In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.

Similar laws are in place in countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Canada. I feel certain there are many other countries with accessibility laws.

The job of providing many of those accommodations, especially in what is often a technology-centric work environment, rests with the information technology professional. The major operating systems all have specialized applications and tools specifically designed to accommodate users with disabilities and impairments.

But I am curious how well these applications work for users and the IT pros that support them. Are the accessibility options built in to the operating systems adequate? What applications or tools are lacking? Do you find yourself using third-party tools, and if so, which ones do you use? Is one operating system better suited than the others for accessibility applications?

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