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Assistive technologies

What are assistive technologies?

Assistive technologies, sometimes referred to as "specialised equipment" or "assistive equipment", help students with disabilities do things they cannot otherwise do, or do things better. Assistive technologies can include technology devices such as computer hardware and software, as well as hearing, vision, and mobility devices and equipment, and specialised furniture.

Daniel, a student with ADHD, and his teacher explain how he uses apps on his ipad to support his reading and comprehension. 

Partnership with peers supports effective access to learning - a student's perspective

Partnership with peers supports effective access to learning

Matt is a Year 13 student at Wairarapa College. He describes how, with technology and the help of friends, he accesses and participates in the curriculum.

An inclusive learning environment supported by technology

Inclusive learning environment

Visually impaired student Renée Patete describes the difference technology makes to her learning by providing access to the curriculum and enabling ease of communication.

1:1 Netbooks – Allowing excellence in the classroom

1:1 Netbooks – Allowing excellence in the classroom

Tyler, a year 6 student with dyspraxia, uses a netbook to help him write creatively instead of being inhibited by the speed of his handwriting or his ability to form letters. 

Maximising technology to support learning between home and school

Maximising technology to support learning between home and school

Technology enables access to the Internet and removes communication barriers for Wadestown School student, Renée Patete.

Netbooks - an "onramp" to success in literacy

Netbooks – an "onramp" to success in literacy

Using a netbook, Google docs, and blogging has increased engagement and improved learning outcomes for student Kieren. 

Benefits iPads provide for student learning – Part 1

Benefits iPads provide for student learning – Part 1

Teacher, Craig Kemp, describes the benefits using iPads have brought to students who are kinesthetic learners, especially boys, and students with special needs.

Benefits iPads provide for student learning - Part 2

Benefits iPads provide for student learning – Part 2

The high level of student engagement and independence in learning when using iPads is encouraged by the feedback and rewards within the applications.

Working together: writing with iPads

Writing with iPads

Avondale School teacher, Rae Marsh talks about how using iPad writing app Screen Chomp has made a difference for one of her Year 5 students in learning how to form letters correctly.

Using an iPad to support independent writing for a student with ADHD

Using an iPad to support independent writing for a student with ADHD

Daniel, a student with ADHD, and his teacher explain how he uses apps on his ipad to support his reading and comprehension. 

Aspergers syndrome – Making friends using facetime

Making friends using facetime

Denise Fuller, describes the difference using Facetime to connect with others has made to the confidence, self-esteem, and overall happiness of her son who has Asperger's syndrome. 

Customising access to learning at high school: a student/teacher partnership

Customising access to learning at high school

Matt is a Year 13 student at Wairarapa College. He has low vision. He reflects on his use of technology, effective partnerships with teachers, and the need for self-advocacy skills and a sense of humour.

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Classroom based examples describing how educators intentionally pair digital technologies with inclusive pedagogy to improve learning outcomes for students.

Filter by: Primary Secondary

2Touch

Students with special learning needs improved their communication skills during circle time through the use of a 2Touch interactive whiteboard.

Tags: Diverse learners, Effective pedagogy, English, Assistive technologies, Interactive displays, Lower primary, Lower secondary, Middle primary, Primary, Secondary, Upper primary, Upper secondary

Switch it! Maker 2 and Choose it! Maker 2

Switch it! Maker 2 and Choose it! Maker 2 were used to help a non-verbal, high needs student make activity choices with a single press head-switch.

Tags: Cross-curricular, Diverse learners, Assistive technologies, Utilities/tools/gadgets, Lower primary, Lower secondary, Middle primary, Primary, Secondary, Upper primary, Upper secondary

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Resources

Inclusive Education guides for schools
The Ministry of Education’s Inclusive Education guides for schools site provides New Zealand educators with practical strategies, suggestions and resources to support learners with diverse needs.

Assistive technology
Find information on the Ministry of Education’s assistive technology services including:

  • advice, support, and information on assistive technology products
  • an assistive technology assessment framework to help teams support students
  • advice and support for schools and specialists who undertake assistive technology assessments
  • funding of assistive technology devices for individual students (to meet they learning needs).

If you want product information, email the Centre for Assistive Technology (CAT), at cat.help@education.govt.nz

Assistive technology
Join this group in the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) to share and discuss assistive technology options and the ways that both specialised assistive technology and standard technologies can be used to support students. The group blog  reviews software and apps to support learning.

Assistive technology - Meeting a literacy challenge
The Connected ICT PD cluster share their inquiry into identifying and overcoming the barriers to success in reading and writing for students with learning disabilities. The inquiry identified what assistive technologies are available to help students experiencing difficulty and how they can be used to support students literacy learning in the classroom. 

ICT resources and assistive technologies to help meet the needs of visually impaired learners
Hazel Owen, ethos consultancy, shares her collection of ICT resources and assistive technologies to support visually impaired students in a blog post, May 2011.

Online discussions

Join the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) and participate in these discussions.

Universal design for learning  – creating learning options that cater for everyone, planning for diverse needs.
Special Education Online (SE Online) – is an open group in the VLN for teachers of children and young people with special education needs.
Assistive technologies and the challenge of inclusion  – this blog post discusses inclusive education, and how technology can support inclusion.

Featured snapshot of learning

Improving communication skills using 2Touch interactive whiteboards

Read how special needs students improved their communication skills through the use of an interactive whiteboard.

e-Learning community discussions

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