Powerful Resources for Students with Learning Differences
Over the years, I have seen assistive technology work wonders for my students. The term covers a wide variety of tools, including everything from Google Doc's free built-in dictation to the pricier Livescribe Smartpen. If you have a child with a learning difference or disability, the use of assistive technology can make a huge difference in his or her life.
The list of apps, physical tools, software, and web sites can be overwhelming. That's why it is important to know about your local resources, places where knowledgeable staff can recommend tech that will match your student’s needs. If you are in Vermont, make an appointment at the UVM Tryout & Access Center. Leslie, the AT specialist there, is quite friendly and knowledgeable. You can try out different technology and even sometimes take items home for a trial period.
Appointments are free. In addition, check out this online AT exchange where you can buy, sell, or donate AT. For those near Oakland and Berkeley, the Center for Accessible Technology in Berkeley is a good place to start. Here you can also try out technology and afterward they will provide you with a list of items you explored. There is a fee, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. There is also an AT Exchange.
Even the addition of a few tools can transform a child’s relationship to learning, and therefore, this is a valuable area to investigate. Ask me if you have questions!