The paper examines ways in which computers have radically altered and improved the lives of handicapped students. The visually impaired have been helped through the use of computerized braillers, embossers, and readers. Both adaptations of off-the-shelf software and specialized software have provided the visually impaired with magnification of print on the computer screen, voice synthesis, Braille word processing, and access to databases of assistive devices. Microcomputers have given the hearing impaired access to telephone communication (the Telecommunications for the Deaf device), lip reading training, synthesized speech, and computer assisted instruction. Finally, computers can help the nonverbal physically handicapped student to communicate and peripherals (such as speech synthesizers, talking scanners and keyboards, touch sensitive screens, keyboard emulators, keyboards, and adaptive switches) can provide access to off-the-shelf software. High costs and lack of information are still barriers to the widespread use of these computerized inventions. A resource list of 17 computer hardware and software companies and 8 publications is appended, as well as a 35-item reference list. (DB)
Deming, M.P. & Valeri-Gold, M. Computers and the Handicapped: A Primer.