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History: Computer access

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  • 1840 (June 20) - Samuel F. B. Morse, receives a patent for the telegraph and a method for conveying messages over it. He developed a code of dots and dashes to represent each letter. Today, some people with disabilities use one or two switches and “Morse code” to type on a computer. [1] [2]
  • 1888 (September 8) - Oberlin Smith publishes his discovery of magnetic recording in Electrical World magazine. Prior to magnetic recording, Thomas Edison had been working with recording using grooves in tinfoil. Magnetic recording is the basis of audio, video and computer recording devices today.[3]

  • 1952 (May 7) - The integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer.
  • 1992 (October 8) - Intellitools, Inc. files a patent for the IntelliKeys keyboard. It is unique in that the keyboard automatically detects the key overlay that is inserted and responds appropriately, reducing setup time and user training.[5]
  • 1999 (March 26) - The Voice Browser Working Group was first established by the World Wide Web Consortium.[6]

  • 2007 (June 19) - Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.1 becomes an official W3C recommendation.[7]
  • 2008 (February 18) -, a site for accessible gaming on Mac OS X, is launched . AssistiveWare launched which featured articles about general gaming topics, reviews discussing individual games, and short descriptions of games with a special focus on their accessibility.[8]


  1. Samuel F. B. Morse. Locust Grove, the Samuel Morse historic site. Accessed March 13, 2008.
  2. Improvement of the Mode of Communicating Information by Signals by the Application of Electro-Magnetism. U.S. Patent #1647. June 20, 1840.
  3. "Oberlin Smith und die Entdeckung der magnetischen Tonaufnahme." Magnetband Museum. Dipl. Ing. G. Redlich. 2007. Accessed on March 13, 2008.
  4. CAP Timeline & History Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program. Accessed on February 5, 2008.
  5. Membrane Computer Keyboard and Method U.S. Patent #5,450,078. September 12, 1995.
  6. "'Voice Browser' Activity." World Wide Web Consortium. March 24, 2008. Accessed on April 28, 2008.
  7. "Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) 2.1." World Wide Web Consortium. June 19, 2007. Accessed on April 28, 2008.
  8. [1]