Essay On Assistive Technology
(Rapp, 2012, p.153) The purpose of this technology is to aid students in overcoming a specific disability or barrier in completing a particular function or task. It is also important to note that the success of the assistive technology is not in the selection of the technology, but rather in correctly matching the technology with the user. For example, an FM amplifier would not be helpful to a student who has a visual impairment.
There are also cost factors to consider as assistive technology does not have to be high tech and at times, low tech alternatives are more cost effective and more suited to achieve the desired outcomes. Low tech alternatives also do not require any special training. Nuri & Nese (2013, p.11) state “adaptive learning environments can be summarized as facilitating the learning process of each individual with appropriate learning conditions.” Assistive technology becomes part of the design and classroom set up to best achieve the universal design learning.
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It might be necessary to refer a student to see if they qualify for services under special education. A total of ten steps are included in the entire special education process for each student. The entire process of evaluation for services begins with a referral for students who are suspected of having a disability by either using a universal screener or referral from school or parents. In either case, the referral process can only continue if there is written consent by a parent or guardian. When expressed written consent is given the process continues with an “evaluation must consider functional developmental, and academic information, and evaluate the child’s health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communication, and motor abilities.” (Rapp & Arndt, 2012, p.172) The next step is to decide if there is in fact a disability that can be classified one of the following: autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impaired, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual imparemnt/blindness. Once a child is found eligible to receive services, the referral process is over and the attention shifts to writing the individualized education program