Thursday, August 28, 2008

Assistive Technology for Literacy Produces Impressive Results for the Disabled

Multimedia tools can serve as a "scaffold" to help children learn to generate grammatical speech
by Terry Woronov

Angie is blind. But by using a special Braille-encoding laptop computer to take notes, she is able to participate fully in regular tenth-grade classes. At the end of the day she prints out her work in Braille or standard print in her school's computer lab. "It's my lifeline," she says of her computer. For students like Angie, technology can change lives

The field of "assistive technology" -- tools to help students with disabilities -- is booming. More and more products designed to support the integration of these students in regular classrooms are available. Computer tools synthesize speech, merge printed text with audio, and help students with limited motor skills generate text. Keyboards operate by head, foot, mouth, or even the blink of an eye.
Inclusion and Special Education (page 9)
Harvard Education Letter
Focus Series 1
1996 President and Fellows of Harvard College
Cambridge, MA

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