Global Assistive Technology Wiki

Image of various assistive hardwareThe Global Assistive Technology Encyclopedia has been created by AbilityNet, the UK's largest provider of advice and information on all aspects of Access technology.

Its' purpose is to provide live and up to date information on everything to do with Assistive Technology.
It's a showcase of both products and useful sources of information.

The wiki is moderated and all comments and opinions are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily those of AbilityNet.

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Information is power, but it is only distributed information which is truly empowering (1)

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Supported by Essential Accessibility

Essential Accessibility

Disabled people invisible in Britain today 01 September 2010
  • Nearly 40% of people (who are not disabled and do not have a disabled family member) don’t know any disabled people.
  • 90% of Britons have never had a disabled person in their house for a social occasion
  • 91% of people believe that disabled people should have the same opportunities as everyone else
Read the full article from SCOPE . . .

More Disability statistics . . .

HMRC logo
VAT exemptions for disabled people . . .

Case studies

The experience and impact of AT is illustrated through case studies.

Web Accessibility

The issues and solutions to designing websites to meet the needs of people with a disability.

Sources of Support

Including Advice and Information, Online Training, Technical Support and Access to Work

Latest Assistive Technology News

Working with different needs


How a person with a vision impairment access a computer - bigger fonts, magnification, screen reading software and braille devices.

Physical Needs

Some disabilities will require to consider an alternative to the standard keyboard and mouse which comes with a computer. In this section you will find a range of keyboard and mouse alternatives, including on-screen keyboards, eye pointing and head tracking technology.

Language and Communication

AT to assist giving the user a voice - augmenting or offering speech. AT to assist with giving the user improved access to written communication as a reader or writer.

Learning Disability

People with learning disabilities have difficulty taking information in through the senses and processing the information with accuracy. This may lead to difficulty learning and performing in school and work. Most learning disabilities are manifested in poor reading, writing and math which subsequently affect a broad range of functions and skills.


People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can configure Windows to use visual cues in place of sounds, or increase the volume level of program and system sounds.

Other Sources of Information

Knowledge Banks
Website screenshots and link to knowledge banks
If you can't find what you're looking for on the GATE, where else can you find information on assistive technology or sources of support?

Link to Knowledge Banks . . .

What is Assistive Technology

BBC Access all areas - Life changing technology (2/12/10) . . .

Assistive Technology - Enabling Dreams

Servicing complex needs

A history and definitions of Assistive Technology, from ATTrain . . .

Technology Spotlight

The new Apple iPad2

March 2011. Apple launches iPad 2, a lighter, thinner and more feature packed version of the original iPad which appeared in 2010.

Read more about the iPad here . . .

Accessible cash till

Richmond Adult Community College approached Sensory Software to develop the Accessible Cash Till, an easy-to-use cash register. They have students with learning disabilities, who often work in the college shop. They were having difficulty using a conventional till, and wanted something that would guide them through the sales process. This accessible cash till is the result.
Image of accessible cash till

Read more about the Accessible Cash Till . . .
dapting and adjusting your computer

Adapting and adjusting your computer

Operating Systems settings

Things you can do to adjust settings from within your operating system or main applications to make the computer more accessible and matched to your needs


Different input and output devices, i.e. Keyboards, Mice, Voice Recognition software, eye and head track systems, that make it easier for you to put information into a computer and get information out.


Additional software solutions that make accessing information and comunicating on a computer easier, i.e. Word Prediction, Magnification, Communication, Voice Recognition, Screenreaders.

Other Platforms

Mobile Phones

The rapidly changing field of mobile phones creates a range of issues for disabled users. This area explores models of phone with high levels of accessibility and how phones canbe optimised for individual needs


PDA's or Personal Digital Assistants descibe those portable or handheld computers that are used to carry information and resources with the user. examples include the HP Ipaq or the PalmPilot series

Communication Aids

Augmentative Alternative Communication aids (AAC), for people who have lost the power of speech through disability. It includes the use of eye pointing, gesture, signing, symbols, word boards, or a speech output device.

(1) Based on a quote by Tom Watson, Minister for Digital Engagement, as he outlined the next steps in the Government's Power of Information programme

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