Do you have a student in your classroom who needs some additional supports to be successful? The use of assistive technology (AT) may be an easy way to meet that need. IDEA defines assistive technology as any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability. This link provides a quick video overview of assistive technology. AT includes a variety of products including low-tech resources, high-tech resources, specialized hardware, specialized devices or computers, specialized software, specialized learning materials or curriculum aids and so much more. Assistive technology can help students in our schools access content presented and provide support when completing classroom assignments. It is important to remember that different disabilities require different assistive technologies.
Some examples of assistive technology that could be helpful in your classroom are listed below. A link to each resource is included in the title.
- SUMMRY – summarizes webpages or by uploading files.
- Explain to me – summarizes webpages and teachers can choose the number of sentences included in the summary.
- Rewordify – website to cut and paste difficult text and it will modify it for ease of readability for students with reading difficulties.
Google Chrome Extensions:
- Read&Write – premium features available for 30 days but free options still offers a lot of support
- Snap and Read – students select a portion of text to be read aloud
- Google Dictionary – can adjust settings so that students can ‘double click’ on a word in text and a definition will pop up on the screen
- Just Read – removes unnecessary content from webpages, which supports distracted students
- Mercury Reader – makes web content easier to read
Also, don’t forget the free option in Google docs to use the voice to text feature. It is very similar to the voice-to-text options on cell phones that older students are familiar with. The voice typing option is found under tools in Google docs.
Think about what students you currently teach who could benefit from the use of assistive technology and have increased access to curriculum and instruction, as well as increased independence.
You can find additional resources on the NC Assistive Technology website.