A few months ago, I attended an assistive technology and accessibility conference at George Mason University in Arlington that featured many government organizations. These organizations help people with disabilities as well as provide resources for assistive technology both for people who work in the government and those who don’t. I was then inspired to look at additional resources as well. While I have not directly used any of these resources, I have had a lot of fun browsing these websites and their social media, and think that these websites would be helpful for anyone wanting to learn more about assistive technology. Here are five websites sponsored by the United States Government that provide information and resources about assistive technology and disability in the workplace and the classroom.
Job Accommodations Network/SOAR
While the Job Accommodations Network connected with the Department of Labor has many great disability resources, my favorite is the Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR). There’s lots of information on various disabilities, limitations, and conditions, giving examples of reasonable accommodations. This would be great for researching accommodations for IEPs, 504s, disability services files, and similar. Visit their website here, and follow them on Twitter here @JANatJAN.
Department of Agriculture TARGET
The US Department of Agriculture Technology & Accessible Resources Give Employment Today (TARGET) Center provides many accessibility resources for people with a variety of disabilities, with an emphasis on high tech devices. I just recently discovered this resource on Twitter and immediately read through their entire feed and website. Unlike a lot of the other accounts, TARGET provides resources on specific assistive technology products and video demonstrations. Visit their website here and follow them on Twitter here @USDATarget.
National Council on Disability
The National Council on Disability is an independent federal agency that informs people about disability policy issues, with several resources for parents of children with disabilities. While not explicitly an assistive technology resource, it’s important to stay up to date with what’s going on in the disability policy world. Visit their website here, and follow them on Twitter here @NatCounDis.
Department of Defense CAP
The Department of Defense Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP) provides assistive technology for employees within the Department of Defense. For the rest of us, the website provides a great overview of assistive technology products, categorized by disability or impairment. They have a mix of different device types, ranging from high tech to no tech. There’s also a variety of videos and webinars for specific disabilities. Visit their website here and follow them on Twitter here @DoDCAP.
Department of Labor Disability Page
This is a master list of all sorts of disability and assistive technology resources across several categories- education, technology, transportation, and more. A majority of the websites I have shared also appear on this page, along with additional resources. Visit the website here, and follow the Department of Labor on Twitter @USDOL.
I had so much fun researching this post and loved how there were so many resources on assistive technology, and so many more on disability, all freely available on the internet. I hope these are helpful!
For information on how to attend conferences with vision impairment, read this post about attending conferences with low vision here.