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Assistive Technology Devices For Students With Physical Disabilities

In order to provide special education students with the tools they need to succeed, it is important to understand them. Often times, students need assistive technology beyond just wheelchairs and lifts. This is because students suffer from a range of disorders that may affect more than their ability such as: autism spectrum disorder, blindness/low vision, communication disorders, and more. To understand what qualifies as an assistive technology device and which are the best, keep reading.

Assistive Technology Devices: The Basics

Assistive technology, commonly referred to as AT, is any item or piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Devices can also range from low to high technology depending on their components. Examples of low tech devices include: digital hearing aids, alternative mouses/keyboards, and closed caption televisions. On the other hand, high tech devices like specialized computer software are much more advanced and require special training. Which category you should invest in depends on your students, their needs, and what will provide them the most benefit.

Assistive Technology Devices: The Application

The basis of application lies in inclusive design. In order for every student to succeed in their education, they need to have the same opportunities. This means that education administrators, special education teachers, and parents need to ensure they are doing everything to level the playing field. Often times, the answer lies in investing in even the most basic tools. Consider reading aids like colored overlays, dictionary pens, or audio tapes if your students are struggling in this field. On the other hand, if your students are having trouble writing due to mobility issues there are also many inexpensive tools! Items like slant boards, digital spellers, adapted paper can make all the difference.


All in all, it is important to raise awareness of the low tech assistive device and the massive impact they can have in the classroom. At the end of the day, it is our job to ensure that every student can and will succeed!

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