Alternative Access: A Case Study on the Benefits of Assistive Technology for Students with Temporary Disabilities

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My name is Carol. I am a nontraditional student who was recently diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a repetitive motion injury that affects my wrists. As a journalism major, I have many writing assignments that require the use of a computer.

Access Issue

I could not complete my coursework and assignments because my injury prevented me from using the standard computer keyboard.


I contacted the technology specialist at the campus adaptive technology lab. I was introduced to speech input software, which allows me to bypass the keyboard. The technology specialist also provided a training session that was open to students and staff from the campus labs and the library to introduce the software and spread awareness of computer access options.

[A young woman shown with a headset and microphone as she uses speech recognition software.] Select the image to the right to view a captioned video clip, in Real Player format, about speech recognition software.


This case study illustrates the following:

  1. Assistive technology can provide ways to access a computer other than the standard keyboard or mouse.
  2. Assistive technology typically used by students with long-term disabilities may also benefit students with temporary disabilities, as well as those without disabilities.

Last update or review: January 18, 2013