Advances in technology are enabling our students with disability to learn in amazing new ways.
Assistive technology is 'any device or system that allows individuals to perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do or increases the ease and safety with which tasks can be performed' (World Health Organisation, 2004).
Some examples of how assistive technology is used in the classroom include:
- literacy software or built in settings that allow text to be read aloud to a student
- software or settings that adjust the screen display to suit a student?s needs
- tools that allow magnification of content on a screen
- speech to text tools that allow a student to dictate their writing.
Selena shares how her son Athan, 9, connects to his school from home through a telepresence robot in a video below. She said: "It's life changing. Itis increased his quality of life. It's more joy, more social connection, more education opportunity."
The Department of Education has a new e-learning course to help teachers choose and manage assistive technology that supports students. Over 300 staff enrolled in the course in the first two weeks and have fed back the positive impact it has had on their work in schools.
"We're very lucky with the huge range of technology that's available to our students. Technology can really open up the doors for a lot of students where it wasn't possible in the past, particularly for students with disability or additional needs," said Department of Education, Assistive Technology Advisor, Joe Allen.
Schools wanting to find out more about how they can use assistive technology can visit this webpage.