Sample Essay on Assistive Technology
Assistive technology can best be described as an umbrella term that includes adaptive, rehabilitative and assistive devices designed for persons with disabilities. This also includes the process that is used in locating, using and selecting them. Lets now discuss this type of technology in this Sample Essay on Assistive Technology.
Assistive technology is designed to promote independence by making it possible for such people to carry out tasks that they normally would be unable to accomplish or had difficulty accomplishing by provision of enhancements to change methods of interacting with and the technology used to ensure such tasks are accomplished.
Different disabilities require different type of assistive technology and can include:
- High technology like special purpose computers.
- Low technology like boards for communication that are made from cardboard or that can be fuzzy felt.
- Specialized curricular software.
- Specialize or inclusive materials for learning as well as curriculum aids.
- Computer hardware such as special keyboards, pointing devices and attachment devices (mounting systems)
- Computer software like communication software or screen readers.
- Hardware like attachment devices, positioning devices and prosthetics.
- So much more like electronic devices, braces, walkers, power lifts, head trackers, educational software, pencil holders and eye gaze.
Assistive technology services and products also go a long way to help people having a difficult time remembering, seeing, learning, speaking, typing, walking, hearing and pointing etc.
The importance of assistive technology for students was recognized by the federal government when it revised IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) in 1997 and it did the same again in 2004. IDEA states school districts must ensure they consider assistive technology for any child that is pursuing special education.
This means for every child that is receiving special education, the educational team is supposed to ask whether there is a device that can help them improve, increase or maintain their functional capabilities. Once it is determined that a child needs assistive technology, then the school district is supposed to:
- Find a qualified evaluator who should complete the evaluation for assistive technology
- If the evaluator recommends a certain device then it should be acquired
- If training is needed, then it must be provided.
Assistive technology includes different kinds of devices such as wheelchairs and mobility impairment, walkers, personal response systems, accessibility software, alternative and augmentative communication and computer accessibility etc.
In a nutshell, assistive technology is any system or object that maintains or increases the capabilities of people with disabilities. It is always advisable to choose the right assistive technology by consulting with assistive technology expect to get the best technology.
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