ASSISTIVE TECHNOLGY Ariel Turner—ED 505
What is assistive technology? • With the growth of students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms, it is essential that all educators become familiar with and gain an understanding of Assistive Technology devices and services. • Assistive Technology (AT) is a term used to describe any device or service implemented that helps students achieve his or her goals stated in their IEP, as well as increase their involvement in the mainstream classroom to the greatest potential. • AT can be separated into two connected categories—devices and services. Devices are the items, equipment, or systems used, and AT services directly support devices with their usage and implementation of the device. It is essential that they correlate. • AT can help a variety of learners in the classroom with disabilities including students with hearing impairments, seeing impairments, learning disabilities, and physical disabilities.
Assistive technology & the law • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA ‘04) states that AT devices and services are required for all students with disabilities in public schools in order to meet IEP goals and receive a Free Appropriate Public Education. • IDEA ‘04 requires that children with disabilities have the right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as ensured by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). • This dictates that schools incorporate the appropriate AT devices and services in order to meet these acts described above and guarantee that the needs of all students are met.
Assistive Technology & hearing impairments • Students with hearing impairments can benefit from AT devices such as listening devices that help students tune into specific sounds and diminish excessive background noises. Listening devices contain a transmitter that clearly delivers the sound source to groups or individuals. • Personal amplification devices are another AT Device that students with hearing impairments can benefit from. Hearing aids are a form of personal amplification that increases speech recognition, diminished background noises along with performance. • It is important to note that AT devices do not include medical devices such as the cochlear implant as stated by IDEA.1.
Assistive Technology & hearing impairments continued Other examples of AT devices: • Text Device • Captioned Telephones • Web Camera • Video phone • Electronic Note Taking • Digital Pen • Voice to Text/Sign • Real Time Captioning
Assistive technology & seeing impairments • Students with visual impairments can benefit from AT devices such as Text-to-Braille software that allows educators to print Braille on an Embosser. • Something as simple as a copier with an enlarging function allows teachers to print material larger to improve what the students with visual impairments see. • Text-to-audio software offer a digital voice recording to students on the computer or on portable media players aid students in reaching their goals.
Assistive Technology & seeing impairments continued Other examples of AT devices: • Image embossing devices • Voice recorders • Talking dictionary • Word prediction software • 3-D images • Highlighter tapes • Light box
Assistive Technology & learning disabilities • Assistive Technology such as Reading Pens can benefit students with learning disabilities. Pens such as the WizConReadingpen allows students to scan the word, pronounce it, offer a definition, and provide synonyms. Some reading pens can save text and transfer it electronically. • Simple AT devices such as Math Manipulatives can have a large impact on students with learning disabilities. Examples of these manipulatives include Cuisenaire rods, colored tiles, and Geoboards. Virtual manipulatives can also help students visualize and conceptualize topics and better meet their educational goals. • Word Prediction Software can lower frustration for students with learning disabilities. This type of software offers a list of words based on the context and frequency used once a student types in one to two letters. Examples of this software include WordQ and SOLO.
Assistive Technology & learning disabilities Continued Other examples of AT devices: • Picture It Software • Audio Texts • Adapted Calculator • Math Keyboard • Onscreen calculators • Talking Word Processing • Voice Recognition Software
Assistive technology & physical disabilities • Adapted equipment/utensils are effective in helping students with physical disabilities meet their goals and improve their movement and function in the school setting. Examples of these include adapted easels, lighted balls, motorized wheel chairs, and switched activated activities. • Stabilizers such as nonslip surfaces or foot supports can provide the AT needed for students to be more comfortable in their environment and complete tasks that help meet their goals and needs. • Adapted pen/pencil grips can impact students who have trouble with motor skills. The HandiWriter split assists students in holding and gripping the writing utensil the correct way.
Assistive Technology & Physical disabilities Continued Other examples of AT devices: • Switch operated devices • Voice output devices • Remote controls • Adapted paper • Label makers • Portable Word Processors
Final Thoughts • Assistive Technology should be carefully incorporated to help students meet their educational goals. When implemented properly it increases the quality of education for students with all types of disabilities. • It is essential that along with access to the AT devices that the AT services are there to support and guarantee that the devices are selected, implemented, and used appropriately. • Selecting and implementing AT devices is an individual and important thing. It is important for educators and their support to ensure that the students are comfortable and supported in using the device.
References • Biddinger, N. (2015). Schoolbuses.jpg [Photograph], Retrieved from http://pics.tech4learning.com • Boldt, K. (2015). 100patternblocks.jpg [Photograph], Retrieved from • http://www.pics4learning.com/details.php?img=100patternblocks.jpg • The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. (2010). Assistive technology: An overview. Retrieved from http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/module/at/ • [Untitled photograph of a girl]. Retrieved from http://edfn338spring2011.wikispaces.com/Learners+with+Disabilities • [Untitled photograph of braille machine] Retrieved from • http://hims-inc.com/products/braille-sense-plus/ • [Untitled photograph of Handiwriter] Retrieved from • https://store.schoolspecialty.com/OA_HTML/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?item=72831&minisite=10206 • U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Building the legacy: IDEA 2004. Retrieved from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/,root,regs,300,B,300%252E105
References • WAIT (2009). Assistive technology for mathematics. Retrieved from http://wati.org/?pageLoad=content/supports/free/index.php • WAIT (2009). Assistive technology for reading. Retrieved from • http://wati.org/?pageLoad=content/supports/free/index.php • WAIT (2009. Assistive technology for recreation and leisure. Retrieved from http://wati.org/?pageLoad=content/supports/free/index.php • WAIT (2009). Assistive technology for students who are blind or have low vision. Retrieved from • http://wati.org/?pageLoad=content/supports/free/index.php • WAIT (2009). Assistive technology for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Retrieved from http://www.wati.org/content/supports/free/pdf/Ch13-Hearing.pdf • WAIT (2009). Assistive technology for writing, including motor aspects of writing and composition. Retrieved from http://wati.org/?pageLoad=content/supports/free/index.php