Learn about differences between accessible technologies and assistive technologies.
I’m Corinne Weible. I’m the project manager for PEAT, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. PEAT is managed by RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. RESNA is involved in this initiative because universal design is a big part of our mission, which is to improve access for people with disabilities through technology solutions.
The question I get most often from everybody is, “What is the difference between accessible technology and assistive technology?” And a large part of my role at PEAT is helping employers, developers, and people with disabilities to understand the differences between the two and also how they complement each other. Assistive technology is a technology that’s been specifically designed to help a person with a disability to perform a task. For example, a screen reader on a computer can help a person with a disability to read a job posting.
Accessible technology is a technology that’s been designed with the needs of a lot of different users in mind. It’s technology with built-in customization features so that the user can really individualize their experience to meet their needs. Assistive technology alone will never guarantee access for people with disabilities because things like websites, software such as those used for eRecruiting, they really must be designed with accessibility in mind for people to actually be able to use them.
[narrator speaking] For more information on the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology and TalentWorks, please contact www.peatworks.org/talentworks or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).