Enhancing What Students Can DoBy Poel, Elissa Wolfe; Educational Leadership, Vol. 64, No. 5, pp. 64-66
Publication Date: February 2007
Article focuses on the use of assistive technology that could help to allow students with disabilities to fully participate in the classroom, as mandated in the reauthorization of the United States Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 2004. A variety of seating alternatives are available for students who could benefit from controlled movement during the day. Move 'n' Sit promotes active sitting, while adjustable height and tilt tables can also help. Communication aids include single-message switches, speech synthesizers, telephone amplifiers, hearing aids, tape recorders, picture systems, and sophisticated augmentative communication devices, such as the Chat PC, Go Talk, or Tecli/Speak. Communication devices include single message devices such as Big Mac or Little Mac, or single button devices such as Chickadee, both of which can allow students who are nonverbal to convey messages and respond to the teacher. Students with communication disorders can use the Chat PC, which is a programmable communication system that translates text to speech. A personal FM system such as the Easy Listener helps to clarify speech for students who are hard of hearing. The teacher wears a transmitting device, and the student wears a receiver. The system helps direct the voice and reduces background noise that may interfere with classroom activities. Software programs such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking, JAWS for Windows, and ZoomText can be used to allow computer access through voice commands, screen reading, or screen magnification. Finally, programs such as Inspiration and Kidspiration can be use to organize text so that it is easier to understand for students with learning disabilities.
Assistive Products Discussed: CHATPC
LITTLEMACK COMMUNICATOR (FORMERLY ONE-STEP)
JAWS FOR WINDOWS
ZOOMTEXT FOR WINDOWS
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Web Site: http://www.ascd.org )