Today’s schoolchildren are working with technology and devices more than ever before. With remote learning demands and a greater focus on tech in education, there is room for a growing number of companies that build platforms and solutions for this sector.
New legislation and push from advocates to make fair and appropriate education and tools available for all children are also changing this landscape.
Beyond just legal requirements, there is a greater awareness among consumers today of the need to offer solutions that meet all users’ needs – even those with learning disabilities.
Tech innovators have answered the call and have introduced new education technologies to assist those with learning differences in enhancing their experiences.
Here is a look at three emerging technologies that are transforming special education.
Technologies that allow humans and computers to communicate using speech have become more sophisticated over the years. Today, it is common for anyone to speak as they usually would to self-service machines and receive information back naturally.
Sometimes called speech-to-text or voice recognition, these applications make it easier for students with limited motor skills or limitations and blindness to access and navigate computer systems hands-free. It can also help with reducing anxiety, spelling, and pronouncing words and reading and writing difficulties so students can complete homework using speech recognition over having to handwrite or transcribe their thoughts.
Using a headset, motion tracking, and life-like computer animations, virtual reality has opened up a whole new world for users. These solutions can also nurture critical social skills for children with disabilities like ASD, where crowded school hallways or lunchrooms can be overwhelming. Applications are already in use that simulate real-life experiences and help children learn reactions and become comfortable with the settings. These technologies are also being used to immerse children into multi-sensory stimulation and even provide a life-like experience with virtual field trips for those children who would otherwise be unable to travel to these destinations physically.
Also commonly referred to as “hearing assistive technology,” these tools can help children with auditory or learning difficulties better hear what is being said in the classroom and by their peers. Several different technologies are being developed that can supplement hearing aids and cochlear ear implants and support those with language and development delays. These include using a microphone and transmission technology to deliver consistent and clear sound to the user’s ear while removing distracting background noise that can disrupt their learning.
As you research the various assistive technologies offered today, it’s essential to understand what is available for your child’s needs and how these solutions can help them to learn without barriers. Technology can go beyond learning and also help give your child confidence to succeed in academics and even in social settings among their peers. If your school is denying these assistive technologies to your child, let All Children Learn help! Our resources can be used to help you locate an advocate in your area!