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Assistive Technology Presentation by Cody Hall for ED 505 at the University of West Alabama.

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Assistive technology presentation

Assistive Technology Presentation

By Cody Hall

What is assistive technology
What is Assistive Technology?

  • The United States Government states that an assistive technology tool is “any item that….is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (“Assistive Technology (AT),” 2013).


Laws on assistive technology
Laws on Assistive Technology

  • The most important law regarding assistive technology in the classroom is Public Law 94-142.

  • Created into a law by President Ford in 1978 the PL 94-142 made it difficult for school systems to discriminate against students with certain disabilities (“The Education For All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) 1975”, 2014).

  • Through the years the law has evolved and now has six mandates that include an “individualized education program”, “due process”, and a “least restrictive environment” mandate (“The Education For All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) 1975”, 2014).

  • One of the most significant mandates is the “least restrictive mandate”. This mandate requires that special needs children learn with all children in the school. The goal of the mandate for the child to “move as close to the normal setting as feasible” (“The Education For All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) 1975”, 2014).

  • Although the law was put into place for special needs students it has a strict placement process. For instance, the law states that the child must have a disability that limits their learning process (Payne, 1996).

Laws on assistive technology1
Laws on Assistive Technology

  • “STAR” is Alabama’s Assistive Technology Act program and it is funded federally by the Rehabilitation Services Administration (“STAR, Alabama’s Assistive Technology Resource,” 2012).

  • The STAR program was made possible in 1998 by the Assistive Technology Act and the act was amended by President Bush in 2004 (“STAR, Alabama’s Assistive Technology Resource,” 2012).

  • This act made it possible for adults and children to access thousands of resources in the state and nationwide (“STAR, Alabama’s Assistive Technology Resource,” 2012).

Technology for the hearing impaired
Technology for the Hearing Impaired

  • Despite popular belief, hearing aids are not the only assistive technology tools for the hearing impaired.

  • Visual aids are often the easiest ways to reach a hard to hear child.

  • For instance, assistive technology for the hard of hearing is usually lumped into three groups hearing tools, altering tools, and communication tools (Heckendorf, 2009).

  • An example of hearing tools is a 1:1 communicator, inductive loop, and a personal amplification device similar to a hearing aid (Heckendorf, 2009).

  • Examples of altering devices are white boards, vibrating devices, and screens that give televised announcements (Heckendorf, 2009).

  • Communication tools usually include texting devices such as cellphones, and real time captioning devices (Heckendorf, 2009).

Technology for the hearing impaired1
Technology for the Hearing Impaired

  • Due to the students inability to hear effectively it is of paramount importance for the child to be to rely on his or her sight to get information in the classroom setting. For the hearing impaired white boards make it easier to participate in classroom activities (“Brief Overview of Interactive White boards”, 2014).


Technology for the seeing impaired
Technology for the Seeing Impaired

  • Students suffering from impaired vision have a wide array of technology available to them.

  • For instance, video magnifiers, braille technology, speech systems, visual character recognition systems are all available to today’s students (“Assistive Technology”, 2014).

  • Personal digital assistants are also great tools for students but are being slowly replaced by smartphones. However, personal data managers have taken their place and can be installed inside the students computer (Nielsen, 2011).

  • Speech systems are currently some of the best products on the market for visually challenged students (“Speech Systems”, 2014).

  • In a speech system there is a synthesizer and a screen reader. The screen reader communicates the language to the synthesizer thus announcing it to the student (“Speech Systems”, 2014).

Technology for the seeing impaired1
Technology for the Seeing Impaired

  • The student can use a synthetic speech system through any normal computer because the screen reader is “loaded into the computers memory” (“Speech Systems”, 2014).

  • A student can obtain a screen reader by having a computer than operates with Microsoft Windows (“Speech Systems”, 2014).

  • Speech systems are great alternative for students who are unable to read themselves and although they have been around for years they still posses a great deal of popularity.,category,Assistive+Technology+for+Disabled.aspx.

Technology for the seeing impaired2
Technology for the Seeing Impaired

  • Braille Technology connect to the students computer and act as a regular keyboard that a seeing impaired person can use. The product shown below is a Braille Notetaker and also can be read aloud to the student similar to a synthetic speech system (“Braille Technology”, 2014).


Technology for the learning disabled
Technology for the Learning Disabled

  • There are an abundance of assistive technologies for learning disabled students. For example, items such as talking calculators, electronic worksheets, and digital videos have transformed the way students learn in the classroom (Nielsen, 2011).

  • The techniques utilized with digital video has helped students struggling with social situations due to learning disabilities. Acceptable social skills are recorded for the student and he or she watches them and learns the norms of classroom life. These digital tools help the student fit in to a normal classroom setting (Nielsen, 2011).

  • Talking calculators are also an important assistive technology in the classroom. With math being the common weakness for many disabled students the effortless nature of talking calculators really help students check their work and learn to develop repetition (Nielsen, 2011).

Technology for the learning disabled1
Technology for the Learning Disabled

  • Talking Calculators work similar to the way of a synthetic speech system and are affordable with the prices ranging from thirteen to two hundred and fifty dollars (“Talking Calculators”, 2013).


Technology for the physically disabled
Technology for the Physically Disabled

  • Often times it is difficult to find assistive technology for students with physically disabled students due to the wide range of ailments the student undergoes.

  • However, there are a few proven technologies in the market today for disabled students who fail to control their movements in the classroom.

  • Keyboard access is a huge problem for many physically disabled students and items like adjustable keyboards, programmable keyboards, and joysticks that enable the student to use the chin instead of hands since most physically disabled students are unable to use their hands in a steady manner (Torreno, 2012).

Technology for the physically disabled1
Technology for the Physically Disabled

  • Joysticks for physically disabled students as shown below:



Assistive Technology (AT). (2013). Retrieved September 30, 2014, from

Assistive Technology. (2014). Retrieved October 2, 2014, from

Braille Technology. (2014). Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Brief Overview of Interactive White boards. (2014). Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Heckendorf, Stacie. (2009). Assistive Technology for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Retrieved from

INPUT and OUTPUT devices for physically challenged ones. (2014). Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Page 1: Assistive Technology. (2014). Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Nielsen, Lisa. (2011)..25 Incredible Assistive Technologies.Retrieved from

Payne, Shannon. (1996). Public Law 94-142. Retrieved from


Speech Systems. (2014). Retrieved October 2, 2014, from

STAR, Alabama’s Assistive Technology Resource. (2012). Retrieved September 30, 2014, from

Talking Calculator. (2013). Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

Talking Calculators. (2013). Retrieved October 3, 2014, from

The Education For All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142) 1975. (2014). Retrieved October 2, 2014, from

Torreno, Stephanie. (2012). Assistive Technology for Children with Physical Disabilities: Keyboard & Mouse. Retrieved from