Assistive Technology Tools For Your Classroom

Disabled LearnerThe following is from TeachThought an educational technology blog. It originally written by Jill Rooney and appeared in OpenColleges.edu in Australia:

One of the most remarkable aspects of modern education is the great diversity of today's classroom. Thanks to mainstreaming and inclusion policies, students of all abilities study in all classrooms from kindergarten through college, even when they have physical, psychological, or cognitive disabilities that seem too challenging to integrate or excluded them from traditional classrooms in the past. This has been a benefit not just for disabled students, who gain educational opportunities, but also for their non-disabled colleagues, who learn that a student with a disability is in most ways just the same as they are, and no one to fear.

However, this integration creates challenges for educators. For example, the cost of teaching disabled students has more and more often fell on the already-stretched budgets of public schools. As one American school official told Huffington Post, this "raises an ethical responsibility question. We welcome our students with special needs, but the most expensive programming is on public districts." This means that many schools may not be able to afford the kinds of special tools and equipment that may be needed.

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Thankfully, educators today can implement many new technologies to make their courses more accessible at little to no cost, to aid students with disabilities, whether those students are in a traditional or online classroom. While most people may be familiar with alternative keyboards and touch screens that replace traditional touch-type keyboards for people with mobility challenges, other new technologies are constantly in development, and each is a great boon to the learning process, opening doors, expanding learning experiences and even broadening the parameters of what can be learned for millions of students.

Read the whole article on TeachThought

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Image from OpenEducation.edu

 

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