Saturday, September 3, 2011

Assistive Technology for Special Needs Students

    Alphasmart offers a family of portable word processing devices that can be useful for upper elementary, middle, and high school students, such as the Neo, Neo 2, and Dana. The machines are fairly inexpensive, lightweight, and easy to carry.  If a child has difficulty with basic fine motor skills, such as writing or note taking, an Alphsmart device can make a daunting task less stressful. Rather than focusing on the motor planning aspect of the writing process, a student can focus on content and composition when using an Alphasmart device. For students with learning disabilities, the devices also have spell-check and word prediction technology available. These tools assist students in constructing complete and grammatically correct sentences. There is also a typing tutorial available. 
     There is also another word processing device called a Fusion. These devices are more fragile, but offer text-to-speech and speech augmentation capabilities. There are many different types of technology available for special needs student, and these are just a couple of suggestions that parents, therapists, and teachers might want to consider. If parents feel that their child might need one of these devices in order to meet his or her IEP goals and objectives, they should discuss this with the IEP team.


  1. I've used the AlphaSmart many times with students of various ages---they always love it and it IS so easy to use! Printing is super easy too; just run the USB cord to your computer, open WORD, and the device will transfer the info to be printed.


  2. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article.
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