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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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.
It is important for parents to understand the "language" of assistive technology so they can be informed advocates for their child's technology needs. The following glossary of terms can help parents learn about the kinds of assistive technologies that are currently available and how they can be used.
Common devices, such as PDAs, cellular phones, and handheld mp3 players can be assistive tools for learners with disabilities. Learn more about these devices and their applications in the classroom and beyond.
If your child has a learning disability, he or she may benefit from assistive technology tools that play to their strengths and work around their challenges.
Many computer products have built-in accessibility options such as text-to-speech, screen magnification options, or voice input controls. Learn what some of these optional features are and how to integrate them into instruction and studying.
Learn about assistive technology tools — from audiobooks to variable-speed tape recorders — that help students with reading.
Many students with learning disabilities struggle with social interactions and appropriate behavior, putting them at greater risk for bullying, harassment, and victimization online. While the internet can be beneficial for developing social and technical skills, it's important to talk children with disabilities about online safety and responsibility.