Depending on their individual needs and preferences, people with disabilities interact with websites and applications in unique ways. Sometimes people configure standard software and hardware to meet their needs, and sometimes people use specialized software and hardware to perform certain tasks. This specialized software or hardware is commonly referred to as “assistive technology.”
Some assistive technology tools, such as word prediction and voice recognition are now becoming common tools that are also used by people without disabilities. These tools are being embedded into operating systems and mobile devices because they are able to improve usability and productivity for everyone. To help designers and developers understand how to create accessible content that works well for everyone, it is important to understand how people with disabilities use assistive technology and adaptive strategies to access digital information.