Gradually, we’re witnessing the slow erasure of barriers in today’s world, and that’s not just in politics or business – it’s in the classroom, too. All students with disabilities have the right to equal education access that provides them with opportunities that support their development and help them realize their potential. Thanks to technological progress, new digital technologies are easily available and providing special needs students with new educational opportunities.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2017, over 7 million U.S. students were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. These numbers let us know that there’s no one technological solution that meets the needs of each student, but with many technological solutions available, students are finding it easier to excel and understand concepts. Today’s devices are no longer huge clunky things that keep kids tethered to a desk in a separate area of the class. Instead, assistive technologies are more mobile, smaller, less expensive, and more integrated than ever, which means students want to use them.
Here’s a look at how technology is completely revolutionizing the way students are learning while increasing independence and building self-esteem.
Technology Opens Up the Classroom
Assistive technologies have become mainstream, and they have a significant impact on everyone in the special needs classroom. No longer are teachers limited to helping a few students with a single specialized technology. Newer tools work well for students with a variety of different educational challenges. E-book readers help students listen to words and then text-to-speech or other communication technologies can enable them to weigh in on discussions. Interactive whiteboards keep students with special needs more engaged, particularly when they’re able to see, touch, and manipulate the screen.
Several areas of improvement that assistive technology addresses include reading, listening, organization, social interactions, memory, and writing. Just a few of the assistive technology options available for in-class activities and learning today include:
Voice recognition software
Refreshable braille displays
Joysticks and wands
Assistive Technologies Offer Unique Benefits to Special Needs Students
Today’s assistive technologies also help special needs students excel academically, and they offer some additional rewards as well. Regularly using assistive technologies in the classroom can help these students:
Gain more confidence
Advocate for themselves
Seek new opportunities
Achieve new levels of independence
Challenge themselves more often
Reach out to peers and/or teachers to collaborate or ask questions more willingly
How Speakprose is Helping Special Needs Students Learn
Speakprose is an AI technology that can be used in the classroom or at home to help special needs students learn. It empowers students who have communication challenges to better engage in the classroom and achieve greater independence. Not only does it break down barriers to communication, but it uses simple gestures and taps to allow users to engage in real-life conversations, accelerating learning and improving social confidence both in and outside of the classroom.
The use of technology for students with special needs is breaking down barriers for those who have disabilities, helping them realize their potential and achieve academic success. Learn more about how Speakprose can help your child or student succeed in the classroom today.