• A student who is physically, mentally, or behaviorallyhandicapped is considered a student with disabilities.• Working with students with disabilities can be achallenge, but it is a rewarding process that will helpstudents in the long run.• These disabilities not only hinder the affected student,but they can also cause distractions for the rest of theclass and frustration for the teacher if the disability is notaddressed.• The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)was created to assist students with disabilities byproviding opportunities for them to succeed academically.
• An Individualized Education Plan is a special plancreated to meet the unique needs of individual studentswith disabilities.• Each plan has a set of goals for the student to meet anda set of instructional methods designed to help thestudent meet those needs.• There are several methods that teachers can utilize tomake IEP integrations into regular curriculum smooth andeasy on the student, teacher, and the rest of the class.• Following IEPs can be difficult if there is only one teacherdealing with multiple students with disabilities, which iswhere Assistive Instruction comes into play.
• There are several ways that teachers can assist theirstudents, and one of the primary ways is by implementingassistive instruction and technology into their classroomcurriculum.• Assistive Instruction is an umbrella term that encompassesany resource a teacher uses to help assist in the learningprocess of students with disabilities.• These tools can vary from supportive chairs for physicalimpairments to accessibility software for computerinteraction.• With new advancements in technology, Assistive Instructionhas become easier than ever to access and utilize.• The following slides give brief examples of how AssistiveTechnology can be used to aid students with disabilities inthe learning process.
• A student suffering from ADHD is most likely to be easilydistracted or readily bored or frustrated with work that requirespassively sitting.• Active learning is one the most effective solutions.• Have the student participate in activities that get him or her moving.• When passive reading or writing activities are going on, havethe student use noise reducing ear phones or plugs to cut thenoise and the distraction.• Another effective method of dealing with distractions is tocreate a “quiet area” with boards or boxes where students withADHD can be blocked off from distracting movements andnoises.• Giving these students organized schedule agendas, electroniccheck lists, and using color coordinated items will help keepthese students organized and focused on the task at hand.
• For students who are hearing impaired, Hearing AssistiveTechnology (HATs) is the easiest solution to hearing problems.• However, these devices are not always available to eitherstudent or teacher, and the easiest solution in this case wouldbe to place the student near the front of the class.• Keeping the noise level down in the classroom will also helpthose students who are struggling to hear.• Using presentations and writing on the black board are alsoways to assist students with hearing disabilities because theyallow the student to read rather than strain to hear what theteacher is saying.• Smart Pens would also help because they record audio as thestudent takes notes, and the student can then go back andlisten to the teacher lecture using headphones.
• Touchscreens and Tablets are a great way to work withstudents who have mild learning disabilities.• They allow students to point, touch, and interact with information.• Tablets are built in such a way that the students actually teachthemselves by using and experimenting with the tablet’s variousfunctions.• Working in cooperative learning groups can also helpthese students by giving them activities that they can doat their own pace with a group of peers who will helpguide them when the teacher is not immediatelyavailable.• Notebooks, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), andword processing software can also help these students inthe process of taking notes and organizing information.
• Use Speech-to-Text software that will help the hearingimpaired.• Use class organizers and lesson outlines and studyguides that will keep students focused and will cut downon the confusion about what is going on.• Use page magnifiers for students with visual disabilities.• Use video recordings of the class to assist visuallearners.• Use pencil grips, special desks, and make the classroomaccessible for students with physical disabilities.• Use alternative or color coded keyboards for studentswith learning disabilities or students with visualdisabilities.• Use digital Braille embossers for students who are blind.
• There are many different disabilities that studentsstruggle with on a day-to-day basis.• Despite the challenges that these disabilities present toboth student and teacher, there are easy solutions andAssistive Instructional methods that ease the learningprocess.• Teachers should always be aware of these needs andstrive to make learning a smooth and enjoyable processfor their students.• Ultimately, students with disabilities will succeed in thelearning environment through the patience and flexibilityof their teachers and the use of Assistive Technology.
• Individualized Education Plan• Assistive Technology• Guidelines to choosing Assistive Technology• Overview of Assistive Technology• Assistive Technology for Mild Disabilities• Assistive Instruction for Hearing Disabilities (HATs)• Touchscreens and Tablets• Georgia Project for Assistive Technology• Individuals with Disabilities Education Act• Microsoft Accessibility• Assistive Technology Devices for Study and Organization• Assistive Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities