Before deciding on what accessible AT device you need, you will want to determine how it will be useful in order to prove why you need it. A great tool to use in this determination is the SETT Framework (developed by the late educator Joy Zambala).
SETT stands for Student, Environment, Task, Tools.
In other words, you want to think about:
- Your strengths, skills, etc.: touch typing, Braille knowledge; ability to use magnification well
- Your needs: How much use are visual materials? Is audio at all helpful? Can you use a mouse? Keyboard? Switch?
Environment: Your school.
- In-person: buses, classrooms, school hallways, cafeteria, whiteboards, SmartBoards/Promethean Boards, laptops, software used by the school, books, lighting in various areas (too much, too little, glare, photophobia concerns, etc.)
- Virtual: platform used, screenshots, screen sharing, online software and simulations, lighting in a study area (too much, too little, glare, photophobia concerns, etc.)
Task: What you need to do.
- Access materials efficiently: understand the structure of documents, understand graphics and pictures, understand what is happening in videos, interact with text and numbers
- Show what you know: share your work with peers and the teacher (in a format they can access), create materials (including documents, spreadsheets, graphics, videos), etc.
Tools: What you need to do things.
- In order to read and create documents, need: documents provided in accessible format; Windows laptop computer (not a Chromebook) with screen reader software (like JAWS) and/or screen enlargement software (like ZoomText) (Note: Fusion combines JAWS and ZoomText); Mac laptop with VoiceOver; refreshable Braille display, large monitor; accessible tablet (like an iPad); Braille embosser, laser printer, Perkins Brailler, slate and stylus
- In order to read graphics, need: tactile graphics, alt text descriptions, high color contrast
- In order to make graphics, need: tactile graph paper; graphic art tape, tactile markers, accessible drawing tools (Sensational Blackboard, TactileDoodle, inTact SketchPad/Draftsman); Braille embosser, laser printer
- Videos: audio description
- Software and platforms: accessible interfaces
- In order to measure: tactile caliper, click rule, Braille/large print ruler, tactile/large print protractor, Braille/large print measuring cups and spoons
- Data collection in biology, chemistry, and physics: Sci-Voice TM Talking LabQuest 2 Version 2.3 Package, including Logger Pro software (allows you to collect data and analyze it without the use of vision at all)
Additional SETT Resources
Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information
- Our Accessible web form
- Email: Helpdesk@imagemd.org
- Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546
- Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call
This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.
Updated as of August 31, 2023.