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Assistive Technology and Learning Disabilities

 Assistive Technology can offer powerful tools to students with learning disabilities by providing remedial or compensatory support in the classroom and for independent learning. This article includes an overview of various hardware, software and low tech tools for students and teachers with a focus on literacy and a mention of available math tools. While there is an emphasis on middle and high school, many of the tools described are useful for adult learners.
Author(s): 
Janet Jendron
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
South Carolina Assistive Technology Program
Published: 
2011
Resource Type: 
Product
Number of Pages: 
10
Product Type: 
Benefits and Uses: 

Assistive technology is an invaluable tool for many adult education students who have or may have learning disabilities. The tools can provide an independent level of functioning in a number of areas, including reading, writing, spelling, math, listening, reasoning, organization, and others. By promoting independence, assistive technology can also reduce anxiety, foster self-esteem, and allow adult students with learning disabilities to access and process information that was previously inaccessible due to their specific disability, thus allowing them to meet educational, career, and personal goals that may have seemed impossible without access.

This website consists of a list of assistive technology tools and resources that may help adult students with learning disabilities depending upon the specific learning needs of the individual. Many of the tools have free online trials or downloads. The list includes hardware, software, and low-tech tools for students of all ages, although the website targets students in middle school and high school.

However, the items are loosely categorized and do not include descriptions and possible applications of each item, which makes it difficult to know what the tools are without actually going to each website. Please note, some of the websites listed are no longer available or have moved to a new location.

The most useful feature of this website is at the end: the links to other websites that also list assistive technology tools, but do a better job of organizing and describing the tools.


This resource may be of value to the field for the following reasons:

  1. The website is updated periodically so the information is fairly current.
  2. While the emphasis on middle and high school is specified in the resource, assistive technology is universal in helping people with disabilities of all ages.
  3. There is an effective basic overview on LD at the beginning of the resource.
  4. It is very well organized.
  5. It clearly covers each category of assistive technology and lists specific devices and software examples for each one.
  6. URLs for most of the most popular types of assistive technology are included in the resource list.
  7. It would be helpful for practitioners who aren’t at all aware of assistive technology.
  8. It would even be helpful for practitioners who are aware of and already use assistive technology.
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