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Questions + Answers

Technology

Frequent questions

  • Question 1: I am looking for assistive technology for my child who has learning disabilities and social skill deficits.
  • Question 2: I was told that my child would benefit from using certain types of equipment in the classroom, such as noise reducing headphones. Where can I find these products?
  • Question 3: Would a handheld organizer, like a Palm Pilot, be helpful in keeping a student with ADHD organized?
  • Question 4: Are there any grants or scholarships available for students in need of expensive assistive technology?
  • Question 5: What are some of the best and most commonly used technologies for students with learning disabilities?
  • Question 6: I am looking for written resources or computer programs to use in my classroom to help teach my students with math disabilities. Do you have any recommendations?
  • Question 7: Can my son receive modifications and use assistive technology during the SAT?

Expert answers

1) I am looking for assistive technology for my child who has learning disabilities and social skill deficits.

We suggest that you ask your child’s teachers, medical doctor/specialists, and the school’s technology specialist for assistive technology suggestions. Once these suggestions have been made, it is important to incorporate them into your child’s IEP. Here is an additional source of information on assistive technology:

Also, see the assistive technology section in LD OnLine’s In Depth areas.

2) I was told that my child would benefit from using certain types of equipment in the classroom, such as noise reducing headphones. Where can I find these products?

Specialists such as an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or special education teacher will have access to assistive devices and would most likely have good catalogs or other resources for you to look through. It is likely that the occupational therapy or physical therapy departments in your school district would allow your son to borrow such products to make sure they are helpful to him before you order them. If these accommodations are written in his IEP, then the school district should supply him with what he needs during the school day.

3) Would a handheld organizer, like a Palm Pilot, be helpful in keeping a student with ADHD organized?

There are many tools which can help your child stay organized. A handheld organizer may work, but even simpler things, like a day planner, may work just as well. The key to organizational help is to select something that the student and her family and teachers can all use and adopt quickly. The following articles and websites can help you in determining the best tools for your child.

The articles below include information on how students use forms of assistive technology, like handheld organizers.

If you do choose a technology device, test out a variety of products in order to find a good match. Many companies offer free demos or 30-day-trials; if you ask, they can even cover shipping and handling costs. Take advantage of these options as much as possible and you'll have a better sense of what works for you and your child.

4) Are there any grants or scholarships available for students in need of expensive assistive technology?

There are a number of organizations that provide assistance to people with disabilities, including providing financial support. Below are three suggestions for organizations that help students obtain access to personal computers.

5) What are some of the best and most commonly used technologies for students with learning disabilities?

Below are some suggestions for websites that identify the best technologies and provide access to current information on new tools. Many of the following sites sort, rank, and review AT for various learning disabilities.

Additionally, the Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) and the National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) developed two searchable databases that present evidence and products for the use of technologies that support the instruction of reading and mathematics for students with special needs.

The following link can take you to those matrices.

6) I am looking for written resources or computer programs to use in my classroom to help teach my students with math disabilities. Do you have any recommendations?

There are many technology tools to choose from today, and more are constantly being developed. We have provided a few suggestions below for websites that identify programs and help teachers obtain access to current information. Test out a variety of products to find a good match. Many companies offer free demos or 30-day-trials; if you ask, they can even cover shipping and handling costs. Take advantage of these options as much as possible and you'll have a better sense of what works for you and your students.

7) Can my son receive modifications and use assistive technology during the SAT?

ETS, the publisher of the SAT, offers many options for its test-takers, but the process for getting approval takes seven weeks at the minimum. In most cases, the evaluation and diagnostic testing documentation needs to have been completed within 5 years of the request for modifications.

Your child may request to use AT for his documented disability. Note that there are no additional fees for any testing modifications.

For more information on the documentation criteria, please visit Services for Students with Disabilities (College Board). You can also contact ETS Disability Services directly at 1-866-387-8602.

Also, there are several online practice sites where your child can gain practice and familiarity with the computer-based test format. Check out the practice sections and tests at:

Special thanks to our partners at National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI) and Center for Integrating Technology in Education (CITEd) for contributing much of the content for our technology section.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased from our recommended books section can help support LD OnLine.

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