Thread Subject: minor import - just notice definition of AT during platform discussion
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From: Smith, Jamie
Date: Wed, Jun 20 2007 12:45 PM
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In Definition on platform page has definition of assistive technology
* Assistive technology. Hardware or software that is added to or
incorporated within a system that increases accessibility for an
individual. Some portions may function as platform software while other
portions may function as application software and would be covered
above. Guidelines for the design of assistive technology in general are
outside the scope of this document.
Suggest harmonize with w3, or just use definition from Technology Act.
In the context of this document, an assistive technology is a user agent
1. relies on services (such as retrieving Web resources and parsing
markup) provided by one or more other "host" user agents. Assistive
technologies communicate data and messages with host user agents by
using and monitoring APIs.
2. provides services beyond those offered by the host user agents to
meet the requirements of users with disabilities. Additional services
include alternative renderings (e.g., as synthesized speech or magnified
content), alternative input methods (e.g., voice), additional navigation
or orientation mechanisms, and content transformations (e.g., to make
tables more accessible).
Examples of assistive technologies that are important in the context of
this document include the following:
* screen magnifiers, which are used by people with visual
disabilities to enlarge and change colors on the screen to improve the
visual readability of rendered text and images.
* screen readers, which are used by people who are blind or have
reading disabilities to read textual information through synthesized
speech or Braille displays.
* voice recognition software, which may be used by people who
have some physical disabilities.
* alternative keyboards, which are used by people with certain
physical disabilities to simulate the keyboard.
* alternative pointing devices, which are used by people with
certain physical disabilities to simulate mouse pointing and button
Beyond this document, assistive technologies consist of software or
hardware that has been specifically designed to assist people with
disabilities in carrying out daily activities. These technologies
include wheelchairs, reading machines, devices for grasping, text
telephones, and vibrating pagers. For example, the following very
general definition of "assistive technology device" comes from the
(U.S.) Assistive Technology Act of 1998...
>From Assistive Technology Act...
(2) ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY- The term `assistive technology' means
technology designed to be utilized in an assistive technology device or
assistive technology service.
(3) ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY DEVICE- The term `assistive technology device'
means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired
commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase,
maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with
(4) ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICE- The term `assistive technology
service' means any service that directly assists an individual with a
disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive
technology device. Such term includes--
(A) the evaluation of the assistive technology needs of an individual
with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the impact of
the provision of appropriate assistive technology and appropriate
services to the individual in the customary environment of the
(B) services consisting of purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing
for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by individuals with
(C) services consisting of selecting, designing, fitting, customizing,
adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive
(D) coordination and use of necessary therapies, interventions, or
services with assistive technology devices, such as therapies,
interventions, or services associated with education and rehabilitation
plans and programs;
(E) training or technical assistance for an individual with
disabilities, or, where appropriate, the family members, guardians,
advocates, or authorized representatives of such an individual; and
(F) training or technical assistance for professionals (including
individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers,
or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise
substantially involved in the major life functions of individuals with
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