Thursday, August 30, 2007

Great resource for free Assistive Technology

During my daily readings for news and information to write about here, I often come across different pieces of assistive technology that are available for free. However, the individual items are usually offered by as many different vendors as there are varying flavors of disabilities. So, wouldn’t it be nice if there was a web site that could serve as a one-stop location for free assistive technology?

Well, I’m here today to tell you that this is no longer just a wish. Steve Jacobs has created a web site that is just that, a
1 Stop for Free Assistive Technology.

The site has a lengthy alphabetical listing of more than 200 products with links to the providers of the assistive technology. It is a good gathering of many applications, but the site’s owner realizes that it can always be enhanced with additions that he is not aware of. To address this, there is an invitation to email him with information about other products that are not listed.

I do have one bone to pick with the site, but it is a minor one. Mr. Jacobs seems aware of the web site’s target audience and the technology some might use, so there is a link for a screen reader friendly version of the list. I was going to open that page in another window so I could compare it with the normal site to see if there were any differences worth noting. However, each time I tried to access the screen reader friendly version, I got the dreaded “404” error, informing me that this web page could not be found.

Oh well…at least it sounded like a good idea to offer that page. Perhaps that link will soon be repaired and that screen reader friendly site will actually work.

For what its worth, I am using JAWS 8.0 and had no problem reading the list on the site’s regular page. If there are some issues with screen readers other than JAWS, which may cause the list to not be readable using them,then I’m unaware of these.

Still, I won’t let my thoughts on a great idea be dampened by one little glitch such as that one link that didn’t work as it was supposed to. It is a great idea to gather all these resources in one place.

I encourage you to take some time to browse the site and see if there is some AT here that you could benefit from. It is definitely a resource worth bookmarking and sharing with your students and colleagues.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Roen - thanks for alerting folks to this. Surely the problem with the error 404 link is that you've got a slash after the filename. It's OK to have but you don't have