A group project I am currently working in EPSY has us looking at Intellectual disabilities. I thought this would be an interesting topic to blog about, especially considering my part of the project is to look into assistive technology. As part of my ECMP class is to blog about things related to classroom technology, this topic is interdisciplinary between these two classes.
Firstly, here is a short video explaining the term intellectual disability.
The following information is copied from the website Reading Rockets.
AT for kids with LD is defined as any device, piece of equipment or system that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual’s specific learning deficits. Over the past decade, a number of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of AT for individuals with LD. 1 AT doesn’t cure or eliminate learning difficulties, but it can help your child reach her potential because it allows her to capitalize on her strengths and bypass areas of difficulty. For example, a student who struggles with reading but who has good listening skills might benefit from listening to audio books.
This website links loads of different assistive technology resources that can be used in the classroom. The website breaks them down according to the specific areas that the students would need help in. There is listening, math, reading, writing, to name a few. The main idea of using these technologies in the classroom is to help the students by-pass some areas of the lessons that they are having difficulties with.
I would be interested to hear from people as to whether they think that having all of these technologies available is the best idea. It definitely helps in making the students keep up with the class, but at the same time, they are skipping some of the steps that may be essential in truly learning the lessons being taught. Some people believe that this differs from the Universally Designed Instruction philosophy and just makes it easier to get the students to get the work done.
Personally I believe that there should be a combination of the two and as long as the students are meeting the required outcomes, how the reach them can be individualized.
Some of the common AT’s would include something like rad reading, or tumble books, where the text is being read to the students and they are required to answer comprehension questions. This could be used for children with dyslexia, as it highlights the words as the text is being read, and the student follows along.
I will end this post with a video of a math tool, called Math Talk, I found. The student talks to the computer and the program writes out the math equation step-by-step for the student. Thus could be used to help with understanding the steps in the question or for people who are unable to write.