Posted by: MandyS | October 28, 2011

Activity 15.3 – Student’s views

These resources basically give an insight into the use of AT by those who actually use it. There is a suggestion that this is akin to a type of distasteful voyarism which should be discouraged. To me, this view emphasises the ‘pity’ element associated with disability which I thought was being discouraged. Without this input it is difficult to assess how effective AT is, its limitations and what can be done to improve its effectiveness. Surely it is only the same as clinical trials for drugs or similar types of assessement. Disabled people want to integrate and be treated as other’s are so why not have them show those that need to know what they are doing well and what they are not doing so well, so that they can ultimately achieve the ‘level playing field’?

Resource 1:

Listening to learn:

This resource is interesting as it does not mention any difficulties only the positive aspects of having digital technology, which enable the students to blend in.

Introduction to Screen Reader:

Neal Ewers demonstrates using a screen reader. Neal is blind and what had not occurred to me before watching this resource was the fact that although the screen reader can tell you what is on the page, it cannot assist with the layout. As Neal says “I only found it was a form to fill in when half-way down the page”. This is a significant limitation but I presume it can be resolved by some sort of description of what the page is.

Screen Magnification and the Web:

Neal again together with a colleague, who is partially sighted, demonstrating the pitfalls of this technology:

1. only a portion of the screen fits the monitor at one time so it is easy to be come disortientated or lose track.

2. it is hard to figure out what is on the screen.

and what can be done to improve its use:

1. use symbols next to links to differentiate issues

2. use colour to differnetiate between links

3. adequate spacing of elements on the page

4. use shape, nice big print and make sure the font colour and background are appropriate.

Resource 2:


Basically this lady shows how AlphaSmart 3000 has enabled her to continue her studies and become included in the class.

Communication is the Central thing:

I chose this video only because communication is a key skill for a lawyer and demonstrates how the inability to speak can be overcome by means of using technology to enable a person to communicate effectively.


AbilityNet (2007) Caroline Talks about her Experience of Using a Computer
[online], YouTube – AbilityNet’s Channel, watch?v=ux1EYqmCeTU

AssistiveWare (2008) Videos on computer accessibility [online], videos.php

University of Wisconsin (2008) Accessibility Videos and Podcasts
[online], accessibility/



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