• Assistive Technology: Any item, equipment or product systemthat, whether bought, modified or customized, is used to increase,maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals withdisabilities.
UnderstandingAssistiveTechnology• “AT” devices can help to improve physical or mental functioning,overcome disorders or impairment, help prevent the worsening of acondition, strengthen a physical or mental weakness and alsoimprove an individuals capacity to learn.• “AT” allows for a greater independence by the user, enabling peopleto perform tasks that they previously were unable to accomplish orhad trouble accomplishing by providing enhancements to, orchanging methods of interaction with the technology needed toperform such tasks.
TypesofAssistiveTechnologies• Assistive Technology ranges across a wide spectrum of devices thatare used to help those in need.• Communication Aids• Computer Access Aids• Daily Living Aids• Education and Learning Aids• Environmental Aids• Hearing and Listening Aids• Mobility and Transportation Aids• Recreation and Leisure Aids• Seating and Positioning Aids• Vision and Reading Aids
StudentswithSpecialNeeds• Understand FIRST that children with special needs have their own uniquestrengths and weaknesses. Students with disabilities need patience, timeand someone who understands their needs. It is paramount that aneducator has the skills needed to remain calm and demonstrate patience intimes of tension or frustration.• Demonstrate that you value each child in your classroom.• Use people-first language when talking about that child. Refer to the childfirst and the disability second.• Do not set the child up for failure; give the child a task he can do beforeintroducing something he is just learning to do. This builds self esteem andencourages the child to try new things.• Have a clearly defined plan for working with the child’s family to enable thechild to reach maximum potential.
EnhancingtheLearningExperience• To assist in Student’s with Special needs in learning, improving or enhancingthe students’ Educational Experience and Environment is key.• Resources that can help Enhance the Educational Experience are:• Note Taking Devices, Braille Devices• Communication Boards, Text-to-Speech Software & Hardware• Cognitive Software focusing on Memory Skills, Problem Solving, Decision Making• Hearing Aids, Text Telephones• Reading Machines, Audio Books, Large Print Books
MySpecialStudentsI am the current instructor over a Special Needs class with very uniquestudents’.• 3 Students have ADHD.• 1 Student has an Auditory Disability.• Various Students have mild learning disabilities that impact all areas.With my Students’ having Special needs that are very different from oneanother, It forces me to differentiate my Instruction within the groups so thateach student is able to learn at an efficient level while best understanding thematerial placed before him/her.
ADHDStudentInstruction• Resources:• Boosting Self Esteem• Managing and Reinforcingappropriate behavior• Give students agendas to keeptrack of requirements• Have classroom routines toprovide students’ withconsistency.• Provide students with outline oflecture.• Positive Reinforcement• Instructional Practices:• Brief Academic Assignments andimmediate feedback toaccommodate for the student’sshort attention span.• Engaged with student work asopposed to independent seatwork.• Carefully structured lesson withimportant points vividlyidentified.• Rules given to students must beclearly defined, specific andfrequently enforced throughvisible modes of presentation.
AuditoryDisabilityStudentInstruction• Resources:• Personal Frequency ModulatorSystem• Induction Loop System• One-on-One Communicator• Visual Aids for the Student to seeto take notes from.• Instructional Practices• PowerPoint Presentations for thestudents’ to have visual aid.• One on One Communication withthe student’s so they understandthe information being taught.• Computer Access Aids
MildLearningDisabilityStudentsInstruction• Resources:• Notebook Computers to helpstudents with note taking.• Computer Software:Spreadsheets, Databases andgraphics will increase productivityin grouping and categorizing.• Calculators to help students withmath.• Internet• Multimedia Tools to assiststudents who haveheterogeneous learning needs.• Instructional Practices:• Video Taping Sessions for VisualLearners• Sending Class Notes to Students’via e-mail• Grammar and Spell Checkprograms• Motivation• Hardware and Software Basedtools to assist the student• Internet Communication withothers• Application Software to helpimprove the students’ cognitive,reading and problem solving skills
Conclusion• Teachers FIRST have to have the patience, understanding and knowledgewhen dealing with Students’ who have special needs. These studentscannot be treated how other students would be because they are unlike theother students; they have special needs that have to be attended to.• Teachers have to also understand the student for the individual that he/sheis and cater learning instruction specific for that child so that he/she has thegreatest opportunity to succeed.• Most importantly have an open mind.