Assistive Technology

Created by: JoAnn Hisek

Experience with Assistive Technology

My Personal Experience

I have had some experience with assistive technology. During my clinical rotations for speech language pathology, I worked with an individual that used a augmentative communication device. This particular student was in preschool and just learning how to operate it to its fullest. He quickly learned and was enthused to be able to participate in the whole group activities and be able to communicate with the other students. His little face lit up when he answered questions that we asked. We added new pictures to his board weekly to give him a more extensive vocabulary. His little personality changed and instead of crying to come to school, he would cry to leave school.

Another experience I have had is with hearing aids and an FM system. In my Kindergarten class, I had a student who was hearing impaired. He wore hearing aids to help him hear. When he started school, he should have had an FM system that attached to his hearing aids, but because of parents finances/insurance, they had to wait to purchase new hearing aids that would accommodate the FM system. When they finally purchased his new hearing aids, I also received the FM system. We had the audiologist brief us on how to use this correctly. The individual received new hearing aids where the receiver could be hooked onto them. I had to wear a microphone that whatever I said he was able to hear me. Whether it was in the classroom, the hallway, the playground, etc. I liked the fact that I knew he was not missing any instruction from me and he was able to learn to his fullest ability. When he first put the receiver on and the audiologist went into the hallway and asked him if he could here her, his face beamed! It was so rewarding to see his reaction when he heard her talk to him from another part of the room. Due to the receiver being so small and fragile, we took it off for PE and recess, but left his hearing aids in. The student is now going into 2nd grade and is learning to his fullest and loves school.


Assistive Technology

Sip and Puff Systems

Sip and Puff is a device that uses ones air pressure. The individual uses a straw, tube, or wand to sip (inhale) or puff (exhale) to operate usually a motorized wheelchair and/or their communication board. The individual uses their air to move their chair and depending on how hard they blow determines how fast/slow and which way their wheelchair moves. It also can move the cursor on their communication board by them blowing into the wand and stopping on the picture they want to use to communicate with others.

There are three types of sip and puff systems. There are sip and puff wheelchair, sip and puff joystick, and sip and puff switch. Sip and puff wheelchair are for individuals that cannot use their hands and/or feet. Sip and puff joystick are usually utilized by quadriplegics. It allows individuals to use a mouse for the computer. Sip and puff switch determines what the sips and puffs do within the computer.

This device is primarily used for individuals who do not have use of their hands. Individuals that are quadriplegics, people with ALS, or some stoke patients may use this device. People with a physical disability may use this device as well.

Students benefit from this device by being able to participate in classroom activities. They feel more independent being able to move about and not have to rely on anyone. They can be included in a regular classroom and not in an isolated classroom with one or two other students. They have the opportunity to interact with their peers and be able to learn from them also.

The type of assistance technology sip and puff devices would be communication, mobility, and environmental interaction.



Speech Recognition Software

Speech recognition software is where spoken words are translated into text. An individual dictates to a computer what they want to say and the computer types it for them. There are many types of speech recognition software available. They can be call centers, cell phones, and computers.


The types of speech recognition software "applications include voice user interfaces such as voice dialing (e.g. "Call home"), call routing (e.g. "I would like to make a collect call"), domotic appliance control, search (e.g. find a podcast where particular words were spoken), simple data entry (e.g., entering a credit card number), preparation of structured documents (e.g. a radiology report), speech-to-text processing (e.g., word processors or emails), and aircraft (usually termed Direct Voice Input)." Wiki


This is primarily used by students who are deaf and/or hard of hearing.


Students benefit tremendously by speech recognition software. On the students part, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance and unfortunately it is not for everyone. One must be willing to set aside time, patience and effort. If one is willing to commit all this, they will have success in school. There has been a significant improvement is students who have had difficultly in writing and operating a computer.


The type of assistive technology speech recognition software includes would be communication.

Articles on Assistive Technology

Sip and Puff Systems

Speech Recognition Software

Works Cited

"Multi-user Sip/Puff Switch with Headset." Multi-User Sip/Puff Switch. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.


"New Electronics: Turn Them On for Learning." New Electronics: Turn Them On for Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.


"Sip and Puff Switch Solutions." Sip/Puff Switch. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.


"Sip-and-puff." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 01 July 2013.


"SPEECH RECOGNITION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES." Voice Recognition, Speech Recognition, Voice Recognition Software, Talk Type, Voice Recognition Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.


"T3h5onlineb - Sip-and-puff Systems." T3h5onlineb - Sip-and-puff Systems. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.


"T3h5onlineb - Speech Recognition or Voice Recognition Programs." T3h5onlineb - Speech Recognition or Voice Recognition Programs. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.


"WHAT IS SPEECH RECOGNITION?" Voice Recognition, Speech Recognition, Voice Recognition Software, Talk Type, Voice Recognition Program. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.