Assistive Technology and Learning Disabilities

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What is Assistive Technology? 

Assistive Technology and Learning DisabilitiesAssistive technology, also known as adaptive technology and AT, is any application or device that is used to increase, maintain or improve physical ability or academic performance. People generally think of mechanical devices, electronics, computers, hardware and software, but there is actually a range of assistive technology.

Low-tech Assistive Technology

  • Pencil grips.
  • Graph paper.
  • Highlighting pens.
  • Planners.
  • Digital clocks.
  • Calculators.
  • Computers.
  • Dictionaries and spell checkers.

Mid to Hi-tech Assistive Technology

  • Digital recorders.
  • Talking calculators.
  • Portable keyboards.
  • Electronic spell checkers and dictionaries.
  • Reading systems that use a computer, scanner, and software to read scanned book pages out loud.
  • Speech recognition software that allows a computer to operate by speaking to it.
  • Mind mapping/outlining software.
  • Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Smartphones, cellular phones, PDAs, iPods, MP3 players.

Benefits of Assistive Technology

  • Assistive technology can help an individual with learning disabilities (LD) be more independent.
- Using AT can provide more choices and greater freedom in daily life.
  • AT provides tools to enable an individual to experience success at home, at school, at work and/or in the community.
  • AT helps people of all ages.
  • AT, successfully applied, can increase an individual’s confidence and self-esteem.
  • AT improves the quality of life, and removes barriers providing the tools for possible employment and educational opportunities.

source : youth2youth.ca

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