Technologies to Help Students

Assistive Technology in the Schools

What are assistive technologies?

Assistive technologies help children and adults with disabilities learn and function more efficiently. Included in assistive technologies are devices, which can range from a hearing aid to sophisticated software and hardware. These devices include:

  • amplification devices, such as hearing aids or speak systems, for hearing impaired students.
  • braille note taking devices, glare reduction screens and magnifiers for students with visual impairments.
  • speech recognition software which types spoken words on a computer for students who have a physical disability and cannot use a computer keyboard
  • technologies which allow severely disable students to communicate through software which tracks eye movements

Other technologies include wheel chairs, switches, remote controls, augmented communication, adjustable chairs or tables, computer aided instructional software and special tools to assist with daily living tasks.

Built in Tools: Accessing Tools in Microsoft and Apple Products

iPads, iPhones and iPods

Apple devices contain many features that can be turned on or used for the purpose of aiding a user. Tools such as zoom, voice over, Siri. and black/white can allow a user with disabilities to interact easier with the device.

The website: ipads4specialneeds, has a series of videos that explain what the different tools available on the mobile Apple devices are and how to use them.

iPads 4 Special Needs Videos:

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Windows offers several different tools and settings that can help make using a computer easier!

The Microsoft Ease of Access Center helps walk a user through the settings in Windows for enlarging the mouse pointer, use text or visual cues for sounds and even make it easier to focus on reading or typing tasks. You can read about the Ease of Access features on the Microsoft website:

Window 7 Ease of Access

Windows 8 Ease of Access

Windows 10 Ease of Access

Addition tools in Windows include magnifier, on screen keyboard and narrator. You can read more about these features on the Microsoft website as well.


Hearing Aid Image
"Hoergeraet analog 050609" by photo taken by Udo Schröter - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Additional Sources of Information

Education World Article: Assistive Technology in the Classroom
PBS Parents Article: Assistive Technology Devices
The Innovative Educator: 25 Incredible Assistive Technologies