Assistive Technology (AT) Overview
Assistive technology is defined as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a person with a disability.” (Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988). Donka focuses its efforts on helping people with disabilities improve the quality of their life using computers and assistive technology.
The elderly use assistive technology such as a trackball mouse to minimize arthritis-related discomfort in their hand, and screen magnification software to make on-screen elements more legible. Those who are blind or visually impaired may require the use of a screen reader to operate any computer, a refreshable braille display to read, and an app on their phone to identify unknown objects in their world. A quadriplegic may find it helpful to attach different types of switches to their wheelchair to trigger functions on their devices plus dictation software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking for their computing devices to operate them movement-free.
AT devices and applications of tech are so common we don’t tend to think of them as the technology for the disabled. Today’s powerful digital assistants such as the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa can be considered AT, and their usage scenarios for disabled and elderly communities are abundant. On top of helpful built-in functions like asking for the weather, to turn off lights, etc., assistant powered devices can be made to control things like independently adjusting a bed on-command to avoid bedsores. People with Autism and ADHD can benefit from AT as well — note taking apps can better organization; timers, alarms, and reminders can help with time management; and calendars can improve executive functioning skills.
Assistive Technology is the solution to the challenges the disabled face every day, whether they be discomfort, utilizing their devices, or simply getting through the day with independence.
Assessment/Assistive Technology Evaluation Report
For a fee, Donka will provide a written report of assessment results if requested. In addition to test and interview results, we would include a summary of special equipment requirements (hardware, software and/or positioning apparatus) as well as an expected level of computer mastery and possible employment areas.
Donka, Inc. is approved to operate by the Private Business and Vocational Schools Division of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
Donka, Inc. is not accredited by a US Department of Education recognized accrediting body.
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We were approved by the IBHE in April of 2018 to offer a Basic Computer Course with AT – it is approved by the IBHE for Donka to operate as a Private Business Vocational school in Illinois.