Assistive technology for students with disabilitiesPresentation Transcript
Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities
A variety of technology devices are available resources for students with disabilities to perform to the best of their abilities in the academic setting. These devices are referred to as assistive technology devices and are implemented to meet the needs of students with physical and mild cognitive disabilities. Assistive technology devices help provide an effective learning environment for students needing accommodations and modifications to the average curriculum.
An assistive technology device is an item that is used to maintain or improve the functioning of a child with a disability.
Assistive technology can be as involved as a computer with an adapted keyboard.
Assistive technology can be as simple as a tape recorder or calculator.
A student who is eligible for special education services qualifies for the use of an assistive technology device. The student is evaluated by a trained team in his school and home environment. The team then decides whether or not items in the student’s daily environment need to be adapted so that the student’s learning opportunities and performance are enhanced. Following the evaluation, the trained assistive technology team shares the results of the evaluation with the student’s IEP team, which includes the parents. Decisions for assistive technology devices must be agreed upon by all members of the IEP team before and documented in the student’s IEPs and implementation of the device must begin within ten school days from the date of the agreement
There are resources which teachers may utilize in their classrooms which can benefit all of their students regardless of the need for a specific technology device. Depending on the area in which a student is struggling, there are resources which can assist in adapting curriculum so that students are able to perform more proficiently.
If a student is unable to read independently, there are types of software which provide text-to-speech options.
If a student has a disability enabling them to write, there is a program, iDictate (www.idictate.com), which provides dictation services for these students, with a small fee per word.
With proper training and implementation, students can use assistive technology devices and resource services to access curriculum, improve writing skills, improve study skills, improve learning and processing of expected academic objectives, and enhance the learning experience in school communities. Assistive technology devices can provide the necessary tools for students with disabilities to make progress in the classroom. The ultimate goal is to help these students become productive members in a working society, which allows them to be as independent as possible in demonstrating their own knowledge and skills.