Disability and Technology Barriers

Disability and Technology Barriers

November 25, 2019 Greg Thomson

Technology often helps people with disabilities perform every-day tasks. Computers, the Internet, and self-service kiosks make it easier for people to interact and do business. However, technology can sometimes be a barrier that limits people’s access to the world around them. Technology barriers happen when technology is not accessible to people with disabilities. For instance, some technology barriers are:

  • Lack of computer accessibility, including:
    • Hardware, such as key guards, trackballs, large monitors, or head-pointing systems
    • Software, such as screen reader, screen magnification, or speech recognition programs
  • Website functions that only work when users click with a mouse
  • Self-service kiosks without accessibility features
  • Touch screens without screen reader software or tactile keyboards
  • Out-of-order equipment, including:
    • Lifts
    • Captioning mirrors
    • Description headsets

Technology Barriers

These and other technology barriers limit life for people with different disabilities. For example, websites that require mouse-clicking are barriers for people who always use keyboard commands instead of a mouse. Likewise, these websites are also barriers for people controlling their computers through speech. Moreover, touch screens can be barriers for people with limited upper body movement. Similarly, touch screens without speech output are [...]

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