Technology can open doors and break down barriers for children, youth, and adults with disabilities. Whether in the classroom or workplace, assistive technology (including devices, software, recordings, and much more) can increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Also, technology that is used by everyone, such as spell check, can be particularly helpful to people with learning disabilities. Here we explore new developments in technology that can accommodate people with learning disabilities.
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When attempting to decipher the meaning of a new word, it is often useful to look at what comes before and after that word. Learn about the six common types of context clues and how teachers can provide struggling students and those with learning disabilities with direct instruction in how to use these clues.
Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.
Peer interactions can greatly benefit a student's understanding of mathematical concepts. To facilitate peer collaboration, teachers should pair students carefully, model effective ways to interact, provide students with relevant tools, and offer specific and differentiated advice. Struggling students may find it especially helpful to interact with peers who can provide explanations, clarify a process, and ask and answer questions.
Models help promote mathematical thinking by facilitating an understanding of key concepts and mathematical structures. By seeing and moving objects, students engage their senses to better understand and reason with abstract concepts, or to make sense of — and solve — problems.
Learn about specific strategies you can use to differentiate instruction to help your students overcome fluency problems, as well technology tools that can support development of fluency skills.
Captions can provide struggling readers with additional print exposure, improving foundational reading skills. Presenting information in multiple ways can help address the diverse needs of learners in the classroom and engage students on multiple levels.
Speech recognition, also referred to as speech-to-text or voice recognition, is technology that recognizes speech, allowing voice to serve as the "main interface between the human and the computer." This Info Brief discusses how current speech recognition technology facilitates student learning, as well as how the technology can develop to advance learning in the future.
Knowing how to engage in signature scientific acts, such as formulating questions and using evidence in arguments is an important part of science learning. This InfoBrief from the National Center for Technology Innovation offers more information about using technology to support struggling students.
Science learning often involves creating abstract representations and models of processes that we are unable to observe with the naked eye. Learn more about visualizing, representing, and modeling to aid struggling learners.
In an increasingly complex world, all students need to be scientifically literate. While some students may go on to pursue advanced careers in the sciences, basic scientific literacy is critical for all students.
To be scientifically literate, students must be able to express themselves appropriately. Learn how to help struggling students master specific vocabulary and be able to use it in their science writing activities.
The type of physical tasks often present in many science lessons can present significant barriers for many students with learning disabilities or physical impairments. How can teachers find ways for these students to participate?
Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities to acquire background knowledge and vocabulary, improve their reading comprehension, and increase their motivation for learning.
Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Learn more about Assistive Technology and ways your students might benefit from it.