Adaptive Technology

ADA Definition: "Assistive [Adaptive] Technology is any aid or device that provides individuals with disabilities with an effective method to access information that has traditionally been inaccessible because of a disability."

The BTBL lobby, located on the first floor of the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing, has an array of adaptive technology available for use to the public. Devices such as reading machines, speech output for computer technology, and braille displays are a few examples available.

Our Adaptive Technology Librarian, Scott Norris, is available by appointment to familiarize patrons with the use of this equipment. To set up an appointment or for general inquiries, please call 1-800-992-9012.

Smart Phone capabilities as adaptive technology tools

There are many types of adaptive technology available today and, thankfully, the options continue to expand by leaps and bounds every year. Debatably, some of the most useful tools now for those with visual impairments are available via smart phone applications.

Both the Apple and the Android operating systems come with built-in screen reader programs.  Apple's VoiceOver and Android's TalkBack allow users who are visually impaired to navigate the flat, touch screens on today's smart phones and tablets using a series of tap and flick gestures using one or more fingers.  View a list of commonly used Apple iOS gestures here.   

Resources for purchasing Adaptive Technology

There are many products available that can make life easier for the visually impaired: talking products, games, magnifiers, resource guides, etc. Below are links to a couple of the more popular manufacturers and resources. Or visit The Visually Impaired Information Center, Inc. website for a full list of Michigan based companies that carry a variety of adaptive technology items.