American Association for the Advancement of Science
Roadmaps & Rampways


Assistive technology and support services usually are categorized by specific disability. The Advisory Board of the Roadmaps & Rampways project recommended a more open approach - one that avoided the implication that only certain technologies and accommodations are suitable for an individual with a particular disability.

In an attempt to emphasize the open-ended, cross-disability possibilities of this technology, this appendix does not reference specific disabilities. In doing so, we hope it will encourage more creative application of the many as-yet undefined possibilities of technology. Readers should remember that no listing can be fully comprehensive or entirely current, since new technologies are constantly being developed, and existing ones are being tested and improved.

Assistive technology and other accommodations have been of critical importance in allowing the Roadmaps students to be so successful in their studies and internships. When the Roadmaps generation was born or entered kindergarten in 1975, only 50% of these accommodations existed or were accepted and were available to an individual student with a disability. We can only begin to envision what will be obtainable for the next generation of students, born or acquiring disabilities in 2001 - 2025.

  • Accessible public transportation and/or paratransit
  • Adapted keyboard and/or mouse for computer
  • Braille embossers
  • Braille display, connected to computer
  • Braille note taker with speech output
  • Caption decoder for TV, or TV with built-in decoder chip
  • Classroom note taker
  • Cochlear implant
  • Computer monitor with enlarged screen (24")
  • Crutches
  • Day Planner™
  • Dragon Dictate™ or Dragon Speaking Naturally™
  • Electric wheelchair
  • Environmental controls (ECU)
  • Extra time for exams and lab work
  • Fax machine
  • FM System or other assistive listening device (ALD)
  • Guide dog
  • Heat-sensitive paper (capsule paper)
  • Headstick pointer
  • JAWS™ (Job Access with Speech) and other computer programs that access software for users who are blind.
  • Long cane
  • Lowered shelves
  • Manual wheelchair
  • Motorized scooter
  • Open-captioned videos and rear window projection of closed captioned films
  • Oral interpreter or transliterator
  • Personal assistant, sometimes called personal-care attendant (PCA)
  • Personal hearing aids
  • Preferential seating
  • Private, quiet workplace
  • Prosthetics
  • Raising desks or computer tables
  • Real-time captioning (CART) in classroom or professional meetings
  • Recorded text books and other teaching materials, in analog or digital format
  • Refreshable braille display, connected to computer
  • Relocating classrooms or laboratories to an accessible location
  • Remote door opener
  • Screen readers
  • Sign language
  • Sign language interpreter, American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed English
  • Speaker phone with photoelectric switch
  • Speech synthesizer, transfering information on computer screen to speech
  • Surveillance camera connected to LCD screen
  • Tape recorder
  • TDD (TTY) - telecommunication device for persons who are deaf
  • Telephone and doorbell with blinking ringer
  • Type & Speak, an electronic notetaker
  • Van or automobile with hand controls and/or wheelchair lift
  • Wyndtell™ wireless communication device
  • 3-D models of cells and other structures studied in class or lab


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Profiles: Assistive Technology | Persistence | Beyond All Expectations | Late Diagnosis | The Golden Door | Informal Science and Popular Culture | The Pinball Effect | Families

Additional Materials: The Roadmaps Game | Afterward | Students' Backgrounds | Assistive Technology | Notes on Disabilities | 1990s Profile of Disabled Disabilities in Higher Education | Acknowledgments | References

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