Global Glossary


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A

Access Method

When we talk about "access" we are referring to the way in which an individual physically manipulates a piece of technology such as a computer or iPhone. Common access methods include touch or using the mouse. The keyboard is another form of access method.  


Accessibility Options

Every modern electronic device has a set of options designed to make access easier to use for people with disabilities. In some versions of Windows these are known as "ease of access settings."


Android

The Android operating system is the software which runs on most smartphones (other than Apple). Although Android is made by Google, it runs on lots of phones from other companies, including Samsung. The accessibility options on any device are defined by the version of Android on the phone (or iOS, if using Apple). 


D

Direct Access

When people use a computer, smartphone or tablet using their finger or a stylus. This term is used because you are directly selecting an item on the screen with your finger, rather an using a mouse indirectly to point at it. Eye gaze is often claimed to be a form of direct access because you look directly at the item on the screen to make a selection. 


G

Glidepad

A glidepad is also known as a trackpad. They are commonly found on the front of laptops and used to move the pointer around. They are useful for people with limited movement and grip but able to isolate a finger for moving a mouse pointer. 


H

Headpointer

A headpointer allows a user to move the mouse cursor on screen using head movements. These are a good consideration for people who can move their head accurately without getting tired. 


I

iOS

The operating system that runs on all Apple iPhones, iPads and iTouch devices. The version number of iOS tells us about the accessibility options on the device. Higher versions have better accessibility and so can be used by a wider range of people. 


J

Joystick

A joystick is either a special type of mouse or a common way to control computer games. As a mouse, the joystick has the advantage of having an easier grip and requires different movements in the wrist and arm compared to a mouse - making it easier for some. 


M

Mouse Keys

Mouse Keys is a feature in Windows and Apple OSX that enables anyone to use the numeric keypad keys to move the mouse pointer around and make selections.


O

Operating System

The main background software that is running on your smartphone, computer or tablet. Examples include Windows, iOS and Android. Each platform has a different set of accessibility options so needs consideration for disability access when purchasing a device. Also described as the "platform."



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