Assistive Technology and Diverse Learners Using assistive technology and appropriate instructional strategies to help students succeed.
Key Terms to Understand Inclusion: A type of service in which students with disabilities are taught in the general education setting with their nondisabled peers. Students are provided appropriate amounts of support and accommodations to complete tasks.
Key Terms to Understand Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): The environment that allows the student with disabilities to be educated with his nondisabled peers to the fullest extent possible while still meeting their educational goals. Individual Education Plan (IEP): Describes goals set by a team and the supports the student will be given to help achieve them.
Key Terms to Understand Assistive Technology (AT): Any device not normally utilized in the classroom that allows a person with a disability to complete a task that he/she was unable to complete independently or at all.
Uses for Assistive Technology Seating/Positioning Mobility Communication Mathematics Reading Writing Spelling Daily Living Visual/Hearing Aids
Low Technology Devices Assistive Technology does not also have to be an electronic or computerized device. For instance, a student receiving occupational therapy who has trouble with his handwriting may be helped by using a pencil grip that trains him hold the writing utensil correctly.
AT for students with ADHD Students can use a contrast/tracking aid to help them focus on what they are reading and find their place quickly Students who are antsy and have trouble sitting can use a squeeze toy to help release energy without disrupting their learning.
Instructional Strategies For students with ADD/ADHD, it is especially important to keep them engaged in the lesson. Avoid worksheets and lectures. Try to use animations, visual aids, and interesting materials. Connect the information to the student’s prior knowledge/experiences.
AT for Students with Auditory Disabilities Computerized Speech Recognition Devices change spoken word into a word document. FM systems aid students in hearing what is being said in the classroom through the use of a microphone attached to a personal radio transmitter. This also allows the students to better hear themselves an monitor their speech
AT for Students with Learning Disabilities Students may benefit from symbolized that show a picture of difficult words throughout the story. They can use audio books while they read along and track the words. Students can use portable word processors and graphic organizers that help with all levels of the writing process.
Instructional Strategies Present the information in several different ways (Visual, auditory, hands on). Make sure to go from the most concrete model to semi concrete to abstract. Check for understanding and remediate the information using a different technique when needed.