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Output Devices or Methods

When an individual has a heaving or visual disability, alternative output devices may be needed. In addition to third-party software and hardware, Windows 98 provides built-in features to enhance accessibility. The classroom teacher should modify the visual and auditory output of a computer using the built-in access features. If the student has significant auditory and/or visual disabilities, specialists in those areas should be consulted regarding additional adaptations.

Accessibility Options
A control panel that allows the user to alter accessibility output options on Windows 98 computers.

Accessibility Wizard
An accessory program that allows the user to configure accessibility output options on Windws 98 computers.

An accessory program that allows the user to modify the look of a screen including size and color.

Talking Word Processor
Programs such as IntelliTalk II and Write:Outloud provide auditory output for all typed text, including letters, words, sentences, paragraphs.  This ``text-to-speech" feature can assist students who have reading disabilities, including difficulties with vision and visual processing.

For blind and visually impaired students, a third party extension called outSPOKEN provides students with the ability to complete lessons by using the keyboard or Braille commands to hear what is written on the screen.

Use of a simple headset can help a student with auditory focus when using a computer. Headsets can also reduce the noise level from computer output in the classroom.

FM Systems
Students with assistive hearing devices can use an FM system that connects directly to the audio output of the computer. Assistance from an audiologist is required before an FM system is plugged into a computer in order to protect the student's hearing and assure compatibility of equipment.

Math Formatting
Math application programs such as Math Pad, Math Pad Plus, and Access to Math are designed for use with the math program used by others in the class. Program features include visual and auditory clues for number placement, operational steps, and feedback for self-correction.

Converting PDF to HTML
Adobe has developed an online utility on their web site that allows you to convert PDF (Portable Document Format) documents to HTML Documents. Simple cut and paste the web address or URL of a PDF document into the utility window and the file will be automatically converted into HTML. In turn, the HTML file can be read out loud using a talking word processor. (See Reading PDF Files as HTML Files.)

(See Assistive Technology Training Materials for more extensive information.)

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