Education Technology for Disabled Students
The wonders of technology are felt throughout the world. From smartphones to self-driving cars and completely automated manufacturing warehouses, there’s no denying the fact that technology has completely changed the way that we interact with the world. I’ve been very vocal about technology’s impact on society, particularly when it comes to education. And while I’ve written quite a few blogs on technology and education, one area that I haven’t touched on too much has been special education.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are over 6 million students who are receiving some form of special education. Luckily, with today’s technological advancements, many students are able to get full and comprehensive lessons through the use of innovative devices and tech. I simply wanted to highlight a few of the most impactful tech that is helping students with learning disabilities gain the most from their education.
A common disability for young students is dyslexia. This can make it very difficult for students to complete assignments. Luckily, electronic worksheets can assist greatly by lining up certain words and mathematical equations. Another major benefit of these electronic worksheets is the text-to-speech functionality that can also be found in most smartphone software.
Students with physical disabilities can be or feel limited by today’s modern classrooms. More specifically, using a keyboard can be particularly challenging for physically disabled students. Luckily, keyboards can be customized specifically for students with physical limitations in a variety of ways. Depending on the particular student, keyboards can be customized as to require less input for certain words or by color grouping certain letters.
This is one of the most innovative and impressive systems in recent years for students with disabilities. Sip-and-puff systems are specifically designed for those with severe physical limitations, such as those with paralysis. With a sip-and-puff system, the student controls a long tube, often referred to as a “joystick” or “wand” with his or her mouth. The student can then control either a computer or mobile device in this manner, and accomplish multiple tasks, such as using the virtual keyboard featured in the computer’s software.
These are only a few assistive technologies that are making a world of difference in education. As technology advances, I’m excited to see just how else students with disabilities can gain even more from their education.