People who have disabilities are faced with obstacles of all kinds. However, with innovations in the area of technology, many of these obstacles are overcome. When a person with disabilities uses computing technology for tasks such as looking for information on the Internet, corresponding with others, and writing and reading documents with software like openoffice, they are able to handle a greater range of activities independently. However, individuals with disabilities still are face with hurdles in computer use. These hurdles can be placed in the following categories:
* Reading supporting documentation
* Providing computer input
* Interpreting output
Software and hardware tools known as assistive and adaptive technologies, have been made to supply functional substitutes to these customary operations. Some are as follows:
There are individuals that do not have ample use of their arms and hands in order to operate a standard mouse or keyboard and there are also some wheelchairs that do not fit under computer tables that are standard height. However, there is equipment that supplies enough flexibility for positioning tables, documentation, keyboards, and monitors and is useful for those that have disabilities. By plugging the entire computer component in a power outlet strips that has accessible off and on switches, an individual with a disability can turn the equipment off and on independently.
There is technology that can assist individuals who very limited to no use of the hands by the use of a standard keyboard. An individual that has access to a head stick, mouth, or some another pointing device, or one who has use of one finger, is able to control the computer by using their pointing device to press the keys. With the use of software utilities sticky keys can be created that electronically latch the control, shift, and other keys which allow chronological keystrokes to input commands that usually require two or greater simultaneous key presses. If an individual cannot release a key fast enough in order to avoid multiple selections, the key repeat function may be disabled.