Semin Speech Lang 2017; 38(04): 286-296
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1604276
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

When You Can't Touch a Touch Screen

Jamie B. Boster
1   Communication Sciences and Disorders, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
John W. McCarthy
1   Communication Sciences and Disorders, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
11 September 2017 (online)


A touch screen can be an intuitive interface method for many people. Mobile phones, tablets, and tablet computer combinations have made this technology part of daily use. Touchscreen technologies are common and present unique difficulties for individuals who require alternative access methods. Dedicated augmentative and alternative communication systems continue to offer a range of access methods, but it is also important to examine existing accessibility options from mainstream companies (e.g., Microsoft [Redmond, WA], Apple [Cupertino, CA]) and how current tools can be used to allow individuals to interact with touch screen technologies. An overview of current accessibility features available on popular mainstream devices (e.g., Microsoft Surface, Apple iPad) is provided along with discussion of alternative access methods for current technologies, future research directions, and the potential impact of speech recognition, virtual reality, and augmented reality for interfacing with multiple devices.