Assistive Technology Innovations for the Classroom

With all of the advances we see around us in technology, and seeing all of the capabilities students now have at their fingertips, it’s important to note that some of that innovation has been directed toward addressing students with special needs. Assistive technology includes anything that allows a student with a disability to increase, maintain, or improve their functional capabilities. They can range from the low-tech to the high-tech. Even the basic functionality of an eBook with a read aloud option, highlighting, and increasing text size can make a world of difference to the disabled. When addressing the needs of students with special needs, it is important to focus on the child first, and then the technology that will best serve their needs. Twelve percent of K-12 students have a disability, and some students with disabilities may be eligible for special education services. If a student’s school determines a need for assistive technology, the device or program will likely be provided at no cost as part of the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan.

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