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Tech Tools for Students with Learning Disabilities: Infusion into Inclusive Classrooms By: Jane Quenneville The potential for assistive technology in general education classrooms for students with disabilities is great.
Its benefits include enhancing academic achievement in written expression, reading, mathematics, and spelling; improving organization; and fostering social acceptance. Support technology provides many benefits by facilitating writing for students with learning disabilities LD who often find the writing process frustrating MacArthur, When students have the opportunity to accommodate writing challenges, they are more successful in the general education classroom.
A necessary component of this effort is collaboration between classroom teachers and assistive technology specialists. The use of technology must be a collaborative effort. The following Inclusive learning reviews helpful writing supports and the benefits of technology for students with LD.
I will also address the role of assistive technology in inclusive classrooms and the key factors that facilitate collaboration among professionals during technology implementation.
According to Lewisassistive technology serves two major purposes: Thus, the use of technology allows students to compensate for their disability or circumvent it entirely. For students with learning disabilities LDtechnology can be an assistive tool replacing an ability that is either missing or impaired.
It provides the support needed to accomplish a task. For example, word processing assists students with LD in improving writing. Computers offer other support Inclusive learning motivate reluctant writers to write by facilitating motor actions, providing spelling assistance, helping with revising and editing, and producing a document that is neat and legible.
Previous studies of using word processing versus writing with paper and pencil have generated mixed results. For example, MacArthur and Graham found no differences in the number or type of revisions students made with the word processor compared with using paper and pencil. Vacc's studyhowever, found that students with LD spent more time writing and revising when they used computers than when writing by hand.
Finally, MacArthur, Graham, and Schwartz showed that when computers are combined with effective instruction in revision, word processing could yield benefits for' students with written language disabilities. Computer supports for writing Computers change the writing process by making it easier to develop and record ideas, to edit ideas, and to publish and share with others.
Different computer supports are useful during different phases in the writing process. I will touch on talking word processors, word prediction, portable note-taking devices, prewriting organizers, and multimedia prewriting prompts.
Talking word processors Samples of talking word processors for student use: Intellitalk II Intellitools, Inc. Letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, or entire documents can be read aloud while the student types. Features can be customized to individual student needs by selecting what text is read from pull-down menus.
With most talking word processors students can select other features such as background color, text color, and font size, and can add graphics.
Examples of software that includes talking word processing features appear in Table 1. Most talking word processors also include a talking spell checking system, which allows students to spell check entire documents or highlight specific words for spell checking.
Some spell checkers provide alerting sounds or visual signals for misspelled words and homonym checks to ensure use of correct word form, as well as allowing students to hear an unfamiliar word context and providing definitions.
These features offer students powerful visual and auditory strategies. Synthesized speech, the most common form of talking word processors, pronounces words from the text based on phonetic spellings. Therefore, some pronunciations may not be typical of standard speech.
Pronunciation editing, or the capability to adjust pronunciation of words produced by speech synthesizers, is available with some talking word processors. Word prediction Another useful tool is word prediction, which augments spelling and syntax to enable users to make choices, find words, and complete sentences.
Word prediction programs display words based on frequency of use, grammatically correct usage of words, and most recently used words. It works with any Windows based application and with standard word processors. When word prediction is active, the user types a letter, and as each letter is typed, the software predicts words accordingly.
The user determines the number of words predicted. If the intended word is predicted, the user chooses the number of that word, which automatically inserts it into the sentence.
If the intended word is not predicted, the user continues typing letters until the next prediction occurs. In some situations users are required to spell entire words.
The dictionary will learn the word and predict it the next time it is used.Disability Derbyshire Coalition for Inclusive Living (DDCIL) works to apply disabled people's ideas and experiences to developing services and public policies.
Shaniqua McShan is a preservice teacher that has graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in English and. Inclusive education means different and diverse students learning side by side in the same classroom. They enjoy field trips and after-school activities together. They participate in student government together.
An inclusive learning environment is only one element of our unique approach to special education. ILA’s holistic learning methodology takes in to account the student’s overall academic, social, and emotional wellbeing.
Since AAC&U has developed initiatives that bring together faculty and institutions of higher learning to provide national leadership that advances diversity and equity in higher education, and the best educational practices for an increasingly diverse population.
The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan (WBLP) is a diagnostic, goal-setting and assessment tool designed to drive learning and productivity on the job.
The WBLP was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education through an interagency collaboration of employers, educators and workforce development professionals.