Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day One: Understanding Assistive Technology

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology (AT) involves services and supports to enhance the functional capability of people with disabilities.  Assistive technologies enable people to communicate, receive instruction, learn, play, move about, achieve, and be independent.

How Can Assistive Technology Help Students in the Classroom?

AT can help students learn classroom material in a way that they can understand it.  It can also help reduce the barriers that students may face that may prevent them from being at the same level as their classmates.

AT can help with writing:
  • Pencil Grips
  • Word processing software

AT can help with reading:
  • Talking book readers
  • Alphabet and electronic books

AT can help with communication:
  • Augmentative communication devices
  • Communication books

AT can help with learning:
  • Adaptable educational software
  • Visual supports (e.g., symbols) for classroom instruction

AT can help with access:
  • Computer touch screens and adapted keyboards
  • Adapted mouse or joysticks

AT can help with activities of daily living:
  • Velcro
  • Photo dial telephones

AT can help with positive behaviour support:
  • Visual timers
  • Schedules

"For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier.  For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible" (International Business Machines (IBM) 1991 training manual)

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