Persuasive%20Paper%20Sample-Assistive%20Technology -...

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Equality in Web Accessibility at Purdue America is a country founded on the principles of equality. In fact, we treat the extension of equal consideration to all people, regardless of race, sex, or creed, as an ethical necessity. Many groups, including African Americans, Latinos, homosexuals, and women, have fought for their right to this equality. With the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, this ideal of equal consideration was extended to people with disabilities. One of the most familiar consequences of the ADA is the presence of wheelchair accessible ramps or lifts in government buildings and public places. These ramps grant wheelchair users equal access to buildings and locations that would otherwise be inaccessible to them. But gaining equal access to physical locations is hardly the only challenge faced by people with disabilities. The vast reaches of cyberspace pose an entirely new arena, complete with a new set of barriers to equal access (Blansett, 2008). We need not search far and wide to observe these barriers and their effects; we can find them in abundance right here at Purdue University. Ineffective design of Purdue web content prevents some users from accessing information, and there are steps we can take to alleviate this problem. There are currently no regulations regarding the accessibility (to people with disabilities) of Purdue’s web content, but the adoption of such a policy would certainly help mitigate the problem of equal access Assistive Technology Before we can discuss the accessibility of web content, we must first develop an understanding of assistive technology. Any device or service that helps a person overcome some
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kind of limitation to complete a task is called assistive technology (AT) (Hobbs, 2009). Because assistive technology helps a person overcome a limitation to complete a task, AT is predominantly used by the elderly and people with disabilities. For a paraplegic, a wheelchair is assistive technology. For a person who is blind, a service dog is assistive technology. For an elderly person, a phone with large buttons is assistive technology. A particular AT can be classified according to the limitation it addresses and the task it helps one complete. We will be primarily concerned with AT that helps people use computers: more specifically AT that helps people use the internet. There are a variety of limitations that must be addressed to this end, the most prevalent of which are visual impairments and mobility impairments. If a person cannot use his hands, how can he manipulate the keyboard and mouse to use a
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Persuasive%20Paper%20Sample-Assistive%20Technology -...

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