Assistive Technology Created By: Meagan Cagle
What is Assistive Technology? Assistive Technology (AT) is for students with a learning disability, physical, or mental impairment. AT is defined as any device, piece of equipment or system that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual's specific learning deficits. Assistive Technology is essentially a help tool for the students who require that specific assistance.
Assistive Technology Laws • Assistive Technology Act of 1998 The Assistive Technology Act, also known as the “Tech Act” provides funds to states to support three types of programs: the establishment of assistive technology (AT) demonstration centers, information centers, equipment loan facilities, referral services, and other consumer-oriented programs. • Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act Amendments of 1998 Schools are required to integrate academic, vocational and technical training, increase the use of technology, provide professional development opportunities to staff, develop and implement evaluations of program quality, expand and modernize quality programs, and link secondary and post-secondary vocational education • Federal Government Procurement of Accessible Information Technology Individuals with disabilities cannot be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.
Assistive Technology Laws • Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA ) The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) The law, known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, or the EHA, guaranteed that eligible children and youth with disabilities would have a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) available to them, designed to meet their unique educational needs. • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation ActSection 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all electronic and information technologies developed and used by any Federal government agency must be accessible to people with disabilities.
AT for the hearing impaired • Hearing loop (or induction loop) systems use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound • Personal amplifiers are useful in places in which the above systems are unavailable or when watching TV, being outdoors, or traveling in a car. • FM systems use radio signals to transmit amplified sounds. • Infrared systems use infrared light to transmit sound.
AT for the hearing impaired Cochlear Implant- A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. The implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin.
AT for the seeing impaired Portable note taker – small portable units that employ either a braille or standard keyboard to allow the user to enter information. Text is stored in files that cam be read and edited using the built-in speech synthesizer or braille display. File may be sent to a printer or braille embosser, or transferred to a computer. Scanners - a device that converts an image from a printed page to a computer file. Optical-character-recognition (OCR) software makes the resulting computer file capable of being edited. Adaptive keyboard - offer a variety of ways to provide input into a computer through various options in size, layout (i.e. alphabetical order), and complexity.
AT for the visually impaired • Screen reader - software program that works in conjunction with a speech synthesizer to provide verbalization of everything on the screen including menus, text, and punctuation. • Screen magnification - software that focuses on a single portion (1/4, 1/9, 1/16, etc.) of the screen and enlarges it to fill the screen. • Refreshable braille display - provide tactile output of information presented on the computer screen. Unlike conventional braille, which is permanently embossed onto paper, refreshable braille displays are mechanical in nature and lift small, rounded plastic pins as need to form braille characters. The displays contain 20, 40, or 80 braille cells, after the line is read, the user can "refresh" the display to read the next line.
AT for the learning disabled Alternative keyboards-These programmable keyboards have special overlays that customize the appearance and function of a standard keyboard. Students who have LD or have trouble typing may benefit from customization that reduces input choices, groups keys by color/location, and adds graphics to aid comprehension. Audio books and publications-Recorded books allow users to listen to text and are available in a variety of formats, such as audiocassettes, CDs, and MP3 downloads. Special playback units allow users to and search and bookmark pages and chapters. Subscription services offer extensive electronic library collections.
AT for the learning disabled Graphic organizers and outlining-Graphic organizers and outlining programs help users who have trouble organizing and outlining information as they begin a writing project. This type of program lets a user "dump" information in an unstructured manner and later helps him organize the information into appropriate categories and order. Speech-recognition programs-A speech recognition program works in conjunction with a word processor. The user "dictates" into a microphone, and his spoken words appear on the computer screen as text. This can help a user whose oral language ability is better than his writing skills.
AT for the physically disabled • Mouth stick - a device that enables users to control input through a stick that they manipulate with their mouth. • Head wand - Head wands are very similar in function to mouth sticks, except in this case the stick is strapped to the head. • Single-switch access – for people with very limited mobility. For instance, if a person can move only the head, a switch could be placed to the side of the head that would allow the person to click it with head movements. This clicking would then be interpreted using special software. • Oversized trackball mouse - A trackball mouse has the rollerball on top rather than underneath the mouse. Instead of moving the mouse to control movement, you move the rollerball. Some users find this easier to control. It also works well in conjunction with other devices, for example, head wands or mouth sticks.
AT for the physically disabled • Eye tracking - Eye tracking devices can be a powerful alternative for individuals with no control, or only limited control, over their hand movements. The device follows the movement of the eyes and allows the person to navigate through the web with only eye movements. • "Sticky Keys" - a method of typing where modifier keys, such as Shift, Control, Command, and Alt/Option, will "stick" down and apply to the next keystroke, so that only one key needs to be pressed at a time. This is extremely useful for people who have motor impairments that make it difficult to press combinations of keys. • "Slow Keys" - a keyboard feature that prevents keystrokes from registering until a key has been held down for a certain period of time. This is extremely useful for people with motor impairments that make it difficult to target keys accurately or that cause unpredictable motion.
Reference Page Cornin, A. (2013, 12 9). Assistive Technology: Resource Roundup. Retrieved from Edutopia: http://www.edutopia.org/article/assistive-technology-resources Creno, C. (2013, 12 29). Assistive Technology aids special education. Retrieved from azcentral: http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20131216assistive-technology-aids-special-education.html?nclick_check=1 Kristen Stanberry, M. H. (2009). Assistive Technology for Kids with Learning Disabilites: An Overview. Retrieved from Reading Rockets: http://www.readingrockets.org/article/assistive-technology-kids-learning-disabilities- overview National Center for Tefchnology Innovation and Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd). (2004, 10). Helping Young Learners: How to Choose AT? Retrieved from ldonline: http://www.ldonline.org/article/Help_for_Young_Learners%3A_How_To_Choose_AT%3F Steele-Carlin, S. (2011, 06 15). Assistive Technology iin the Classroom Helping Challenged Kids G et the Most from Learning. Retrieved from educationworld: http://www.educationworld.com/a tech/tech/tech086.shtml