Assistive technologies are hardware and/or software that help a student overcome some sort of difficulty in the classroom due to a disability or some other limiting factor. Some students require assistive technologies simply to communicate, like a hearing aid. Another example is if a student cannot produce sound, he may use an app on an iPad with a series of pictures to help the other person understand what he needs. Used appropriately by classroom teachers, assistive technologies can help struggling students overcome their challenges.
The adoption and implementation of the Common Core Standards are putting more emphasis on a student’s ability to write. The Common Core tests require students to write for both the English-Language Arts and Math standards. In the coming years, writing will be an integral part of every curriculum. However, many students struggle with writing. Students can often verbalize what they want to say but then cannot put those words into a cohesive paper. This is especially prevalent for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s, and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, who all struggle with organization.
There are many software programs that address a student’s inability to organize thoughts into writing. Kidspiration (grades K-5) and Inspiration (grades 6-adult) are software programs that allow students to transition from the brainstorming process to the writing process. The software includes easy to follow graphic organizers for every content area, note taking templates and strategies, and writing process assistance. The software programs assist students in the writing process by making visual connection with the information in order to help them organize their writing.
Please refer to the following links to find more information on this writing software:
Also, these two websites are especially helpful in giving an overview of many different assistive technologies for the classroom:
National Center for Learning Disabilities