Monday, October 17, 2011

Assistive Technology Making a Difference in Education

What: Technology can be a great equalizer in education but the definition of assistive technology also referred to as AT is board on what it is considered. The definition that the article by Micheal Behrmann gives is, "any item, piece of equipment, or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities." These can include high tech as well as low tech materials, items and resources. They are also tools for children to learn and to stimulate their learning environment as well as tools for teachers to provide learning for every student no matter their ability. The inclusion of students with disabilities is stated int the U.S. Constitution and Amendments in The Education for All Handicapped Children Act which makes it illegal to not have an inclusive and mainstreamed education system for all. It is based on the same ideas of Brown v. The Board of Education in which separate education is not an equal education.

So What: If students are given the resources in AT that they need they will be able to be in more mainstreamed classrooms and eventually not require a classroom aide. by giving them these resources we as teachers are doing what we intend to do in our classroom and that is to help every student no matter their ability. This also means that the enrollment and the field of special education will continue to flourish, in these classes students are getting the teaching that they need in order to continue to grow and function or in some cases to maintain their level of functionality. Students that are mainstreamed during some point on their education will also be more willing to learn even if that means that they have to try harder since they are in a classroom that they know is equally to everyone else's and the students that are fully capable get the experience of having seeing that even if they look different or have trouble speaking to hearing that they are all the same in ways.

Now What: By bring AT into the classroom and learning about it now as educators we will be able to better tend to every students needs and be aware of what is out there to help them, be it a voice digitizer or a pencil grip. By providing students with what they need we are able to fulfill the goal of education and that is to make students the future of society and have them know how they are able to function in it. It is not only teaching students to function either but teaching them that every one is the same no matter what and that they are all students and learning the same things. As long as schools are willing to open budgets and get the AT that their schools and districts need students will have a great benefit in their learning.

Behrmann, M. (1998, May). Assistive Technology for Young Children in Special Education: It Makes 
    a  Difference. In Edutopia. Retrieved October 17, 2011, from


  1. I agree that individuals with disabilities can be integrated with mainstream classes would benefit the students greatly (when they are ready, of course). The students can learn how to act from each other and learn from each other's strengths and weaknesses. Assistive technology used correctly can only benefit the school and its students. Hopefully, school districts will see the benefit and take the initiative to spend more money to bring assistive technology in to the classrooms.

  2. Sydney:

    I agree with your statement when you say students with disablities should be given the proper resources to be able to be mainstreamed in a class. I believe every child deserves an equal chance in learning at their fullest potential. I think that if they did incorporate these resources in the classroom for students with disabilities then the students will be able to grow on a more social note. I also agree with you when you said that this AT program can help all students see that every child is their own individual. I believe this can help students see that we must work together to accept each others differences.