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The State of Iowa Opens an Assistive Technology Laboratory for Students With Disabilities

This autumn, students with disabilities who attend Iowa State University will get a laboratory that provides them with the possibility of using assistive learning technologies.

Around $24,000 gathered from student computer fees at the Iowa State University will equip the 200-square-foot space with the necessary technology.

Cyndi Wiley, the digital accessibility coordinator of the University, states that the major part of the equipment is typical of such a learning laboratory.

According to her, the University is going to be supplied with the particular assistive technologies, such as text-to-speech and speech-to-text software, screen magnifiers, and screen readers.

Wiley, who is in charge of monitoring the project, says that some higher-tech devices will be available as well.

She goes on to explain that the switch controls, devices that operate a computer without touch or a mouse, will also be provided. They will enable the students to exact commands by voice or use another type of control that can be attached to their wheelchair.

The laboratory will also feature gaming stations. According to Wiley, not only are they useful for entertainment and socializing, but they are also beneficial to the learning process.

Wiley concludes by saying that the laboratory will come in handy to an estimated percentage of 10–15% of the University students, judging by the percentage of the overall population with learning or physical disabilities.


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