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Assistive Technology


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  • 1. Assistive Technology Performance Support Independence
  • 2. Assistive Technology • “Any device or service that assists a student with disability to meet his or her IEP goals and to participate in the general education setting to the greatest extent possible” (IRIS - • Improves the functional capabilities of the disabled student • Can be categorized in two forms 1. Devices 2. Services
  • 3. The Assistive Technology Act • Passed by Congress in 1998, reauthorized in 2004 • Intended to promote awareness and access to Assistive Technology devices and services • Seeks to level the playing field with other citizens • Covers all citizens regardless of age, disability, or environment
  • 4. Areas of Support • Communication • Academic tasks • Participation in social and extracurricular activities • Movement and travel • Proper posture and seating • Material access
  • 5. Devices • Wide variety of mechanical and manual devices including: text reader, desktop easel, braille writer, audio books, joystick, reacher or grabber, alternative communication devices, hearing loops • Technologies will continue to emerge as awareness becomes more mainstream and funding becomes a priority
  • 6. Services • Directly assisting a person with a disability in selection, acquisition and use of a technology device • These services provide assistance to ensure the proper equipment is purchased, employed and effective for the user. • These services are vital to ensure that the device provides the proper assistance and support.
  • 7. Hearing Impairment Devices Hearing Loop This assistive device provides for support for those with hearing impairments. It involves the use of a transmitter, a conductor (loop) and a receiver. The user wears the receiver inside the “looped area” and sound from the transmitter is amplified for the user. This device can serve the needs of multiple users at the same time in a large area such as a classroom or gymnasium. The symbol below signifies a loop is installed in the area.
  • 8. Hearing Loop Design The illustration on the left displays the 3 components of the hearing loop. • The transmitter is the television. • A conductive wire arranged in a circular pattern around the area forming the loop. • The receiver is a user worn hearing aid. This system allows the user to hear the transmitter inside the hearing aid while they are in the designated “loop” area.
  • 9. Hearing Loop Media • A user explains the benefits and design of a hearing loop in the link below. • Reaction from a user hearing the loop system for the first time is included in the next link below.
  • 10. Seeing Impairments Devices Braille Printers Reading for the sight impaired creates a variety of challenges. The braille system was invented to support those with disabilities and provides a comprehensive alphabet in which to form languages. With the introduction of word processing technology, the braille printer provided a medium to improve communication systems for the sight impaired.
  • 11. Braille Printers The braille printer, also known as braille embosser, creates a series of embossments or tactile braille cells representing the users preferred alphabet, numbers or other characters. This series of letters form words and sentence structure. The printer creates documents from computer files associated with the user’s word processing software. Printing is usually done on heavier paper and is generally slow that the typical ink jet printers.
  • 12. Braille Printer Media • The link below displays a homemade braille printer made from a “Lego” toy set • Using a braille printer with computer software is included in the following link
  • 13. Physical Impairments Voice Recognition Software Physical disability is define as significantly limited movement of one or more limbs reducing the capability of the owner to below their respected age level. These impairments effect the person’s ability to complete day to day tasks including learning and development. Voice recognition software allows the user to manipulate devices with audible sounds without the need to control the device manual.
  • 14. Voice Recognition Software Voice recognition software can be used for many applications, but most commonly as a writing tool for those with motor function disabilities. The software translates voice or speech into mechanical commands for a electronic device. The user speaks into a microphone and the software interprets the speech for the electronic device. The device is essentially controlled by voice rather than manual manipulation.
  • 15. Voice Recognition Software Media • Explanation of VRS and it’s benefits • VRS and the capabilities
  • 16. Learning Disabilities Text to Speech Software People with reading disabilities such as dyslexia can benefit greatly from software that essentially reads them the text. This AT is used in conjunction with other reading techniques to allow users to compensate for the disability. Many personal computer companies are currently including this software on their products.
  • 17. Text to Speech Software Text to speech software or speech synthesis software is defined as artificial production of human speech. The software is designed to convert binary code into audible voice sounds. Each sound is assign a numerical sequence and these sequences and combine to produce utterances. Synthesizing these utterances to spoken words and sentences is the value to each user. The scientist Stephen Hawking is a user of text to speech software.
  • 18. Text to Speech Software Media • The following link displays the TTS converting text to speech • Free online TTS software to sample
  • 19. References Assistive Devices for People with Hearing, Voice, Speech, or Language Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from Assistive Technology Act - National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (n.d.). Retrieved from Braille embosser - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2014, from Assistive Technology - Physical and Motor [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from http:// Assistive Technology for Students With Disabilities. (n.d.). Retrieved from http:// Braille Printer with Lego RCX [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from watch?v=RKNkLH8PNZI
  • 20. References cont. Free text to speech software with Naturally Sounding Voices -- Free NaturalReader. (n.d.). Retrieved from Hearing - an aha moment with Chris from Green Bay [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Hearing Loop: A First Experience [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https:// IRIS | Page 1: Assistive Technology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http:// about-assistive-technology-and-how-it-is-used-by-students-with-disabilities/at_01/ #content Let's Loop America. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  • 21. References cont. Natural Reader Text to Speech Overview [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https:// Speech and Command Recognition for Voice Controlled Devices [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from Speech synthesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2014, from Tina Herzberg demonstrates using braille embosser with Duxbury braille translator [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from "You Talk, Your Computer Types": Speech Recognition Software [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from