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Assistive Technology

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Assistive technologies are examined in this presentation for use with a diverse range of student needs.

Assistive technologies are examined in this presentation for use with a diverse range of student needs.


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  • 1. Prepared By: Scott Curley 3-3-13
  • 2.  Up to 75 % of students with disabilities will be in regular classrooms (Cennamo, 2010) No two students are the same: they will have unique strengths and weaknesses Understand the strengths and weaknesses, and how certain methods and assessments carry a bias towards certain student types As educators, we should strive to incorporate universal design into our classrooms
  • 3.  Data: ◦ Internal-obtained in your classroom ◦ External-retrieved from outside your classroom ◦ Formative-gathered from assessments at the end of a unit or academic year ◦ Summative-gathered as part of an instructional unit to provide feedback and opportunities to modify goals Use data to inform decision making and tailor instruction to accommodate all types of students
  • 4.  Universal design for learning (UDL): flexible options for materials, assessment and methods of instruction to remove barriers to the educational process Flexibility= Accessibility Be creative! ◦ Focus on the learning outcome, not the methods you plan to use ◦ Be aware of the various needs in your classroom, and have a plan on how to accommodate a diverse range of students
  • 5.  We are limited by traditional methods of instruction Textbooks, handouts, and pencil and paper quizzes limit the potential for success for a diverse classroom Digital media is the key factor for implementing UDL and breaking down educational barriers Traditional methods are ok as long as other instructional and assessment formats are offered (i.e. technology)
  • 6.  Chartered under federal legislation: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 Individual education plan is written, and provided freely to all students who qualify Collaboration between teacher, parents, and school specialists (school psychologist, occupational therapist, guidance counselor) Written and agreed upon by all parties before going into effect
  • 7.  For best results, IEP’s should be evaluated and reviewed on an annual basis Students’ needs change, so will their need for accommodation IEP may require the use of assistive technologies, inclusive treatment, concerted efforts of several professionals, and may pull the student from the classroom to work one on one with a specialist If assistive technology is part of one of your students IEP, check with your school administration for specialized training
  • 8.  Can be low tech or high tech, electronic or not, computerized or simple It’s not about the tool itself, but how it is used to make accommodations for the learner! Can often require creativity on the instructional team rather than a large budget Consider simple approaches (modifications of existing printed materials) as well as more sophisticated ones (computerized adaptations, special equipment or learning software) if needed
  • 9.  Examples of common low tech assistive technology include: ◦ Using a binder as a slanted writing surface ◦ Having students select from a series of printed images to tell a story ◦ Utilizing a stamp that students can use to draw the X and Y axis for algebra Possible Implications: ◦ Assist students who do not have a good range of motion with basic writing skills ◦ Aid students with poor writing or language skills in communicating Retrieved from the state of Washington’s Department of Education website: http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Families/IEPs/pubdocs/L owTechAssistiveTechnology.pdf
  • 10.  Varying price range Typically easy to operate electronic modifications to aid learners Examples include: ◦ Adapted computer keyboards ◦ Audio books ◦ Tape recorders Possible Implications: ◦ Assist students who might suffer from audio impairment, or attention deficit disorder by equipping them with affordable, easy to use electronics ◦ Low cost alternative for students who need materials to be read aloud ◦ Retrieved from: http://www.cpt.fsu.edu/eseold/in/acom/tech.html
  • 11.  The technology corporation, Apple, demonstrates its capabilities to offer assistive technologies for their products (iPod Touch, iPhone 5, iPad) free of charge Specifically stated on Apple’s website, assistive technology includes possibilities for those who have visual, auditory, and physical disabilities Possible Educational Implications: ◦ Control a variety of devices using text to speech capabilities ◦ Ability to vocalize written words ◦ Touch screen technology for the visually impaired ◦ Portability advantage compared to computers Image and information retrieved from: http://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/vision. html
  • 12.  Approaches to differentiation are as varied as the students we work with We can not assume what works well for one student will work well with others Pay special attention to needs, monitor and modify as frequently as possible
  • 13.  Cennamo, K.S., Ross, J.D., & Ertmer, P.A. (2010) Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards based approach. Belmont, CA: Cengage.