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Assistive Technology

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Christina Howlett

on 28 March 2016

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Transcript of Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology
Ed 3630

Benefits of Assistive Technology for Whole Class Instruction
"The wide availability of these portable, powerful, networked technologies has changed how we work, learn, spend our leisure time and interact socially" (McNaughton & Light, 2013)

Technology today is :
portable and accessible (ie/ tablets and phones)
low cost (built in to many devices)
smaller and cheaper
offer levels of support for reading and writing including:
fine motor coordination
mobility and keyboarding
Flexible and Differentiated Learning Experiences
Student Engagement
Assistive Technology
Learning Disabilities
“ A learning disability is one or more of the basic processes involved in understanding spoken or written language.”
(Johns & Lerner, 2015, p.4)
“Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” (Individuals with Disabilities Act,2004 Regulations, 34 C.F.R.300)
Three Categories:

Low Tech
Usually requires little to no training, easily accessible, and often available at low to no cost.
Such as; pencil grips, dictionaries, slant boards, highlighter, large spaced paper, magnifiers,etc.

Mid Tech
Most often operated by batteries and not usually difficult to use.
Such as; calculators, audio books, voice recorders, talking tape measures, etc.

High Tech
Generally the most complex devices and equipment, training is most often required.
Such as; voice to text software, mind mapping software, ipads apps, word processing programs, etc.

Difficulty in one or more of the seven areas while having at least average intelligence.
1. Receptive Language
2. Expressive Language
3. Basic Reading Skill
4. Reading Comprehension
5. Written Expression
6. Mathematics Calculations
7. Mathematics Reasoning
(Johns & Lerner, 2015, p.4)
Using Assistive Technology to Support Learning
Created by Alberta Education
Alberta Education,. (2015). Using Assistive Technology to Support Learning. Retrieved from

Alnahdi, G., Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology - TOJET, 2014, Vol.13(2), p.18-23

Aronson, S., & Orr, B. (2014). An Analysis of Best Practices and Assistive Technology Tools for Students with Learning Disabilities. GSTF Journal on Education (JEd), 1(2).

Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Regulation, P.L.108-446,34 C.F.R. 300-301(3004).

McNaughton, D., & Light, J. (2013). The iPad and mobile technology revolution: Benefits and challenges for individuals who require augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 29(2), 107-116.

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. ASCD.

Sider, S., & Maich, K. (2014). Assistive technology tools: Supporting literacy learning for all learners in the inclusive classroom. What Works? Research into Practice, 50(1).

Turnbull, H., Huerta, N., & Stowe, M. (2004). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Retrieved from

Bowser, G., Reed, R. (2012). Consultation, Collaboration, and Coaching: Essential Techniques for integrating Assistive Technology Use in Schools and Early Intervention Programs. Occupational Therapy, Schools & Early Intervention, 5(1), 15-30. doi: 10.1080/19411243.2012.675757
Benefits for the Whole Class

Lends itself to movement
Communicative- offers immediate positive/negative feedback
Creates a learning environment that promotes:
motor skills
oral communication
It can address a variety of exceptionalities
Offers immediate feedback
Creates a learning environment that promotes:
motor skills
oral communication
Decreases the effects of speech/language delays
Student's with LD show an increased enthusiasm and confidence in the classroom
Empowers students by giving them control of their learning
Decreases frustration and anxiety related to performance
Enhances overall intellectual growth
Lends itself to heterogenous grouping and cooperative learning ( students work at their own pace towards a common goal)

Examples of Assistive Technology for Whole Class Instruction
(using Apple devices)
Guided Access
Using Siri for voice dictation
Using Word Prediction on iOS 8
Using Speak Selection
Transferring assessments to a device ( using AirDrop)
Richard Clarke
Kristen Fardy
Christina Howlett
Meghan Rodgers
Margaret Sullivan
Sarah Torraville

Why Do We Use Assistive Technology

“Using technology in the classroom increases student motivation and self-esteem”. Technology can add to any students educational experience. When assistive technology is used with individuals who have a disability or an exceptionality the increase in academic, social and communication skills are substantial, thus increasing their self esteem.

“Society readily recognizes the benefits of computer-based technologies for typically functioning children. However, there are even greater benefits for students with learning disabilities and related mild disabilities.”

(Johns & Lerner, 2015, p.31)

“Technology can help them level the playing field by allowing them to succeed in the general education environment” (Johns & Lerner, 2015, p.31)
Benefits of Using Assistive Technology for Students with Learning and Mild Disabilities
“ The Assistive Technology Act, passed in 2004, recognizes the need for persons with disabilities to access and use assistive technology devices and provided funding to support assistive technology” (Johns & Lerner, 2015, p.31)

This act is for the United States, Canada currently does not have a law implementing AT nationally. AT is implemented province by province.

Technology can play an important and significant role in helping students with disabilities overcome the academic difficulties that they face and helping them to develop their academic skills

Using technology can help students with disabilities to enhance and improve their independence in academic tasks and their participation in classroom discussions
(Alnahdi, G., 2014)
Universal Design for Learning
A model of technology that emphasizes the idea that every curriculum should include alternatives to making learning accessible and appropriate for individuals with different backgrounds, learning styles, abilities, and disabilities. (Johns & Lerner, 2015, p.34)

This model is a great way to approach a classroom of diverse learners

Highlights the benefits of technology for reaching each and every student
Technology in the Classroom

Students today are 21st century learners who are always plugged in, therefor, they are highly motivated to use technology

We can use technology to engage our students in ways once never thought possible

Your students need
to become a 21st century teacher
Alternate Reading Methods
Variable Speed Tape Recorders
Slows down or speeds up playback rate of speech.
Reading Pens
A portable scanning device that helps wicomprehension.
Audio Books
Project Gutenger (Free) Website
Storyline Online (Free) Website
Tumble Books
Text to Speech Programs:
Speak It! (app)
Snap and Read (free video)
It allows students to open any text and then have it read aloud.

Read and Write 10 Gold
Readability (free website)
It allows you to select web content to read and then clean any adds so that students can later view and read it.
Works with internet, email, Microsoft Wordthing except a locked PDF file.
Can proofread entire documents or just single sentences.
Can help fix spelling errors, punctuation and grammar issues.
Helps with word prediction.
User can customize the program.
If the user cannot type, they van use SpeakQ.
SpeakQ can be used for a few (more difficult) words or the user can speak continuously.
Everyone can succeed!
Writing (Kidspiration)
Integrated picture and writing views.
Visual continuity between picture view and writing view.
Students can customize their symbols.
Word guide.
Audio Support.
Ready-made reading and writing activities that suppport writing and literacy skills.
One click transfer to word processors.
Great for ELL and ESL students!
Reading and Writing
Kurzweil 3000
It offers reading, writing and test-taking support to struggling readers and writers.
It visually tracks words and phrases on screen while reading aloud.
It allows you to hear what you writes as you work, review, proof read and edit your work.
Ice Breaker
What is a Learning Disability(LD)?
What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
Technology in the classroom
Why do we use AT?
Video-Universal Design For Learning
Why is AT beneficial for students with LDs?
Benefits for whole class
Benefits for whole school
AT & Collaboration
Article Review
Programs/Apps for AT
Additional Benefits of Assistive Technology
Current Research Tells Us:
Information taken from Aronson and Orr, 2013
Information taken from Sider and Maich, 2014
Nine Categories of Technology
( Pilter, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2012)
Word Processing Applications (Google docs, Microsoft word)
Organizing and Brainstroming Software (Webspiration, Kidspiration, Inspiration)
Date Collection and Analysis Tools (Microsoft Excel, SurveyMonkey)
Communication and Collaboration Software (Skype, Facetime, Twitter)
Instructional Media -learner as consumer (BrainPop, Discovery Education)
Multimedia Creation- learner as producer (PowerPoint, iPhoto, iMovie)
Instructional Interactives (MathBoard, Razkids)
Database and Reference Resources (Wikipedia, Visual Thesaurus)
Kinesthetic Technology (Nintendo, Wii,Xbox, GPS devices)
What works for one student may not work for another...
Math and Science
Calculators are a low cost, easily accessible device that can help students with the computation of basic facts and self-checking.

Computer programs and websites such as "The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis" and "The Virtual Cell" can benefit students in Math and Science classrooms.

Computer software such as Microsoft Excel can be used to easily calculate and graph data.
How Assistive Technology can help a Whole School
Assistive technology can support the learning of all students within a school by:
Reaching a higher achievement overall
Making students involved in as much school activity as possible
The school becoming a more inclusive environment for all students
Creating equality between students
Improving social climate
Giving students a higher self-esteem
Assistive Technology and Collaboration
Swinth (2001), defines collaboration as “a direct interaction between at least two equal parties who voluntarily engage in shared decision-making as they work toward a common goal”.
Assistive Technology could involve the work of two or more people working together to develop and implement specific strategies used to assist and support students using AT services.
Collaborations in AT can include :
Working together
Bridging any gaps
Encourage sharing
Using a data base within the school so everyone can access information about AT
"Assistive Technology as a Predictor of General or Alternate Assessment Among Elementary-aged Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders"
This article shows research in the correlation between students with ASD and the use of assistive technology
It examines variables that predict whether elementary school students with ASD participated in the general or alternate assessment
Indicating that receptive and expressive communication abilities appear to influence participation in the general vs. alternate assessment in tandem with access to assistive technology
Students with ASDs were approximately 2.71 times more likely to participate in the general assessment when they had access to assistive technology
Article Review
Assistive Technology is...
Information taken from Aronson and Orr, 2013
Information taken from: Pilter, Hubbell & Kuhn, 2012
Full transcript