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assistive technology

Assistive Technology

Dane Dahlke

University of West Alabama

June 10, 2015

what is assistive technology at
What is Assistive Technology (AT)
  • Defined as any device or service that helps a student with a disability to meet his or her individualized educational program goals and to participate in the general education setting to the greatest possible extent
  • In other words, AT is anything which can help compensate for someone’s disabilities
laws pertaining to at
Laws Pertaining to AT
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA ’04)
    • “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child and specifically excludes a medical device that is surgically implanted or the replacement of such device”
at for the hearing impaired
AT for the Hearing Impaired
  • Alerting Devices
    • Use vibration or a type of visual signal to get the attention of the hearing impaired student
    • These are most commonly used by hearing impaired people to notify them of an emergency, an alarm clock, or that there is a knock at the door
    • In the classroom, they can be used in timed activities to signal to the student that their time is up. Or even to signal that the slides of a PowerPoint presentation have changed. They can also be used for emergency notifications as well such as fire and weather alarms.
at for the seeing impaired
AT for the Seeing Impaired
  • Video magnifiers or Closed Circuit TVs
    • Camera-type device which has a screen that display a zoomed-in image of a piece of paper or worksheet.
    • Pictured is a portable video magnifier which shows an enlarged view of the text which the camera is passed over.
at for the learning d isabled
AT for the Learning Disabled
  • In today’s classrooms, we experience a wide variety of learning disabilities, and in response, we have developed many types of different ATs for students.
    • In the following slides, I am going to cover three unique ATs for learning disabled students.
at for the l earning d isabled continued
AT for the Learning Disabled continued…
  • Alternative Keyboards
    • This is a type of overlay for a regular keyboard which can be customized according to the meaning and function of the keys.
    • These are great for children who are affected in such a way that they cannot memorize keyboards or do not understand regular keyboards.
    • Pictured is an alternative keyboard utilizing colors and larger characters on the keys.
at for the learning disabled continued
AT for the Learning Disabled continued…
  • Speech and language recognition software
    • This type of AT is great for students who use speech better than writing. It is a type of microphone in which the student can dictate information rather than write with an old fashioned pencil and paper.
    • It is a much faster alternative for students who have underdeveloped fine motor skills.
    • Pictured is Dragon, a software which exploded in popularity among physicians in the medical field as an alternative to pen-and-paper writing vs typing in an electronic medical record.
at for the learning disabled continued1
AT for the Learning Disabled continued…
  • Word prediction programs
    • These have become increasingly popular as a part of text messaging smartphones with Samsung perfecting the “predictive text” technology which was later utilized by Apple as well.
    • This is a software which attempts to predict which word the operator would like to use next. Also recognizes frequently used patterns of words to help the operator build sentences with less difficulties.
    • Great for kids who struggle with using proper spelling, grammar, and have difficulties with word choices.
    • Pictured is an example of word predicting software.
at for the physically disabled
AT for the Physically Disabled
  • This type of AT also comes in a wide variety of forms including anything from wheelchairs, orthotic devices, and special desks / seating.
  • A personal favorite specifically pertaining to classrooms are ergonomic pencils. These are large and specially shaped pencils which are easier to manage for students with physical disabilities.
  • Pictured are two popular types of ergonomic pencils / writing aids


Assistive Technology for Kids with Learning Disabilities: An Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from y-kids-learning-disabilities-overview

Assistive technology for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. (2009). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from .pdf

What should Ms. Adelaide know about assistive technology and how it is used by students with disabilities? (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from http://iris.peabody.van

What should Ms. Adelaide know about assistive technology and how it is used by students with disabilities? (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2015, fromhttp://iris.Peabody.van 03/#co ntent

Writing Tools for Special Needs Students: Assistive Devices for Success. (n.d.). Retrieved June 12, 2015, from disabilities/3775-ergonic-pens-and-pencils-for-students/