Not all assistive technology involves computers, tablets, or software. Sure, it is fun to have shiny new devices that are full of bells and whistles, but the key is to utilize items that best support the needs of a particular student. Hamm, Mistrett, and Ruffino (2006) asserted that low-tech devices are often preferable for teachers as they tend to be inexpensive, readily available, and easy to access.
When we happen upon an exciting high-tech device, it can be tempting to force fit a way to use it with our students. It is essentialthat assistive technology devices are chosen based on specific need. While some students may greatly benefit from a tablet or laptop, other students may find such high tech solutions distracting (Reichle, 2011).
The great news is that you have potential low-tech solutions all around your classroom.
Some popular examples include:
Used as a slant board, a binder provides an inclined surface to help students with writing.
Inexpensive shelf liner (look at the dollar store) is great for keeping objects in place on a student’s desk.
Identify particular words or passages of a text on which students should focus.
A ruler can be used to help students monitor the line of text that is being read.
Hamm, E. M., Mistrett, S. G., and Ruffino, A. G. (2006). Play outcomes and satisfaction with toys and technology of young children with special needs. Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(1), 29-42.
Reichle, J. (2011). Evaluating assistive technology in the education of persons with severe disabilities. Journal of Behavioral Education, 20, 77-85.