Advancements in medicine and science have worked wonders for humanity. Changes in assistive technology have made differences in our lives.
New developments in the field of assistive technology can be overwhelming, but helpful. They are particularly significant for children with special needs.
What is Assistive Technology?
People with disabilities use assistive technology to perform tasks that are otherwise impossible. It includes a wide range of tools such as Mobility devices (walkers, wheelchairs), computer software, and peripherals that allow the disabled to access computers.
A visually challenged person may use a keyboard with large keys. He may also use software that reads text aloud. Hearing impaired individuals may use TTY telephone (text telephone).
A variety of assistive technology is available today. These tools allow the disabled to access information technology and other platforms.
Types of Assistive Technology
Assistive technology helps those with unique needs in many ways. These devices have benefited those with disabilities in all areas of their lives.
1. Environmental aids
First of all are devices that help those with disabilities adapt to their environments. Examples of these include switches, remote controls, door openers, and Braille signs for the visually challenged.
2. Daily living aids
Also on this list are tools that help those with unique needs manage their daily routines. Some of these are modified utensils, non-skid surfaces, and adapted equipment. According to this study, such tools are helpful because they have larger diameters and handles.
3. Assistive listening
These devices support the hearing challenged. They include hearing aids, captions, and amplifiers.
4. Alternative communication
These tools help those with speaking difficulties. These may consist of picture boards, voice output equipment, computers, and software.
5 Ways Assistive Technology Can Help Your Special Needs Child
These innovative technologies can help mobility, learning, listening, and vision. While these tools cannot eliminate physical or cognitive challenges, they can minimise these difficulties.
1. Electronic Worksheets
First of all, there is no need to print worksheets. Children with special needs can complete them electronically. Text-to-speech and Voice Input technology eases their tasks. The non-disabled find these useful as well.
2. Phonetic Spelling Software
Also, reading and writing is a challenge for the disabled. The good news is that phonetic spelling software converts a student’s typing into the words they wish to write. Audiobooks are smart alternatives for the visually challenged.
3. Talking Calculators
Furthermore, children with dyscalculia (they have difficulties processing numbers), will gain from talking calculators. These function in the same way as text-to-speech devices, and convert spoken numeric.
4. Variable Speed Recorders
Everyone learns differently. While some are spatial, others are linguistic. Some process images, while others react to what they hear.
Variable Speed Recorders help students understand lectures. They record what a lecturer says in class. Students can modify the recording to suit their needs.
5. Videotaped Social Skills
Finally, autistic children find it difficult to manage social interactions. Videotaped Social Skills allow them to learn appropriate behaviour and develop interpersonal skills. It is another type of assistive technology that addresses emotional and personal problems.
The Future of Assistive Technology
The use of assistive technology to manage dementia is increasing. According to this research, it has the potential to influence progress with dementia patients positively. Tools like voice-activated payments and smart cash machines will ease routine tasks.
In the future, companies such as Dragon will use voice recognition software to create reports, emails, forms and more.
In all, assistive technology will enhance the lives of those with disabilities in meaningful ways.