Sunday, October 20, 2013

AT Devices

A Blogger's Insight: 

AT Devices  

We have been discussing assistive technologies for the past three weeks but really have not explored all of the AT devices out there and what they are for.  Throughout the next several blogs, I am going to be dedicating my time to locate about ten different types of AT devices, what they are and how they are used! 

I GOAL is that you are then able to process and ponder the following questions or thoughts..  Another objective of this series of blogs, is that you learn some kind of new device that you may have been unaware of before and which type of learner they would benefit the most. 

What are your feelings/thoughts about each of the AT devices?  How would you implement them into your curriculum to help struggling learners or students with disabilities?  What, if anything, would you change about the technology device(s) and how would this positively impact the usage of this software/hardware? 

Let's begin with two...

Word prediction software can help a user during word processing by "predicting" a word the user intends to type. Predictions are based on spelling, syntax, and frequent/recent use. This prompts kids who struggle with writing to use proper spelling, grammar, and word choices, with fewer keystrokes.

Talking word processors (TWP) are writing software programs that provide speech feedback as the student writes, echoing each letter as it is typed and each word as the spacebar is pressed. Many of these inexpensive programs, typically used to assist with writing, also incorporate powerful tools for reading.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition Software is a program that converts what you say into text on the computer.  Students can use this who may experience trouble writing or limited motor abilities.  Students are able to increase motivation, independence and academic opportunities when using this software to navigate through the computer with your voice, to writing an e-mail.  Watch the video for an interesting perspective and tutorial on this type of AT device.  

Scan and read software includes optical character recognition (OCR), the ability to scan printed pages and convert them into electronic text. Speech synthesis enables this scanned text to be read aloud.  It can also
can read word processing documents, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, text files, and the Internet.

Books on CD are books that have been converted
to CDs for the entertainment of children, teens and adults.  Books on CD allow provide students to more opportunities of independent work, as well as, a time to relax and just listen to a story.  Books on tape are great for students with language, visual, motor, learning, and cognitive disabilities.  

Assisted Literacy Software is a software designed to aid students in developing their literacy skills.  It is great for students with cognitive, learning, and reading disabilities.  Students using this type of software focus on developing more specifically their phonemic awareness, decoding and comprehension skills.  

Voice output devices have been used to help individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities to communicate successfully. Voice output devices offer tremendous promise in helping nonverbal individuals with autism overcome their unique communication barriers. The auditory output provides one more sensory feedback to help the child develop his receptive and expressive language skills.

See a blog designed by a mom discussing the iPad..


 TTO: Assistive Technology Training Online. (n.d.). ATTO: Assistive Technology Training 
           Online. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from

Join GreatSchools. (n.d.). GreatSchools. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from 

WYNN™ Literacy Software for Reading and Writing - Learning Systems Group. (n.d.).  
          WYNN™ Literacy Software for Reading and Writing - Learning Systems Group
          Retrieved October 20, 2013, from

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