Disabilities and Assistive Technologies


As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA), 1990, a disability is:

"Having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual, having record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment."


Ten out of every one hundred people has a disability. In the United States alone more than 68 million people have a disability that affects their daily lives.

Disabling conditions include:

Assistive Technology

Broadly defined, assistive technology includes any device or piece of equipment that increases the independence of a disabled person.

Assistive technology can be broken down into the following categories:

Example: eye-gaze systems

Common Problem areas for the Disabled in Computer Access

Current Technologies

Not always disabled persons friendly!

Assistive technologies include:

Examples of Existing Assistive Technology


Image of NoHands Mouse

Assistive Technology Software

Other Technologies

[Link to the full background paper]
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Last updated 2002/03/25
© Leonard Pham, Scott Hampton, Sangwon Lee, Joshua Kneas, 1997. Edited and maintained by J.A.N. Lee.

Bobby Approved (v 3.1)