Using Assistive Technology (AT) with Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)
Using AEM with a student with a print disability nearly always requires the use of some Assistive Technology (AT) to support the student’s learning.
Assistive Technology is any device, piece of equipment or product that makes it easier for someone with a disability to live more independently and safely, work at a job, learn in school, get about their community or pursue play and leisure. AT can be custom-made or purchased commercially.
AT comes on many forms. From a “low-tech” pen shaped to a way to help some students have better control of their writing…to a “high-tech” Apple iPad with headphones for the student to be able to listen to what is being described in the game he is playing, AT can be used by many students.
For students with a print disability, there are a number of AT devices used with AEM to support student learning:
- Refreshable Braille Display
- Screen Reader Applications
- Braille Embossers
- Enhanced Literacy Tools
- Screen Magnification
For students with print disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the AT and AEM needs of the student need to be discussed and documented each time the IEP is reviewed (See Maine’s IEP).
Apps for Students with Print Disabilities
With the proliferation of handheld/mobile devices, the number of small applications (apps) had skyrocketed in recent years. Many apps can be used as assistive technology for students with print disabilities. However, trying to keep up on all of the latest apps, and how they can be used with students is difficult at best. Therefore, we have listed a number of resources here where you should be able to get the latest information:
- Apps for Students with Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia.
- Apps as AT (on Maine CITE).
- Apps for students with visual impairment.
- Perkins School for the Blind – WonderBaby.
- Reading Rockets – Apps for Learning Disabilities.
- Apple – Special Education.
- Android Apps for Special Education on Pinterest by Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC-SLP.