As a special education teacher it is easy to see the importance of technology in our students’ lives. Technology aids our students in their every day lives and helps increase their independence. For example, individuals who use wheelchairs are now able to be more independent through new wheelchair technology. One student who I used to work with that used a wheelchair could steer his chair by moving his head in the direction that he wanted to turn. Another who used a wheelchair was able to steer it himself using a peg, just like on a gaming console, to direct where he wanted to go. These two students no longer had to rely on others for mobility.
The wheelchair is just one example of assistive technology. The article that I chose to focus on discusses ways in which devices can assist individuals with reading disabilities, specifically, dyslexia. The article evaluates many hand-held devices and how assistive each device is to individuals with dyslexia.
One key feature that these devices have that help individuals with dyslexia is text-to-speech. Students with dyslexia can use this feature so that they do not have to rely on their poor reading skills to read or other people to read to them. It increases their independence and allows them to be on an equal playing field as their peers.
This past week, a girl named Carly Fleishman posted a video to Facebook that caught my attention. Carly is a teenage girl with autism. She is nonverbal, but has been able to find her voice through assistive technology. Through various devices, Carly has been able to express her thoughts, needs, and feelings.
Thus, there are various different kinds of technology that can aid individuals with special needs. Technology allows individuals with disabilities to gain independence and become more active members of society.