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5 Low or No-Tech Assistive Technology Tools

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Here are 5 great examples of easy-to-use, low-tech or no-tech AT tools that help build children’s communication skills.

Here are 5 great examples of easy-to-use, low-tech or no-tech AT tools that help build children’s communication skills.

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  • 1. LOW- OR NO-TECH ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS 5 Assistive technology doesn’t have to be high-tech! Here are 5 great examples of easy-to-use, low-tech or no-tech AT tools that help build children’s communication skills. 1 AT TOOL Communication photographs WHAT IT IS Individual digital photos of actual items, people, actions, places, and feelings of child’s environment. HOW TO USE IT Select the appro- priate number and size of photos for the child. Position photo in front of object to link symbol and object. HOW IT HELPS Links to objects in environment to build communicative intent. Reinforces familiar receptive vocabu- lary and introduces novel words. 2 AT TOOL Visual scene WHAT IT IS Large photograph of a familiar environment (laminated or preserved with page protector) HOW TO USE IT Introduce the photo prior to an activity Preview what the child will see, do, and experience Review after the activity to create a “story” about it HOW IT HELPS Depicts actions, people, and interactions in context, to help the child build vocabulary beyond nouns. 3 AT TOOL Communication icons with printed label WHAT IT IS Individual icons printed on single laminated cards HOW TO USE IT Select the appropriate icon cards for the child. Position card in front of object to link icon and object. HOW IT HELPS Represents objects, actions, people, and other vocabulary in a higher level of symbolic representation. 4 AT TOOL Activity board WHAT IT IS Various sizes and numbers of photos and icons displayed on a board HOW TO USE IT Position core words in the same place on repeated boards to show steps of activities in sequence Use aided language stimulation to highlight words Wait for child’s response HOW IT HELPS Supports comprehension and expressive language 5 AT TOOL Clock scanning communicators WHAT IT IS Visual display of communication choices on a clear plastic clock face. HOW TO USE IT Attach selected objects/photos/ icons on clock face. Child controls the pointer with the touch of a switch until the desired symbol is reached. HOW IT HELPS Great way to communicate choices and desires Adapted from Assistive Technology for Young Children: Creating Inclusive Learning Environments, by Kathleen Curry Sadao, Ed.D., & Nancy B. Robinson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. Learn more and read a Q&A with the author at http://www.brookespublish- ing.com/assistive-technology-young-children. 1-800-638-3775 www.brookespublishing.com

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