Dyslexia SEN SEND Specific Learning Difficulties Staffroom

Day 1 #28daysofwriting – What is Assistive Technology?

Why should my students use it?

I am cheap. I will do pretty much anything for a freebie. And if I write for 28 days I get a @staffrm mug.

What to write about though?

Well, part of my job is doing Assistive Technology Assessments for students in Dorset. I am therefore constantly looking for software and apps to match up to a student’s needs.

So I am going to write 26blogs which cover a different app or piece of software. This leaves me 1 blogs to introduce the topic and 1 at the end to conclude.

What is Assistive Technology?

Any technology which removes barriers for students. To allow them to achieve and to engender independence.

If you have students who cannot access the curriculum and/or record their work effectively then technology may allow them to do this.

I work with students in mainstream schools so the three assistive technologies I concentrate on are:

Text to Speech – where text is read out by a computerised voice

Speech to Text – where a student talks and the computer types their words


Concept Mapping – where a student can plan work in the form of a spider diagram or mind map.

Understandably, people ask why we can’t just teach students to read and write properly – well if this ever happens for all students I will be the first to jump up and down whooping (most of my job is to teach reading and writing) but until that time what are we doing to aid these students’ achievements?

What are we doing to help them access a text based curriculum if they can’t read?

What do we do until they catch up with their typically developing peers?

If it’s acceptable for students to benefit from a Teaching Assistant then why not a tablet or laptop?

I look forward to persuading you – I have another 27 blogs to do it in.


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