Disabilities Task Force
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Recommendations to New York State for strategies to increase access
4. Universal Design and Access Through Assistive Technology
It has been said that assistive technology creates for those with disabilities a sense of possibility. The right type of technology applied in the right situation can make the difference between success and failure, whether in a college course or in a career. It is critical that students with disabilities, in conjunction with assessment, education and career counseling, have access to the full range of assistive technologies and services that will open that real world of possibility to them.
The world of technology is changing quickly. That can be both good and bad for students with disabilities. While progress in assistive technology forges ahead, society's increasing reliance on technology, generally, can actually serve to further isolate those individuals with disabilities without the means or the tools to tap into new technologies. The growing use of web-based and CD-ROM-based learning materials, for example, means that some students with disabilities might be missing out on the latest in educational tools, unless materials are also provided in alternate formats (including Braille and audio tape), or unless such technology is adapted so it can be used by the greatest number of students possible.