3d. Select & evaluate assistive & adaptive technologies


Meeting the needs of all learners in our classrooms can be a challenge. Students bring a wide variety of needs from learning disabilities, physical impairments, to attention issues. Fortunately, there are many assistive technology options available that can help teachers to meet these needs.

One thing to first consider when implementing any form of assistive technology is that the student’s needs should come first, not the device. In other words, consider what elements a student needs to be successful with a given assignment and then find a tool that offers those elements instead of changing the assignment to fit within a particular tool.

My evidence for this substandard is a post I wrote in 2018 after researching and testing a variety of assistive technologies that support students in using technology to read and write.

Evidence: Assistive Tools for Reading and Writing

Assistive Technology, as defined by the 2004 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act) is as follows: “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 the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.” When considering the use of the word ‘device’ in the definition, “…it is important to recognize that assistive technology devices required by students with disabilities include hardware and software as well as stand-alone devices” (“Definition of Assistive Technology”, 2014). In my August 2018 blog post, I research various tools available online to support students in reading and writing.

For a list, description, and review of resources I tested,  please see my post using the link below.