Teaching is challenging, especially when the class is composed of students having different learning abilities. There is difference in the cognitive, psychological and physical abilities of children, and traditional classrooms were not equipped to handle these challenges and disabilities. Assistive technology is an umbrella term used to refer to products that have been designed to provide special assistance to students with disabilities. It includes adaptive, assistive and rehabilitative devices that help disabled students easily, quickly or independently. Sophisticated yet surprisingly simple, these tools help people in activities of their daily life. It helps them to accomplish tasks that they were unable to or found it difficult to do by providing alternative methods of interaction.
There are different kinds of assistive technology products that help to maintain, increase or improve capabilities of students with disabilities. From assisting people to speak, write and type to learn and remember, assistive learning includes products serving different purposes. Products and services mainly include –
- Computer hardware like keyboards, screen magnification and pointing devices
- Computer software like communication software or screen readers
- Hardware such as positioning devices, prosthetics and attachment devices
- Reading tools and software to make text-based learning more accessible
- Special learning materials and curricular software
- High technology hardware like special purpose computers
- Speech and voice recognition programs
- Video magnification and portable video magnification hardware like CCTVs
- Low vision and optical magnification devices
From people suffering from eye problems like partial blindness to memory problems like A;zheimer’s , assistive technology offers care and support. Assistive technology has been able to ensure greater independence and enhanced experience for disabled individuals at home, school and any other setting.