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Three New Accessible Computer Stations Available in ITS Labs
by Michael Wu

Physical and visual limitations have long hindered the disabled from gaining access to and using valuable technology resources. In an effort to provide for the physically challenged, Information Technology Services has installed three new accessible computer stations in its general purpose computing labs, adding to the station that already existed in the PC Lab. The computer stations are equipped with special software and motorized adjustable-height tables.

Software for the visually impaired include JAWS for Windows and Out Spoken for the Macintosh, which translate screen activities into audible form. ZoomText and inLARGE magnifies the screen so text and graphics can be easily viewed. Those who are unable to type on traditional keyboards can now use speech recognition software, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking and Via Voice, to accomplish tasks completely using voice commands. Other utilities such as Co-Writer and Write Outloud help to predict and correct misspelled words.

In addition to the assistive software, each accessible station has a motorized adjustable-height table. With typical computer stations, wheelchairs would contact the table and prevent the user from getting close enough to reach the keyboard. With the new computer stations, those in wheelchairs can now adjust the table to a workable and comfortable height.

The installation of these accessible workstations are part of ITS' ongoing effort to meet the needs of the University community. We are pleased about the addition of these computer stations and the opportunities they make available to those with disabilities. For more information about the software and locations of these accessible stations, please visit us online at www.hawaii.edu/itslab. For more information on accessibility and assistive technology at UH Manoa, refer to www.hawaii.edu/access.

 

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