Technology to Support LD
Assistive technology can help students with certain disabilities function more effectively in school, work and life in general. Ranging in sophistication from “low” technologies such as a graphic organizer worksheet to “high” technologies including cutting-edge software and smartphone apps, assistive technology (AT) is a growing and dynamic field. Several areas of assistive technology and sample products may be found in any given learning and employment setting, making a difference in how students of all abilities learn.
Determining the Need for AT
How do you know what devices are appropriate for a student to use? Although there are no hard and fast rules as each individual situation is different, the following guidelines may be helpful when making AT decisions:
- Determine any barriers to the student's participation in center programs and activities.
- What tasks does the student need to be able to do but is hindered by barriers in those areas due to his/her disability (e.g., taking notes, writing, etc.)?
- What are the abilities required to complete those tasks (e.g., listening, hearing, comprehending, etc.)?
- What are the student's functional strengths and limitations?
- Compile a list of proposed adaptations, both AT and non-AT that seem appropriate based upon information known to date.
- Determine which of the proposed adaptation/solutions would most likely meet the student's need.
- Monitor the student's needs and performance to determine effectiveness.
- Make modifications as necessary until appropriate device is obtained or use of device serves the purpose of assisting the student use or achieve those requisite abilities.
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