Assistive Technology Information Center Joins DUE

Kathleen Cahill, UX Specialist, ATIC

Editor’s Note: As of February 2, the Assistive Technology Information Center (ATIC) officially became a part of UAAP. Formerly under the auspices of IS&T, ATIC (pronounced like “attic") provides assistive technology services as well as consultations on web accessibility and usability. For DUE staff who are not familiar with the center, ATIC's Kathy Cahill describes the services they offer and how they collaborate with other MIT offices and programs. Please take a few minutes to learn more about the center and extend a warm welcome to the ATIC staff!

ATIC was started in 1992 by an IS&T Help Desk consultant who was using assistive technology herself and saw an unmet need for MIT students and staff with disabilities. Since that time, ATIC has grown in size, scope, and the number of customers served. ATIC serves about 100 students on an ongoing basis per academic year. In addition, we perform about 300 demonstrations of various assistive technologies, including keyboards and pointing devices that can be loaned out to members of the MIT community. ATIC is staffed by Kathy Cahill and Kate Lindberg, along with two MIT student workers, seniors Kristen Eller and Kapaya Katongo.

Student in the ATIC labATIC has always worked very closely with Student Disabilities Services in coordinating assistive technology services for students, and making sure that they have needed tools and course materials in accessible formats. In addition, ATIC works with HR Disabilities Services to ensure that MIT faculty and staff have any assistive technologies they need to do their jobs. ATIC also maintains close ties with Environmental Health and Safety and MIT Medical, two departments that often refer customers to us.                          

A crucial part of the work that ATIC does relates to web accessibility and usability. Students, staff, and visitors to MIT websites should be able to access and read all the information on the web, whether they are using an assistive technology or not. This is where our Accessibility and Usability consultants (Rich Caloggero, Katherine Wahl and Chris LaRoche) add their expertise to MIT departments, labs, and centers, by providing free accessibility and usability consulting regarding any new or existing websites, along with recommendations on how to make them more accessible and usable. 

We hope that if you haven’t visited ATIC already, you’ll stop by and see what we have to offer. We are just down the hall from DUE HQ in 7-143 and can be reached at 253-7808 or