A assistive technology has evolved over the years, being a great ally of inclusion and allowing people with disabilities and limitations to have broad access to products, services and devices, for example, offering greater comfort, safety and autonomy to perform tasks. But what is assistive technology? Below, I’ll explain the concept and show you 4 tools that fulfill this function.
Law No. 13,146/2015, known as the Brazilian Law for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, explains the concept of assistive technology as:
Products, equipment, devices, resources, methodologies, strategies, practices and services that aim to promote functionality, related to the activity and participation of people with disabilities or reduced mobility, aiming at their autonomy, independence, quality of life and social inclusion.
In other words, assistive technology is everything that aims to improve the lives of people with some kind of disability or limitation. The goal is simple: to promote greater independence, allowing them to perform tasks that they previously could not or would have more difficulty doing.
Fortunately, most electronic devices sold today, such as cell phones, tablets and computers, already deliver accessibility features. However, there are a number of tools available for free that can further improve the use of these devices.
4. CPqD Reach+
CPqD Reach+ is a mobile application aimed at people who are blind or have difficulty seeing. It serves as a screen reader, allowing users to use the device’s functions with more simplicity and autonomy.
After enabling the application, a speech synthesis in Portuguese informs the function in which the finger is positioned. With this, it is possible to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, play music and much more, all in a really practical way.
3. Hand Talk
Hand Talk is a sign language translator. Available for free for cell phones, it automatically interprets text and voice into Brazilian Sign Language (Libras), being assisted by an avatar named Hugo.
With this app, deaf and hearing people can communicate better, as the tool uses artificial intelligence to recognize what is said and, within seconds, translate into pounds. It also delivers a dictionary section and educational videos.
2. High Contrast
Hight Contrast is a Google Chrome browser extension that allows you to modify the color scheme of web pages. Although simple, this plugin can help people with low vision, color blindness and concentration problems.
The extension works like this: everything black becomes white and white becomes black. Once activated, the modification applies on all websites, with the exception of photos, which keep the original colors.
NVDA is a screen reader for Windows computers. Created in 2006 by Australian Michael Curran, the software allows people who are blind or have low vision to navigate the computer more easily.
This is done using a speech synthesizer, which is available in several languages, including Brazilian Portuguese — language switching can be performed using the command “CONTROL + SHIFT + V”.
Okay, now you know what assistive technology is and know 4 tools that meet this concept.