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Vision technology: Exploring the software, potential issues,

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Many individuals who use AAC technology also have low vision and require technology to support visual access. A number of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies consider some vision access needs and will meet the needs of some AAC clients, but many clients will require both AAC and vision technologies. Often times, these technologies are not fully compatible, have special considerations for set-up, or place a significant amount of demand on the devices. In Ontario, the Assistive Devices Program (ADP), a source of government funding for people with disabilities, differentiates between communication aids (AAC technologies) and visual aids resulting in separate clinics for each, which in turn results in clinicians having specialized knowledge in either AAC or vision technologies, but not a comprehensive understanding of both. However, to best meet clients needs, multiple software programs and devices need to be tested together to troubleshoot compatibility issues and to trial with clients. In these cases, a clinician or technologist on one side of the equation needs to test software from both AAC and visual fields. Although AAC clinicians may not be directly prescribing or recommending these software programs, it is important to have an understanding of the types of software, the features available, and how these programs can be paired together with AAC technology.

This session will focus on providing participants the opportunity to learn about various types of vision technology, to try out these technologies, and to work through cases to explore some more common compatibility issues and potential solutions.


Julia Foster    
Vision Technology Service, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University


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