What is Assistive Technology? And On Which It is Based And Its Misuses?
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What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive services and devices can create an accessible and inclusive environment at work, school, and victim service programs. secondly, Assistive technology is any device, equipment, product, element or service that maintains or increases access, minimizes or eliminates barriers to support and resources, or provides accessibility, autonomy, and self-determination to people who
Assistive technology may include mobility devices such as wheelchairs or computer equipment or software facilitating communication and daily activities. For example, an application like Navability helps people who use wheelchairs to navigate the best route.
Other applications, such as TapTapSee (in English), identify objects by photographs for blind people. Speech synthesizers allow a computer to express written text orally, and voice recognition, and gaze-tracking software aid hands-free computer access.
In general terms, any technology could be considered as assistive technology as it expands access.
Assistive Technology and Communication with Survives
Programs must make every effort to ensure the appropriate and safe use of the technology used to communicate with survivors. Here are some ideas:
Offer accessible and alternative forms of communication for hotlines and permanent services that meet the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, or cognitive or speech disability.
Post options like a TTY line, text messaging services, and the voice hotline number.
When you use TTY, relay services, online chat, or text messaging to communicate, establish a security plan that addresses message interception and device security. Please read more information in our Digital Services Toolkit.
When using video conferencing technology, work with a deaf advocacy center and qualified video interpreter services.
Check the equipment frequently to make sure it works properly.
Make sure intercessors feel comfortable when using assistive technology. Local disability agencies can help programs learn to use the equipment.
Programs that offer digital services, online information, or access to technology such as computers and WiFi must ensure that they are accessible to all clients and provide software or assistive devices that allow survivors to use them.
For example, programs may have Web sites they design to allow users to increase the font size, enlarge a Web site, or modify colors.
Accessibility to Hostels and Programs
Programs can use assistive technology to expand accessibility by introducing changes in physical spaces, policies, and practices to better adapt these technologies to survivors’ needs. Likewise, there are some suggestions to get you started:
Conduct an accessibility audit of your program and evaluate and address physical and technological accessibility issues.
Develop or update policies to modernize or improve accessibility.
Include accessible resources and technology in budgets and funding requests.
Make sure advocates know-how accessible technology works and its importance to survivors.
Incorporate equipment that improves safety and accessibility for survivors.
For example, some fire bells and alarms may have flashing lights for deaf people or emit sounds and disable lights for people with epilepsy. Identify where your program can find these tools, keep some in the program, and test them frequently to make sure they work correctly. If you don’t know where and how to find these devices, contact your local Independent Living Center for more information.
This also includes accessibility tools on shared computers such as computers and phones, such as how to increase in the size of the text in a web browser, how to increase the volume of a phone, and other built-in accessibility features.
Include information on how survivors can make informed decisions about the disclosure of a disability or medical condition within the program.
The Misuse of Assistive Technology
As with any technology, assistive technology can misuse it. Misuse of assistive devices and technology can render survivors unable to perform everyday tasks and pose serious safety risks to a survivor.
Advocates should have a common basic understanding of the potential misuse of these devices and should consult with survivors about their specific concerns and experiences. However, Some examples of ways perpetrators can misuse assistive technology or prevent a survivor from accessing their assistive devices include:
Control or interception of communications. For example, if a survivor uses a computer or telephone to communicate, the abusive person may install spyware or use location tracking services to monitor him.
Impersonate the survivor. An abusive person may use a survivor’s broadcast or voice dictation system to pretend to be the survivor. However, request that a protective order or other charges can be drop.
Breaking or manipulating assistive technology devices or causing physical harm to the survivor. So that they cannot use their assistive technology device. For example, they break the survivor’s fingers or hands so that he/she cannot write.
Safety and Support Plan for Survivors
Advocates should know how to develop a safety plan with survivors regarding the misuse of assistive technology. This may include:
Help survivors identify safer or more personal communication devices.
If identity theft is a concern, intercessors and survivors can agree and use code phrases known only to the survivor to make sure it is him/her.
Assist survivors in finding replacements or obtaining repairs for technological devices damaged by an abusive person.
Include assistive technology plans in cases where survivors seek services or are moving.