Adaptive and Assistive Technology

Why make use of these technologies

There are over 3 million students in the United States, which have some form of disability.  This number alone, shows the importance for educators to accommodate these students, by making use of adaptive and/or assistive technologies in the classroom. Studies show, that the best way for these students to learn is to have them mainstreamed into the regular education classrooms. This presents a problem, because most teachers are not formally trained in educating those with disabilities. In the inclusion model, teachers need to do all they can to provide a similar classroom experience for disabled students. These students are often at a disadvantage when included in the classroom, because they obtain and process information in different ways when compared to other students. Providing this extra support can be nearly impossible, because of time constraints and or lack of knowledge.

Watch this video to help you understand why it is so important to reach these children.


There are many resources available to help teachers provide their included, disabled students assistance in overcoming their handicaps. Below, you will find some more information about the available adaptive and assistive technologies which can help.

The information below will be organized by the type of target group.  This information was taken from Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition).

Relative Advantage of Adaptive and Assistive Technology integration

Adaptive and Assistive Technologies allow students who are challenged in some way the chance to participate in the normal classroom environment. They also help the classroom teacher meet the needs of these students so they can experience success in learning.

Students Cognitive Disabilities (mild, moderate and severe)

Mild
Integration Strategy

  • Reading: Make use of software, text to speech, interactive books and reading skills programs
  • Writing: Make use of available software, voice recognition and word prediction
  • Math:  Make use of available software, graphing, drill and practice, and tutorial

Moderate to Severe
Integration Strategy

  • Make use of videos to improve learning, maintaining and transferring functional and community based behaviors
  • Make use of software that promotes functional skills (employability, daily living and money management).

Examples of Resources

(These resources come from the companion web site for Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition)).

WizCom Quicktionary Reading Pen
http://www.wizcomtech.com
WizCom Technologies, Ltd., develops personal, portable scanning pens that help people read and use text.

Don Johnston’s Co:Writer and Write:OutLoud
http://www.donjohnston.com
Don Johnston Incorporated delivers life changing interventions to struggling students

DragonTalk’s Dragon Naturally Speaking
http://www.dragontalk.com
Dragon NaturallySpeaking allows for fast, continuous, large vocabulary speech while still allowing for control in the Windows operating system.

Freedom Scientific’s WYNN
http://www.freedomscientific.com
Freedom Scientific develops, manufactures, and markets technology-based products and services that those with vision impairments and learning disabilities use to change their world.

AbleNet
http://www.ablenetinc.com
AbleNet designs practical products and solutions for teaching children with disabilities.

Attainment Company
http://www.attainmentcompany.com
Attainment Company produces materials for special needs.

Students with physical disabilities

Integration Strategy

  • Make sure to offer alternatives to using keyboards, mouse and/or monitors
  • Make sure that the adaptive technologies are placed, to ensure ease and independence of use
  • Monitor the use of these tools to make sure the maximum level of participation is occurring without causing too much physical demands

Examples of Resources

(These resources come from the companion web site for Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition)).

AbleNet
http://www.ablenetinc.com
AbleNet designs practical products and solutions for teaching children with disabilities.

Adaptivation
http://www.adaptivation.com
Adaptivation provides assistive technology products and services to individuals with severe and multiple disabilities.
Enabling Devices
http://www.enablingdevices.com
Enabling Devices provides affordable assistive and learning devices for the physically challenged.

Intellitools
http://www.intellitools.com/
IntelliTools provides learning solutions for the diverse classroom.

ORCCA Technology
http://www.orcca.com
ORCCA Technology provides a variety of assistive technology products.


Students with sensory disabilities

Students who are blind (complete loss of vision)

Integration Strategy

  • Make use of sensor technologies and canes to help ease movement
  • Make use of text-to-Braille converters
  • Make use of screen readers

Students who are visually impaired (partial loss of vision)

Integration Strategy

  • Make use of closed circuit television (CCTV) magnifiers
  • Make use of screen magnification controls built in to monitors

Students who are hearing impaired

Integration Strategy

  • Make use of an assistive learning device such as an FM amplification system

Examples of Resources

(These resources come from the companion web site for Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition)).

Alva Access Group
http://www.aagi.com
ALVA Access Group provides high-tech solutions that enable blind and visually-impaired people to use computers and communication systems.

Dolphin Computer Access
http://www.dolphinusa.com
Dolphin Computer Access creates software products that allow visually impaired people to use mainstream information technology in its original form.

TeleSensory
http://www.telesensory.com
Telesensory helps visually impaired and blind people achieve greater independence through innovative, technology-based products.

AudioEnhancement
http://www.audioenhancement.com
Audio Enhancement creates audio enhanced classrooms by equipping them with amplification systems.

Jaws Screen Reader
http://www.freedomscientific.com/fs_products/software_jaws.asp
The JAWS screen reader works with a PC to provide access to today’s software applications and the Internet.

ReadPlease
http://www.readplease.com
ReadPlease is the developer of text-to-speech software for Windows based operating systems.


At-risk students

Integration Strategy

  • Locate software programs and or web sites which give students a chance to engage in learning activities that are powerful and motivating
  • Make use of instructional materials which provide immediate feedback on performance such as drill and practice software and electronic quizzes

Examples of Resources

(These resources come from the companion web site for Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition)).

BrainPop
http://www.brainpop.com
BrainPOP produces educational animated movies for grades K-12 to explain concepts in a voice and visual style that is accessible and entertaining.

Tom Snyder
http://www.tomsnyder.com
Tom Snyder Productions, a Scholastic company, is a developer and publisher of educational software for K-12 classrooms.

Don Johnston’s Co
http://www.donjohnston.com
Don Johnston Incorporated delivers life changing interventions to struggling students


Gifted and talented students

Integration Strategy

  • Make use of the Internet to find web sites as a starting point into content which provide appropriate challenges
  • Make available self-guided research tools
  • Make available tools such as multimedia presentations, web page design and electronic portfolios for documenting learning experiences

Examples of Resources

(These resources come from the companion web site for Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition)).

Duke TIP program
http://www.tip.duke.edu
The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) identifies gifted children and provides resources to nurture the development of these exceptionally bright youngsters.

Hoagie’s Gifted Education page
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org
Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page offers resources and links for parents, for educators, counselors, administrators and other professionals, and for kids and teens.

Project Poster
http://poster.4teachers.org
Project Poster is for students who wish to publish projects or reports on the public internet.

Back to top

Other information

All computer operating systems include a number of accessibility options to help, for more information about these, click on the link for your operating system.
Windows
Apple
Linux GNOME

Useful Resources

(Resources below come from the companion web site for Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (Roblyer, 4th Edition)).

Assistive Technology Training Online
http://atto.buffalo.edu
The Assistive Technology Training Online Project (ATTO) provides information on AT applications that help students with disabilities learn in elementary classrooms.

Thanks for reading,

Shannon Doak

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3 Comments


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