When an individual has a heaving or
visual disability, alternative output devices may be
needed. In addition to third-party software and
hardware, Mac OS 9 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.
Close View, accessed through a control panel, is a screen enlarger that magnifies what is seen on the screen by up to 16 times.
Enlarging Font Size
The Appearance control panel allows you to increase the font size for any document to allow students easy access to information to output.
In the Speech control panel, you can select the Talking Alerts option that will command your computer to automatically speak all written messages sent to the screen.
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.
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 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. Simply 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.)
Output Devices or Methods