Tech Tools for Students with Learning Disabilities: Infusion into Inclusive ClassroomsBy Quenneville, Jane; LD Online, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 167-170
Publication Date: Summer 2001
Article discusses the role of assistive technology (AT) in the classroom setting. Five types of AT that can help students with learning disabilities are described: (1) talking word processors, such as Intellitalk II and Kid Works Deluxe; (2) word prediction software, such as Read & Write 5.0; (3) portable note-taking devices, such as AlphaSmart 3000; (4) prewriting organizers, such as Inspiration; and (5) multimedia software, such as Imagination Express. Talking word processors provide the student with auditory feedback to reinforce the writing process. Letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and entire documents can be read aloud while the student types. Another useful tool is word prediction, which augments spelling and syntax to enable users to make choices, find words, and complete sentences. Word prediction programs display words based on frequency of use, grammatically correct usage of words, and most recently used words. Read & Write 5.0 from TextHELP is a word prediction program that works with any Windows-based application. When word prediction is active, the user types a letter; as each letter is typed, the software predicts words accordingly. Portable notetakers provide an efficient means to record ideas and classroom notes, and to demonstrate writing creativity. The AlphaSmart 3000 is capable of editing, as it allows the user to cut, copy, and paste text into files. Graphic organizers such as Inspiration provide organizational frameworks to help writers generate topics and content for writing projects. Inspiration presents ideas in graphic “bubbles” that can be converted into a standard outline. Many software programs incorporate both text and graphics for story writing, introducing a multisensory method of learning. If students have limited literacy skills, or little prior knowledge in a certain content area, they may benefit from visuals and other media for writing. Implications for collaboration among education professionals regarding the use of AT in the inclusive classroom are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: ALPHASMART 3000 (MODELS AS30, AS30-RC, AS30-IR, & AS30-IR-RC)
Published by: WETA Public Television (Website:http://www.weta.org)
Link to text: http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/technology/tech_tools.html