3.1.6 Adaptation for the disabled
Since most LCCD projects are still pilots with few large-scale deployments, limited resources have been directed at making them usable by disabled children. Nonetheless, certain countries, such as Portugal, Russia and Uruguay, have introduced measures to make LCCDs accessible for those individuals.
For example, an online forum exists for using the xo-1 laptop as an assistive technology for disabled persons. 99 The Portugal Telecom Foundation has also carried out numerous projects to modify computers for use by disabled persons, including children. 100 In Russia, a project was initiated to provide LCCDs for blind students.
At this stage, it is too early to determine the costs of making adaptations in each country. However, various groups are working on projects that will provide a track record, through shared experiences, to identify ways to reduce costs. In addition, charitable organizations, whose donations are often targeted for the disabled, could provide a funding resource to defray the costs of making computing devices accessible to disabled children.
With respect to mobile handsets, a number of design or hardware features have become widely available to assist the disabled. 101 For example, individuals with impaired hearing can benefit from text and multimedia messaging, visual or vibrating alerts and hearing aid compatibility. Similarly, blind individuals or those with impaired vision can take advantage of tactile markers on buttons or controls, audible or tactile feedback, adjustable brightness and contrast controls, and a backlit display. All of these features can be used by students with disabilities to help them access educational materials.
101 ITU and G3ict, “Making mobile phones and services accessible for persons with disabilities,” (August 2012), available at http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/sis/PwDs/Documents/Mobile_Report.pdf.