4.4.1 Compatibility with school IT infrastructure

It is also necessary for AT to be compatible with -- and to be supported by -- schools’ ICT infrastructure. The list of questions in Table 4.1 will assist in reviewing the current or planned ICT infrastructure in the school to support ATs.

Table 4.1 Platform/infrastructure considerations in support of AT

Hardware – Platform
How will the platform support a range of third party input and output devices?
What connectivity to third party input/output devices will be available?
Is the hardware compatible with widely used access software solutions?
Will drivers for input/output devices be available on this platform?
What support can be provided for input/output based on legacy connections?
Hardware – Laptops
What range of screen size will be available?
How much do any specified portable devices weigh?
Are ruggedized devices available?
How do the devices open and start up – Ease of use?
What is the battery life : In hibernate ? In continuous use?
Can the selected device accommodate peripherals such as scanners, CCTV/magnifiers, joysticks?
Managed Services
How will local specialist technician knowledge integrate with provider services?
What provision of instant replacement services is applicable to users with individual needs?
Can the systems be accessed by users of non-standard technologies?
Will users have access to the control panel features?
Can user profiles for accessibility features be accessed at login anytime anywhere?
What are the timescales and related dependencies for approval and installation of access technologies?
Operating System
What accessibility options are available in the operating system?
What third party access software is available?
How will non-keyboard or non-literate users log on to the system?
What range of applications and software will run on the system, and will those options work with assistive technologies?
Intranet/Software as a Service (SaaS)
Will the applications comply with accessibility standards?
How will any bundled content created be managed - How will the accessibility of content be assured?
Can it be accessed by users of non-standard technologies?
Assistive Technology
Can AT solutions be managed across the network?
Is network licensing of assistive technologies appropriate?
How will ATs be maintained in line with operating system (OS) and application upgrades?
How will people with special needs access any online applications/workstations/laptops/mobile devices?
How will ATs be funded annually for new users and as users’ needs change?
Are drivers for assistive technologies preloaded onto the system?
Building Design and Furniture
Are suitable power sockets and network access points available to support pupils throughout the building and immediate environment?
Is furniture accessible and suitably adjustable for individual needs?
Is technology sited for ease of access?
Does lighting reflect on the screen or create undue glare?
Can it be locally adjusted (e.g. turned off.)?
Is there sufficient space allowed in the classroom for equipment to be maneuvered and to promote access for people with limited mobility?

Source: ITU/G3ict e-Accessibility Toolkit