A photo of a woman sitting at a desk, smiling to the camera. On the desk sits a computer with Zoom Text on the screen.

CABVI's Access Technology Service (ATS) provides instruction, comprehensive evaluation, and consultation on state-of-the-art access technology.

What is Access Technology?

Access technology is computer equipment - hardware or software - that enables people who are blind or visually impaired to operate computers independently.

Access technology includes:

  • Large print software and portable electronic magnifier technology
  • Text-to-Speech programs that read text aloud
  • Braille displays that provide tactile feedback for Braille users
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) products that scan printed materials into a computer which can convert it into the medium that best suits the consumer's visual needs

This specialized technology provides access to popular applications for internet browsing, email and many other business or personal programs that are available on the market. Portable technology is becoming more common place. ATS provides services regarding developing portable PDA, cell phone, GPS and digital book reading technologies. Many of these devices are kept current within the ATS inventory of items for demonstration and instruction.

About Access technology service

Established in 1986 as the Computer Training program, the Access Technology Service provides information, evaluation, instruction and consultation to help individuals achieve their vocational, academic or personal goals. This can include:

  • Information and referral to explore options for access and mainstream technologies, hardware and software, resources and CABVI's services
  • Evaluation of needs and abilities
  • Individualized instruction and consultations at CABVI, on the job or at home by qualified staff
  • ATS works with many local businesses, referral sources, families, schools and other professionals to assist people in reaching their academic, vocational and recreational computing goals.

Access Technology In The Home

High school and college students who are blind or visually impaired can learn to use adaptive technology to complete coursework and to access the Internet.

Retired persons, homemakers and parents who are visually impaired desire to use computers at home just as sighted persons do. Some may also want to use computers for volunteer activities.

Access Technology In The Workplace

Most office jobs require computer skills. With specialized training, people who are blind or visually impaired can use computers to perform various jobs in large or small businesses.

CABVI provides consultations with businesses wishing to employ or retain persons who are blind or visually impaired. Consultations include recommendations on selection of access technology compatible with the company's existing systems. CABVI can fit job sites and workstations with adaptive technology to add a skilled worker to an organization.