An educator's and parent's guide to websites, blogs, articles, and videos that provide information and tools related to understanding, selecting, and assessing assistive technology and accessible instructional materials.
Whether low-tech, high-tech, or somewhere in between, assistive technology and related services play an important role in reducing barriers to learning for students with a variety of special needs and challenges. Listen to parent Jeanne Dwyer, as she discusses her experiences using technology to help her son build independence, in this video from the Maryland State Department of Education:
As Matthew Lynch discusses in Education Week’s "Assistive Technology: A Necessity for Student Success," there have been great strides in recent years to improve available technologies. To learn more about what's available, there are several websites that provide information about specific technologies and guidance on finding appropriate tools. TechMatrix, funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education and maintained by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), is a searchable database of over 400 assistive and educational technology tools and resources. The products are searchable by content area, grade level, IDEA disability category, and the type of instructional support. TechMatrix also provides a useful consumer guide for school administrators looking to purchase assistive and learning technologies and aggregates research articles on the theory and practice of using technology to improve student learning.
Rosenberger, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Public Policy, offers a thoughtful examination of how dictation technology is likely to change the future of writing instruction.
Assistive technology can help students with a range of disabilities to excel. In this article, Wahl provides several examples of how technology can be used to support the learning experiences of students with unique challenges.
Brann, Gray, and Silver-Pacuilla discuss several of the technologies that Albano Berberi -- a blind Advanced Placement computer science student, devoted gamer, and violin prodigy -- uses throughout his day.
Thanks to some ingenious assistive technology, this high school student didn't let a birth condition stifle his passion for music. He played euphonium in his school's award-winning marching band from his wheelchair.
Assistive technology, including speech-generation devices and joystick technology, makes it possible for students with physical and mobility challenges to participate more fully in class and school activities.
In this article, Rubenstein discusses how access-enhancing technology tools are not only useful for those with identified special needs; these tools can be a means of personalizing instruction for all learners.