Glossary of Terms
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Alternative Keyboard Systems
Adapted to enable those who experience difficulty with conventional keyboard designs to use computers. Available products include mini-keyboards which require only small ranges of movement, keyguards to prevent more than one key being pressed at a time, and pressure-sensitive pads that can be configured for specific tasks. Input from such alternative systems are interpreted by the computer as keyboard stroke substitutions.
People with certain disabilities require reading materials, tests, and examinations in formats other than traditional print. For example, text can be provided on a CD to be read aloud by specific computer software, thereby making the information accessible to a student who is blind or has a learning disability.
Alternative Mouse Systems
Individuals who experience difficulties with conventional mouse designs require devices such as external trackballs or touchpads to use computers.
Braille 'n Speak
In this small, portable computer, a Braille keyboard is used to enter information, which can be played back through a voice synthesizer. Can be used by students with visual impairments to take class notes.
For those who are Deaf, films are available with print subtitles; for those with visual impairments, films are available with descriptive voice-overs.
Closed Circuit TV Magnifier (CCTV)
A unit consisting of a television camera that views printed text or other materials, and a television monitor that displays the image in enlarged form. Available brands include Apollo and Visualtek.
This Queen's-developed system requires a trained person to accompany a student who is Deaf to lectures and transcribe them into a lap-top computer. That lap-top is linked to the student's lap-top, enabling the student to "read" the lecture as it is happening and participate in questions through the transcriber. The student can print a hard copy of the lecture for studying.
Elite Video Magnifier
This devices enhances and magnifies print 3 to 60 times.
FM Transmitter System – See Sound Amplification System
Four-Track Tape Recorder
An audio cassette recorder that maximizes use of tape space. It also has an index function to paginate text read onto tapes so that students with visual impairments or learning disabilities can "flip" through the tape to find specific information.
A light-weight rod or stick attached to a head band that a person wears. Tasks typically performed by a hand or finger movement can be accomplished by moving the head to utilize the stick.
Sound is receives and amplified with a hearing aid. All sounds, including background noise, are amplified with the same intensity.
Sign language interpreters and oral interpreters are professionals who assist individuals who are Deaf with communication.
Infra Red System – See Sound Amplification System – See Real Time Captioning
Kurzweil Print Reader
By scanning printed material, this machine can then read that text through speech synthesis.
Held in the mouth via a tooth grip, this rod enables an individuals with severe upper extremity limitations to perform tasks ordinarily performed by hand. Rod attachments can allow the individual to type, paint, draw, etc.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
Allows images to be converted to computer-editable text. By analyzing an image, this software defines characters to produce editable text. After OCR, this text can be exported to a variety of spreadsheet, word-processing, and page lay-out applications.
This machine produces embossed Braille symbols on paper.
A volunteer or employee who reads printed text onto audiotape.
Real Time Captioning
By rapidly typing a speaker's words, an operator allows those words to be instantly captioned. As the operator types, the text is projected onto a large screen where it can easily be read.
Refreshible Braille Display
Via a serial cable, this electronic device can be connected to a computer. Accompanying software produces Braille output on the display which corresponds to monitor text output.
Software such as ZoomText enlarges the view on the screen by any factor chosen, allowing those with low vision to use computers. Software programs run simultaneously with the computer's applications and operating systems.
Another term for Voice Output Technology. Both hardware and enabled software produce synthesized voice output for text viewed on the computer monitor, as well as for keystrokes entered via the keyboard.
Sound Amplification Systems
A student's receiver and recharging unit and the instructor's microphone or transmitter comprise this wireless electronic amplification system. It provides personal amplification in a classroom setting for students who are hard of hearing. The FM System and Infra Red System are most common.
Calculators equipped with synthesized voice output and a variety of functions, from independent memory to accumulating memory. Available in both hand-held and desk-type forms.
Hidden or encoded English language captions of the audio signal are carried in broadcast television. In the bottom part of the television screen, decoders place white letters in black boxes which correspond to the words spoken on the television show.
TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf)
On a regular phone line, 2 TDD users can type conversation back and forth using a typewriter keyboard. Display can be via an electronic readout or a printer that can provide a hard copy. TTY (teletypewriter) is one type of TDD.
Voice Recognition System
Software which recognizes the user's voice as an input device. Depending upon the software, an individual can use his or her to either dictate text into the computer or to also command the computer (e.g. to open or close an application). Using a neural net, the software "learns" to better recognize the voice of the user.
Operating in conjunction with word processors and other applications, this software predicts words as they are being entered. For those with learning disabilities, prediction can reduce patterns of spelling of errors. For those with limitations of upper extremities, prediction can dramatically reduce the number of keystrokes required, and thus the amount of effort needed.
Last Updated: 19 May 2011