Assistive Technology

Providing all learners an equal opportunity

My Experience with Assistive Technology

There have been two times in my career that I have experienced Assistive Technology in my classroom. Both times I had a student who was hearing-impaired and needed to use an AT device. I placed both of these students in the front of the room and I had to wear an microphone around my neck, which amplified my voice. The technology that we have to work with is truly a blessing and I will never complain about having to learn a new technology. My students are my number 1 priority and I will make sure that each of them has an equal opportunity to learn.

Screen Readers

A screen reader is a software program that allows blind or visually impaired learners to read the text on a computer screen. A screen reader is what meshes a computer's operating systems, its applications, and the user. By pressing different combinations of keys, the user commands the system what to say and allows the learner to voice any thoughts or questions that they may have. A command can instruct the system to read or spell a word, read a line or full screen of text, announce the location of the mouse, etc.


According to the article provided, this assistive technology would fall under a 'Communication' device. This tool levels the playing field for students who are blind or visually impaired and allows them to experience and contribute to the learning environment. This piece of technology not only benefits the students who use it, but also every student and teacher who is in the classroom. This piece of assistive technology allows the visually impaired learners to share their ideas and provide a unique perspective which benefits the entire class.

Sip and Puff Systems

Sip and puff systems are for those individuals who have limited or no motor capabilities and are unable to operate switch-operated devices (computers, communication devices, adapted toys, etc.). These systems give users the ability to operate wheelchairs and computers by simply sipping or puffing into a straw. There are several students at my school who use this assistive technology which allows them to navigate the building and participate in class.


According to the article provided, this AT would be both mobility and an environmental interaction device. This system allows students to move from class to class and it also gives them the ability to control their computer. Sip and puff systems allow students, who lack motor capabilities, to attend classes and provide input on the topic they are learning about. This amazing tool empowers students and gives them the opportunity to have a positive impact on the learning environment.

Sources

1. American Foundation for the Blind

http://www.afb.org/prodBrowseCatResults.asp?CatID=49


2. Origin Instruments

http://www.orin.com/access/sip_puff/