Join Derek Featherstone for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of hardware assistive technology, part of UX Foundations: Accessibility.
- The assistive technology we've looked at so far has all been software based. Many people need assistive technology that is hardware based. There isn't a lot that you need to do as a designer to take that into account. All the hardware that you'll see either emulates keyboard or mouse input. These hardware devices open a whole new world for people. For some, it's as simple as finding a keyboard that's designed for single-handed use. For others, it's more complex and involves switches and switch software.
This is a video from a young man named Christopher Hills. He's in a wheelchair and controls his iPad using switch devices mounted on his headrest combined with iOS gestures. The accessibility settings available are impressive allowing him to control and play games that he just wouldn't be able to otherwise. As a start, go and research the different types of keyboards and mice that are available for people with disabilities. Put yourself in their shoes. Ask yourself, why would someone need this keyboard or mouse in the first place, and what would it be like to use it all the time? And make sure you take some time to watch that video, either now or later, and you'll be blown away by what Christopher is able to accomplish.
- What is accessibility?
- Managing flow
- Ensuring proximity in your design
- Understanding how screen readers and voice recognition programs work
- Designing for hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive issues
- Considering accessibility in layout
- Integrating accessibility into your content strategy