Assistive technologies


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Assistive technologies

  1. 1. Assistive Technologies <br />In the classroom<br />Anna Woolnough & Jessica O’Flaherty<br />
  2. 2. “Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that permanently affect movement. It results from damage to the developing brain, usually before birth. <br />There are three main types of CP, each affecting the way a person moves. Movements can be unpredictable, muscles can be stiff or tight and, in some cases, people can have shaky movements or tremors. CP can be as mild as a weakness in one hand in some people, ranging to an almost complete lack of controlled movement in others” (The Spastic Centre, 2009, p. 1).<br />“Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, software or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (Assistive Technology Industry Assosiation, n.d.).<br />Definitions<br />
  3. 3. Adapted keyboards, for example keyboards in alphabetical order.<br />Adapted Desks to assist with comfortable seated/standing positions. <br />Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices, such as the Dynavox. “Augmentative and alternative communication refers to means, other than speech, that can be used to send a message from one person to another” (Tanchak & Sawyer, 1995, p. 57). <br />Augmentative communication refers to any approach designed to enhance a person’s existing speaking skills.<br />Alternative Communication refers to those communications approaches that are an individual’s primary means of communication. <br />Examples of Assistive Technologies<br />
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  7. 7. Case Study: Integrated Communication and Literacy Instruction for a child with multiple disabilities (1997).Karen A. Erickson, David A. Koppenhaver, David E. Yoder & Joy Nance.<br />This case study looked at the communication and literacy progress of Jordan, an 11 year old boy with CP.<br />The case found that the use of a voice-output augmentative communication technology improved Jordan’s communication skills and capabilities in the classroom.<br />The technology used was called the Dynavox, “which looks like a laptop computer, is a dedicated, voice-output communication device with a touch screen display. Selection of picture-word combinations on a touch screen produces a spoken message via built-in speech synthesis as well as a written message via visual display” (p. 143).<br />
  8. 8. More information:<br /> Cerebral Palsy:<br />Dynavox:<br />Assistive Technology:<br />Appropriate Links<br />
  9. 9. Assistive Technology Industry Association (n.d.). What is Assistive Technology. Retrieved September 27, 2010, from: pageid=3859<br />Erikson, K.A., Koppenhaver, D.A., Yoder, D.E. & Nance, J (1997). Integrated Communication and Literacy Instruction for a child with Multiple Disabilities. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. 12(3), 142- 150.<br />Tanchak, T.L. & Sawyer, C. (1995). Augmentative Communication. In Flippo, K.F., Inge, K.J. & Barcus, J.M (Eds). Assistive Technology: A resource for school , work and community. Maryland, U.S.A.: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.<br />The Spastic Centre (2009). What is Cerebral Palsy. Retrieved 28 September, 2010, from: s_cp_09.pdf<br />References<br />