Assistive Technology in Action: Tools for Diverse Learning Needs

by | Dec 1, 2023

In the realm of education, there’s an unsung superhero that is transforming lives. No, it isn’t Harry Potter with his wand (although that would be quite something), but rather assistive technology – a game-changer for individuals with diverse learning needs. This article aims to delve into this world and highlight specific tools and apps designed to cater to these needs.

Firstly, let’s demystify what we mean by ‘assistive technology’. It refers to devices or software used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. From reading and writing aids through communication enhancers down to organisation tools – assistive technologies are as varied as they are vital.

Let’s start our exploration with reading technologies. Apps such as NaturalReader have been instrumental in aiding those who struggle with traditional text formats. By converting text into spoken words, these applications allow users not only access information but also engage at their own pace – effectively levelling the playing field.

Next on our list is writing assistance – enter Grammarly stage right! This tool has proven invaluable for learners who grapple with spelling and grammar rules (and let’s face it; English can be more confusing than trying to assemble flat-pack furniture). With real-time feedback on potential errors along suggestions for improvement – it really is like having your personal English teacher!

Communication barriers often pose significant challenges for learners too; however fear not because here comes Proloquo2Go riding valiantly over yonder hill! This app provides symbol-supported communication making conversing simpler than ever before – even if you’re feeling chattier than a parakeet at sunrise!

Finally, we mustn’t forget about organisational tools such as Microsoft OneNote which helps keep work tidy enough even Mary Poppins would approve. With the ability to create notebooks, sections and pages – it’s like having a digital filing cabinet at your fingertips.

Now, these aren’t just fancy tools gathering cyber dust; they’re making real differences in people’s lives. Take for example Sarah, a dyslexic student who struggled with reading assignments. The introduction of NaturalReader into her life was akin to finding water in a desert – suddenly texts were no longer insurmountable mountains but rather scenic routes she could navigate at ease.

Or consider John who has Autism and found communication challenging. Proloquo2Go transformed his world from an isolating silence into one filled with expression and interaction – proving that technology can indeed speak louder than words!

In conclusion (don’t worry I’m not about to start quoting Shakespeare), assistive technologies are more than mere gadgets or software – they’re lifelines for individuals with diverse learning needs offering them opportunities previously thought impossible. So here’s raising our virtual glasses (or tea cups if you prefer) to these incredible tools that truly put the ‘assist’ back into ‘assistance’.

(This post is not sponsored hence I have not mentioned any of the SEN common solutions.)

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