Computer accessibility for disabled users
Computer accessibility for disabled users is fundamentally tied to the equality of access social / ethical issue. The Disability and Access section of BBC Bitesize is a good introduction to this topic, covering appropriate input and output devices. Both Microsoft and Apple have sections on their web sites that detail the accessibility features in their hardware and software.
Speech recognition is a common technology for physically disabled users - HowStuffWorks explains the technology behind it. Recently an Indian teenager created a device to convert breath into speech, desired for users with severe speech difficulties.
BrowseAloud is acessibility software for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. It includes functions to make text reading easier, including text to speech and colour highlighting.
Speaks4Me is a system to help autistic children communicate. Invented by a father who could find no useful system for his autistic son, the software runs on mobile devices and has a touch interface.
Another development currently being worked on is the ability to control a computer use brainwaves. Computer That Reacts To Thought A Lifeline For Brain Injured (Science Daily) and Voice recognition software reads your brain waves (New Scientist) are a good introduction to this topic.
This BBC news article and video shows a Cambridge lab where they test how elderly people use technology - the results are startling and highlight that a digital divide can occur in many situations.
Finally, The Madtoe Strikes Again: Hands-free Graphic Design is an inspiring story of a young man who, despite having limited motor control, creates graphic designs. The page details the variety of hardware and software systems he uses to create his work.
The Education page
contains details of hardware and software specifically designed for people with special educational needs.