Factsheets

AbilityNet’s Factsheets are free to download and provide advice and information about how computers and other digital technologies can help people with a range of conditions and impairments.

Written by our specialist team of assessors and accessibility consultants they give detailed information on a wide range of assistive technology, services and related organisations. Many give a step by step guide to help you set up your computer and software (assistive technology) to meet your individual requirements.

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  • A screen reader allows people who are blind or visually impaired to use their computer. This factsheet provides an overview of the main screen readers available for people to use with their computer or mobile devices.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them. People with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities.

  • Many people have difficulty speaking or understanding what is being said, and this communication disability can be a huge barrier affecting every aspect of life.

    2.2 million people are affected by communication problems include people with Aphasia, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Dementia, Head Trauma, Learning Difficulties, Motor Neurone Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s And Stroke.

  • An overview of how you can control computers, tablets and smartphones with your voice. Communication technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace and using voice recognition software to dictate to and control your computer has now become an increasingly attractive and practical proposition for many different users.

  • Writing with accessibility in mind means that you are trying to ensure that your content can be read and understood by as wide an audience as possible.
  • There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and their numbers are set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. It is not a specific disease but an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive conditions affecting the brain.

  • This factsheet summarises the steps employers can take to recruit and support people with an impairment or long-term health condition in work.
  • Dyslexia is a condition that affects the learning processes involved with reading, spelling and/or writing. It is estimated that dyslexia affects approximately 1 in 10 people with 1 in 25 being classed as severely dyslexic. It is what we now recognise as a neurodiverse condition.

  • Top tips for a safe, comfortable and productive workstation. Every employee has the right to a safe and comfortable workplace, and every employer benefits when their workforce is at their most productive
  • Despite falling prices, the cost of a suitable computer system is still beyond the means of many disabled people, especially those on a low income. This factsheet provides information and advice on how disabled people may obtain alternative funding for assistive technology that could make a significant difference to their quality of life.

  • This factsheet gives information about how computers, tablets and smartphones can be used to enhance listening for people with some degree of hearing loss.
  • This factsheet looks at how you can use your computer to help manage stress more effectively, whether you're at home, at work or in education.

    Work and study pressures, together with the ‘always on’ culture, can be significant causes of stress. If not managed successfully, more severe stress can lead to long-term sickness, anxiety and depression.

  • Standard keyboards and mice are functional ways of interacting with your computer and increasingly other devices like tablets. However, these standard devices can pose difficulties for many people – especially users with physical, sensory, or cognitive challenges – and there are lots of other options available.

  • Some people can only use the keyboard with one hand. This factsheet gives you some advice on the most effective ways of doing this.

  • It's very important for children to learn good typing skills as they are growing up. This factsheet gives you some useful hints and tips.

  • This factsheet outlines some of the ways that assistive technology addresses the varied needs of people with such problems.
  • Parkinson's is a progressive neurological condition. This means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. Most people who develop Parkinson’s are over 50 but younger people can develop it too. Parkinson’s develops when cells in the brain stop working properly and are lost over time.

  • This factsheet looks at repetitive strain injury (RSI) – the term most often used to describe the pain felt in muscles, nerves and tendons caused by repeated movement and overuse.

  • RA is an auto-immune disease and quite different from osteoarthritis, the ‘wear-and-tear’ form of arthritis which many people get to some degree, particularly as they get older.

  • Each year in the UK, around 150,000 people have a stroke. A stroke can affect how your body works, and also how you think, feel and communicate. All strokes are different. For some people, the effects may be relatively minor and/or short-lived; for others, the problems may be more serious and/or longer-term.

  • Tablet computers are hugely popular and can be much easier to use for older people and people with disabilities. Here are some useful points to consider when thinking about which tablet may be the right one for you. 

  • We often get asked about training and other support organisations so we've listed some of the most useful on this factsheet.

  • This factsheet provides an introduction to the various types of telephone and mobile phone that are available to make communication easier for someone with an impairment.
  • Selected by Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion, AbilityNet, a list of Top Ten Accessible Apps of use to disabled people. This isn't an exhaustive list, just a sample of the types of apps that are available on current tablets and smartphones. With rapid changes in technology many apps have the potential to replace expensive single function technologies used by disabled people.

  • Purple Day 2016: Advice on computing for those with photo-sensitivity to mark International Epilepsy Awareness Day
  • This factsheet gives an overview of some of the main ways computers can be adapted to help anyone with a visual impairment. Some of these accessibility features are built into standard computers.

  • Voice recognition software provides a fast method of writing onto a computer and can help people with a variety of disabilities. It is useful for people with physical disabilities who often find typing difficult, painful or impossible.

  • This factsheet lists some of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts within Windows.