There are over a million students in the U.S. who qualify as special needs students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
80% of students with disabilities have high-incidence ones such as learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, mild intellectual disabilities, and emotional disturbances
The other 20% have low-incidence disabilities such as moderate to severe mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, visual or hearing impairments, autism, traumatic brain injury, and developmental delays
There are many professionals who interact with these children consistently
General education teachers
Special education teachers
And most important – Parents
**These professionals need to work together to figure out what is best for the special needs children individually and what paths need to be taken. IEP’s are always created for the students, which can include Assistive Technology
IDEA defines AT as "any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability"
Some of the most common AT include:
Visual problems – Braille textbooks, books on tape, eyeglasses, large print books
Communication problems – Communication boards and books, pictures and photos, electronic dictionaries
Students with studying problems – Highlighters, post-its, electronic organizers, portable word processors
Hearing problems – Hearing aids, CC Television, pictures and photos, communication boards
Books on tape are great AT’s for students with many different disabilities. Students with visual impairments benefit the most from these books, but students with ADHD or learning disabilities can also excel by using an audio book.
These books can help students focus more, especially if they have a hard time reading certain words or distracted by other noises.
Books on tape are available everywhere now-a-days and they are usually accessible on learning tablets that many students utilize daily