What is Assistive Technology?
Digital assistive technology (also known as adaptive technology, or AT) is a blanket term for programs, utilities, hardware, and peripherals that augment or replace standard technology to enable and enhance access for disabled users. Many common digital accessibility guidelines are designed to ensure that websites, documents, and other media will be compatible with assistive technologies.
The University of Michigan has been a national leader in public assistive technology availability since the 1980s. As technology capabilities have expanded, ITS has moved from making assistive software only available in single computer labs, to installing it on all public Sites machines, as well as providing licenses and links for product use on personal and work computers. We remain on the cutting edge with our involvement in the Morphic project, which will allow individuals to access their own or University-provided assistive software from anywhere.
U-M’s official digital accessibility policy (Section IV.C. of the EIT Accessibility SPG) ensures that assistive technology is a key part of our permanent accessibility strategy. There are also a growing number of non-ITS assistive technology initiatives on campus.
The focus of AT initiatives remains on benefiting individuals who self-identify as having disabilities. However, these technologies are available to everyone, and we encourage all current U-M students, staff, and faculty to browse this section and learn about the many products that can be accessed at no charge.
Please contact us through our TDx form.