Monday, November 23, 2009

Assistive Technology - Module 3

Again, I never realized how many software packages were available that can assist students with disabilities. I was amazed at how many options there are for students who are blind, students who have difficulty speaking, students who cannot hear, and students who have learning disabilities. I thought it was great that many of these companies will allow teachers or students to test out the software to see if it is right for the school setting. This is important when budgets are restricted and librarians must choose the appropriate software fairly quickly. I enjoyed testing out some of the software and will definitely keep some of these options in mind for future purchase.

As mentioned in my hardware selection, I have a large population of students who have learning disabilities. Some of the assistive technology available can be useful to these students both in school and at home. There are a variety of software packages that read words aloud to students. This would be useful for students who have a hard time deciphering words, especially on the Internet or computer screen. Also, voice recognition software could help these students to type on the screen with ease. Oftentimes when students with severe learning disabilities type into Microsoft Word, the computer is unable to correct spelling because it is severely misspelled. With a tool like this, students could speak words in and the computer can type them out. There are so many tools that can assist students with learning disabilities that it is hard to limit the choices to a reasonable amount!

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