Assistive Technology (AT) refers to the use of computers and other technology to support children who have academic challenges. This is a field that has exploded and it should not be overlooked as you’re considering accommodations that may help your child. I have included only a few of the many available products as illustrations of the range of options that are available.
I would love to hear from others who have tried some of these products or who know of other products that are worth exploring.
Schwab Learning is an excellent website that reviews many of the Assistive Technology Tools. www.schwablearning.org/ATtools
Assistive Technology for Reading
- Alternative book format: Many books are available on tape or CD.
- Baltimore County Library now offers books in a downloadable format that can be transferred to an MP3 Player or iPod. Go to www.BCPL.info and choose Downloadable Media
- There are computer programs that read books aloud such as Kurtzweil
Assistive Technology for Writing
- Voice to Text Technology such as Dragon, Naturally Speaking. These computer programs will actually type the text as you speak it.
- Pens that record as you take notes such as Pulse, SmartPen
- Smart Board Technology that downloads notes to your computer. In classes that are equipped with Smart Boards, the teacher’s notes are automatically downloaded to students’ computers.
- Alphasmart Keyboard allows students to type their notes during class, rather than write them longhand.
- There are also Computer Programs that help students organize their writing such as Inspiration Software
- Computer word processing software is available that predicts words to simplify writing
Assistive Technology for Arithmetic
- Talking calculators
- Electronic Worksheets that help organize math work