Monday, October 18, 2010

Assistive Technology

Recently I stumbled across an article by Luke Hsieh, an assistive technology advocate, about building a low cost electronic magnifier with a webcam and Debut video capture software. This was not only a nice example of how versatile our video recording software is, but it got me thinking a bit about assistive technology, which doesn't always get its due.

A lot of technology is designed with a somewhat constrained image of the typical user, and as a result can sometimes be very difficult or even impossible for people with various disabilities to use. Assistive Technology, on the other hand, makes it easier for individuals with disabilities to access information technology, which is extremely important in the high tech world we live in.

I have heard from customers in the past complementing our software applications because they have found them to be very accessible. While I am thrilled that they have found our software accessible, I have to admit this is more the result of our efforts to make our products as intuitive and user-friendly across the board than anything else. It makes sense that software that it easy to use is also more accessible, and as a result, we hope everyone will find our software easy and accessible.

Some examples of how our software can be used as assistive technology include Verbose text-to-speech software to convert a document to an mp3 file to listen to latter, or as a screen reader; and as Hsieh pointed out you can use Debut video capture software to make a custom electronic magnifier, or when you're making your next YouTube video. We will continue striving to make all our software easy to use for everyone, and hope that everyone finds our software accessible along the way.

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