May 31, 2006

Assistive Technology for LD students

Assistive technology is "any technology that enables an individual with a learning disability to compensate for specific deficits." * This includes a broad range of tools ranging from using tape recorders to voice-activated software. These tools allow a student with learning disabilities to circumvent their deficits. For example, if a student has writing problems, taking notes in class can pose a real struggle. By using a tape recorder to tape the lecture, the student bypasses his area of weakness. After all, the goal is to learn the information being taught, not to improve his writing skills. This is referred to as a compensatory approach. If technology is used to directly address skill deficits, this is called a remedial approach. For example, the same student that relied on the taped lecture could use a keyboarding program to improve note-taking skills. If you feel assistive technology my increase your child's ability to succeed in school, you may want to do a little more research. Here are a few resources to get you on your way:

*The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities, Carol Turkington & Jospeph R. Harris, PH.D., 2002

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