Assistive Technology in the Classroom

School is starting around the country, and students are being introduced into a brand new environment. This can be scary for most, but especially so when that student has a disability. They are exposed to new sights, sounds, and heaps of new stimuli. Teachers are thrown into the mix without the knowledge or tools to assist these new students. There are resources available to help, but here is a short list that may give you some ideas in the classroom.

First of all, 

What is Assistive Technology?

AT is any item that is used to improve, maintain or otherwise assist the functional capacity of a person with a disability. Assistive Technology can be anything from pencil grips to iPads and so many things in between. 

AT can be broken down into three categories...

Low Tech

  • Highlighters
  • Magnifiers
  • Pencil Grips
  • Colored or Raised Paper
  • Velcro to hold items in place
  • Walkers
  • Grabbers
  • Your Imagination is the limit

Middle Tech

  • Timers
  • Spell Checkers
  • Adapted Keyboard or Mice
  • Wheelchairs
  • So much more

High Tech

  • Computers with Voice input and output
  • Tablets or personal computers
  • Eye Gaze or Voice activated devices
  • Various accessibility software

Tips for Using Assistive Technology

  • Show the student what the device is and how to use it. 
  • Always be learning more about AT
  • Allow students to teach each other
  • Write Notes in your lesson plan
  • be adaptive to change. If a device isn't having a desired affect, try something else. 
  • DONT GIVE UP!

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