Assistive Technology and Special Education Students
Assistive Technologies in the Classroom
What is Assistive Technology?• Many students with disabilities of all ages need Assistive Technology (AT) to get through everyday school activities.• Reasons students may need AT – Mobility – Communication – Participation – Vision/Hearing
What to do in the Beginning (for teachers)1. Find out detailed information about the child and the family.2. Identify participation activities and what is holding them back from participating more3. How will you notice the changes as the occur? Brainstorm if an intervention would affect participation more.
Steps – cont’d4. Think of Assistive Technology solutions for the students in need5. Try out the Assistive Technology on the students6. Identify what worked and what needs to be fixed for next timeThese steps should be followed by all education professionals in order to determine what to do regarding AT for special needs childrenThe steps can be viewed more in depth at LDOnline
Assistive Technology in the Classroom• 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 *For an even more extensive list, you can check out Assistive Technology
More In-Depth with Books on Tape• 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
The Truth of Assistive Technology• It’s crucial for young students to be introduced to an enriching academic environment where they have the AT they need.• Surveys say that 45% of students who need AT are not receiving it.• Children need family support more than anything, especially when they are affected by a disability.
Individual Educational Plan (IEP)• The IEP’s created by the educational professionals and the parents will determine what AT’s are necessary.• IEP’s can be adjusted and changed when necessary if certain AT’s are not working.• IEP’s need to be reevaluated after a year to see if progress was made. Students with special needs need IEP’s in order to succeed in the classroom.
Encouragement to Give to Parents• Teachers should always communicate with the parents• Make sure to always ask them questions because they will know more about the child’s behavior outside of school• Tell the parents about organizations and groups that they can get involved in to learn more about having a child with special needs and dealing with assistive technologies
ResourcesThe Division for Early Childhood. http://www.dec-sped.org/Friend, Marilyn. Including Students with Special Needs. 5th Edition. Pearson Education. 2009Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning. (2001). Assistive technology checklist process. Retrieved November 20, 2002, from http://www.integratingstandards.org/index.htmlNational Center for Technology Innovation and Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) (2006) by LDOnline http://www.ldonline.org/article/8088North Central Regional Educational Laboratory http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/methods/technlgy/te7assist.htmReed, P. R. (2001). A resource guide for teachers and administrators about assistive technology. Oshkosh, WI: Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative