What are adaptive technologies?

These are devices, equipment, products, and services that are used to help people with disabilities access UW-Madison’s physical and digital ecosystem.

They work best when they are paired with content and materials that are created using accessible design best practices.

Adaptive vs. assistive technology

Adaptive technology is often used as the synonym for assistive technology; yet they are different terms. Adaptive technology is a subcategory of assistive technology; it refers to something specifically designed for people with disabilities. Assistive technology is something that makes accessing content better for everyone.

Examples of adaptive technology

  • Screen readers
  • Magnification applications
  • Text-to-speech synthesizers
  • Speech recognition software
  • Closed captioning services
  • Keyboard filters
  • Electronic pointing devices


These technologies may be part of an accommodation request

How to request an accommodation