Language and Communication Difficulties and Impairments

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Language and communication difficulties and impairments include conditions such as aphasia (loss or impairment of the power to use or comprehend words, often as a result of brain damage), delayed speech (a symptom of cognitive impairment), and other conditions resulting in difficulties remembering, solving problems, or perceiving sensory information. For people who have these difficulties and impairments, complex or inconsistent visual displays or word choices can make using computers more difficult.[1]

Assistive Technologies

  • Keyboard filters include typing aids such as word prediction utilities and add-on spelling checkers. These products
reduce the required number of keystrokes. Certain keyboard filters enable users to quickly access the letters they need
and to avoid inadvertently selecting keys they don't want.[2]
  • Speech recognition systems, also called voice recognition programs, allow people to give commands and enter data using
their voices rather than a mouse or keyboard.[3]
  • Screen review utilities make on-screen information available as synthesized speech and pairs the speech with a visual
representation of a word, for example, highlighting a word as it is spoken. Screen review utilities convert the text that
appears on screen into a computer voice. This helps some people with language difficulties and impairments by giving them
information visually and aurally at the same time.[4]
  • Touch screens are devices placed on the computer monitor (or built into it) that allow direct selection or activation of
the computer by touching the screen.[5]
  • Speech synthesizers (often referred to as text-to-speech (TTS) systems) receive information going to the screen in the
form of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, and then "speak" it out loud.[6]