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

Date Updated
1/18/13

Background

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.

Solution

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.

Conclusions

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.