Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is used to describe devices and services that lessen or remove barriers faced by persons with disabilities. Although the term is contemporary, the use of assistive technology is not new. For centuries, individuals with disabilities have used a variety of assistive devices to help them overcome demands in the environment. Assistive technology can be simple to quite complex in nature.  Many types of assistive technology are available on computers to assist in reading information, keyboarding, etc. DRES assists students by having technology on hand for them to try out. DRES also provides training to help students become more effective and efficient in their use of assistive technology.

Accessing Assistive Technology in University Labs

Library Labs

  1. On the desktop is a folder labeled "Accessiblity"
  2. Open this folder for shortcuts to assistive technology programs

ICS and Residence Hall Labs

  1. From the start menu select "Accessibility"
  2. Shortcuts to the assistive technology programs will appear underneath


Features of Accessible Workstation

  • 21" or larger monitor with at least 1600x1200 resolution, the monitor can then be used in 800x600 mode essentially doubling the size of the content displayed
  • Adjustable height workstation designed for a person using a wheelchair
    • At least 19" from the front of the workstation with a width of at least 30" of clear floor space under the work surface for person in a wheelchair to move their wheelchair without obstruction.
    • Adjustable work surface height from 28" to 34" from the top of the work surface to the floor
  • Accessible route to accessible workstation
    • At least 36" of clearance in front of the workstation for people to maneuver their wheelchair into the accessible workstation. Ideally more space should be provided for people using larger motorized wheelchairs and scooters.
    • Routes form the entrance of the computer lab to the accessible workstations should be wide enough for a person in a wheelchair to get to the accessible workstation. This includes providing a minimum of 36" clearance in routes to the accessible workstations from the entrance, ideally there should be 48" of clearace to support people using large power wheelchiars and schooters.
  • Accessible workstations in classrooms should be placed close to the instructor or the presentation screen to help students with visual impairments to see instructional materials and interact with the instructor.
  • Kensginton trackball (optional)

Number of Workstations per Lab

  • At least one accessible workstations for all labs and classrooms with computer workstations used by students
  • At least two accessible workstations for labs and classrooms greater that 25 computer workstations


Jon Gunderson
Coordinator of Information Technology Accessibility Group
Disability Resources and Educational Services