Assistive Technologies


Definition:

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Assistive technology, also known as Adaptive technology (AT), includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people and students with disabilities and includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using these different devices. The use of assistive technologies promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing. It is any technology that allows an increase, maintenance or improvement of the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability.


Overview:


Assistive technology is a generic term for devices and modifications that helps someone overcome a disability. Assistive Technologies have been used since 1800 BC with the use of prosthesis and since then there has been the invention of the wheelchair, text telephones, accessible keyboards, large print, braille, speech recognition computer software and so on. These technologies allow students with a learning impairment or a disability to complete tasks more effectively and independently. For example, students with dyslexia or dysgraphia can use text to speech software when reading and spelling programs when writing. Spell assist programs and voice-recognition facilities are also bringing the text reading and writing experience to the wider public. Computers, with their hardware extensibility, editing, spell checkers and speech synthesis software are becoming the cornerstone of assistive technologies, improving quality of life for students with disabilities.Add-to-1.5-under-Assistive-Tech.jpg


Articles:


Assistive Technology for Children with Learning Difficulties
PDF guide from the Frostig Center, which is a non-profit organization created to help students with learning disabilities. Guide defines Assistive Technology, different types of Assistive Technology, choosing the best technology for each person and cost concerns regarding assistive technology.

Assistive Technology (AT) For Individuals with Learning Disabilities
PDF fact sheet from the Learning Disabilities Association of America designed as "guide to parents on the assistive technology available for students with Learning Disabilities."


Books:

Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities (2nd Edition) by Diane P. Bryant and Brian R. Bryant. "
"The book approaches assistive technology and education in a lifespan, multidisciplinary manner by discussing the use of current technology in the fields of special education, rehabilitation, speech-language pathology, and other disciplines. Featured devices and software will help you understand how areas such as mobility, communication, education, independent living, and access to information media affect learning and living for individuals with disabilities (Amazon.com)."



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Assistive Technology: Essential Human Factors by Thomas W. King

"The Information Age has transformed the way in which humans communicate and interact with each other in almost every aspect. This new relationship between humans and technology has been an added convenience for some, and a sheer blessing for others; for those with physical and communication impairments, modern-day technology has transformed daily living into a journey toward capability instead of disability. In its examination of assistive technology, this book serves as an essential resource for clinicians, product developers, families and individuals as they recommend, select, purchase, design, and use assistive technology" (Amazon.com)



Blogs:

The Assistive Technology Blog
"The Assistive Technology Blog is a publication of the Virginia Department of Education's Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at VCU" (http://www.assistivetechnology.vcu.edu)

No Limits to Learning
"This blog is for posts and comments on children, disabilities, assistive technology and education" (http://nolimitstolearning.blogspot.com)

Videos:











Websites:

Family Information Guide to Assistive Technology
The Family Guide to Assistive Technology includes the following information for families on the Possibilities of Assistive Technology (AT), Assistive Technology in Schools, Funding AT, Quick Questions and Tips, Glossary of AT Terms and Definitions and Additional AT Information Resources

LDA of NYS: Assistive Technology
Assistive Technology page of the Learning Disability Association of New York State. This page defines Assistive Technology and provides links to several resources about Assistive Technology and Learning Disabilities.

Powerpoints:



Overview of Assistive Technologies, what classifies as Assistive Technologies and the different levels. This Powerpoint also includes the legislative history behind Assistive Technologies.


Resources:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2G1U6U3zh8