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Guest Edition: Check the box YES for Assistive Technology!

Assistive technology (AT) is an important consideration for any child with a disability.

In addition to the consideration needed at Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings,

assistive technology supports are a valuable resource when we are considering the

provision of equitable access to grade level content.

For classroom teachers and others that support children with disabilities, it is vital to

understanding what is available as an assistive technology tool. The bigger our tool box

of resources, the greater impact we can have on equity of instruction.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is a consideration for expressive language as well as for

academic support. For the purpose of this article, we are focused on AT classroom

tools; however, here is general information on AT for communication.

AT as a classroom tool is available to children with disabilities to build

independence and to assist them in doing something they couldn't otherwise do.

There are 3 primary types of AT that may be considered as a classroom tool.

● No tech: supports that only require the user's body with no need for

batteries or electronics. These are usually readily available in the


● Low tech: might be a simple electronic or a non-electronic object. These

are usually readily available in the classroom.

● High tech: are usually computers, tablets, or some other type of electronic

device or accessory. These might not be readily available in the


When choosing the right AT support for a child, teachers must know the child's

strengths and needs, consider the goals and objectives on the IEP, and get input from

other service providers who work with the child. When the right supports are combined

with good teaching, equity is possible!

AT is generally available for Reading, Writing and Typing, Spelling, Mathematics, and

Learning and Focus. The list of available options for AT can be extensive; here is an

example of no-tech, low-tech, and high-tech in each category.


● no-tech: chapter outlines

● low-tech: color transparency strips as reading rulers

● high-tech: recorded books for children with print disabilities (Learning Ally,


Handwriting and Typing

● no-tech: reduce far point or near copy work

● low-tech: pencil grips or adaptive pencil holders

● high-tech: adjustments to screen background, tint, or contrast, Microsoft

learning tools


● no-tech: explicit instruction in spelling patterns

● low-tech: personal word walls or spelling dictionaries

● high-tech: spell check tools on computer


● no-tech: minimize number of equations on a page

● low-tech: graph paper to help with number alignment

● high-tech: talking calculator

Learning and Focus

● no-tech: reminders to finish assignments by due date

● low-tech: color-coded subject folders, sticky notes, highlighting tape

● high-tech: work and assignments sent home via a drive, electronic

organizers or checklists

Regardless of the type of AT classroom tools needed for a child, the most important

idea to remember is the opportunity for equitable access to learning.

Need support with Assistive Technology? Have questions? CLICK HERE to schedule a

free consultation with DJ of Inclusiveology.

About DJ:

DJ Nicholson is an educational mentor and trainer with a life-long passion for education and ensuring that children with disabilities are engaged and supported in their educational environment. DJ’s super powers include creating unique learning options for children, problem-solving for success, and building empowered learners.

About Inclusiveology:

Inclusiveology provides coaching and mentoring for parents of children with disabilities to advocate for their child’s best learning through tools and strategies for engagement, accessibility, and flexibility.

When parents are empowered and knowledgeable

about their child's full potential, inclusive and

meaningful learning can happen!



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