The Benefits of Using Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities
Assistive technology refers to any device, equipment or software that helps people with disabilities to perform tasks that might otherwise be too difficult. For students with disabilities, assistive technology can play a vital role in increasing independence, enhancing communication and improving academic performance. These are just some ways in which assistive technology can benefit students with disabilities, we discuss these in more detail below.
Through strategic implementation of assistive technology, students are able to gain key skills while maintaining their independence. It is clear that student independence through assistive technology can be very empowering. As students have access to the correct education tools, they become more independent in their learning environments and overall lives. It’s important they have access to the appropriate tools so students with special needs can maximise their own potential. This will ensure that they are happy and secure within an educational environment.
Assistive technology can range from providing basic assistance through to items such as:
– Talking and modified computer software.
– Adjustable desks.
– Powered wheelchairs.
– Communication boards.
– Audiology equipment.
– Touch pads.
The main factor is that everyone deserves a chance to live life to its fullest. Those who are provided with more individualised support are given the ability to thrive in today’s increasingly technological world.
Servisource Education Support provides appropriately qualified and experienced Educational Support Workers (ESW) to assist individual students with disabilities. This provides them with equal access and participation during their studies in Further and Higher Education Colleges.
Our educational support workers support students with disabilities who may require an enhanced level of help to enrich their learning experience and support their participation in their chosen course of study. Examples of this type of support may include personal assistants who would assist a student with mobility and orientation, sourcing library books, and carrying personal belongings. Note takers are also available, who record detailed and accurate notes from attending lectures, tutorials, or seminars.
With advances in assistive technology, students can now receive higher quality education and support, as well as increased opportunities for communication. Examples include speech recognition software and modified keyboards. These methods enable students to write and express themselves more easily. They can also be used to help students build their reading, writing, spelling, and math skills or simply make daily tasks easier.
Assistive technology tools can improve communication between students with disabilities and their teachers, classmates, and family members. For example, a student who is nonverbal may use an alternative communication device (AAC) to communicate with others.
It allows them to communicate more naturally and effectively within the classroom environment. It gives them access to communication tools they may not have had access to in a traditional setting. Students have a variety of useful resources at their disposal that could greatly increase their learning potential in a classroom setting.
Improved Academic Performance
Today, students with disabilities have access to assistive technology that can help them reach their academic goals and it can greatly help students improve their organisation and focus. It can also facilitate peer relationships as students gain confidence and self-esteem by using the same educational tools as their classmates.
Did You Know?
The National Council for Special Education found that as many as 70% of pupils reported that their educational needs had been met by their Assistive Technology.
Studies have shown that students with disabilities who use assistive technologies have improved note-taking skills. Additionally, these students have an increased ability to complete class assignments independently. These results are reflected in better academic performance overall, including test scores and grades on schoolwork. Assistive technology provides students with disabilities the resources they need to achieve success in the classroom setting, breaking down education barriers.
For example, a student with dyslexia may use text-to-speech software to improve their reading comprehension. A visually impaired student can also enhance their education by using a braille keyboard. In this way, they have the same chance of receiving higher grades just like their peers.
In summary, assistive technology can be a powerful tool for students with disabilities. It enables them to participate more fully in an academic and social setting, allowing them to reach their full potential.