AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


Assistive Technology is for Everyone 

“AT enables people to live healthy, productive, independent, and dignified lives and to participate in education, the labour market and civic life”. - WHO 

AT can be a useful tool for all different types of people, in all different settings in life. Some people believe assistive technologies, and reasonable accommodations, are elite and exclusive. Not only is this belief misinformed, it robs a lot of people the opportunity to explore AT for themselves. Here are some truths about AT and how helpful it can be: 

  • AT is for Everyone – Including People Who Do Not Enjoy Modern Technology.  

The phrase AT can be a little off-putting for people who do not frequently use computers or other devices. While a lot of ATs can be high-tech, there are plenty of tools to help people in a broad range of areas that don’t require a high level of computer literacy. These low-tech solutions include aids for people with vision loss (glasses, magnifiers), and dyslexic people (yellow rulers with reading window, coloured paper).  

  • AT is for Everyone – Not Only Disabled People 

Everyone can benefit from looking into supports that will best enhance their capabilities. AT can make a greater positive impact on people with disabilities than on people without. However, there are huge benefits to be reaped for everyone in looking into what tools are out there that may help them in areas they struggle with. Examples of AT that are in common use: calculators, glasses, spellcheck in word, mouse, remote control, voice notes. . .  

  • AT is for Everyone – Regardless of Wealth 

Increasingly, accessibility features are being in-built into common technologies. Oftentimes there are a variety of different tools or apps providing similar supports for different prices.  

Using Assistive Technology in the Workplace: 

In a work context – it can level the playing field and allow employees with disabilities to complete work tasks and reach targets and goals. Even for employees who don’t have disabilities, AT can be a really useful tool to improve efficiency and quality of work.  

A lot of AT is built into programmes automatically, and won't require a lot of change or adaptation to be used in the workplace. 

An example of this is dictation and reading aloud tools. These are built in to most platforms like Google Docs and Microsoft word and can be used by everyone. This feature can help anyone to proofread documents or reports in a different way which might make catching mistakes easier.  

There are so many different types of AT from tools that will help with concentration, writing, organisation or time management – no matter what you are looking for there are plenty of options for you to try.  

If you are interested in exploring your options in using AT – in college, in work or just generally in life you might want to check out our AT Hive. Our AT Hive includes our AT Tool which you can find here, this tool will help find the most suitable and useful options for you.  

Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182