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Assistive
Technology

Assistive technology is any kind of device that is designed to help a person with disabilities increase, maintain or improve their functional capabilities. With 6.5 million children in the US having some type of disability, having assistive technology in the classroom is becoming more crucial than ever. Being able to utilize technology in both lessons and activities is important to ensure all students are engaged and learning. From apps to pens, there are many different types of technology that teachers can use in their classrooms to assist students with special needs.

Websites & Software

IXL Math

Ages 5–12 / Free / Subject: Math

For students who need computer-assisted practice, this online math directory is the perfect place. The site contains various math questions related to topics ranging from basic addition to calculus. Students are able to practice math skills in an easy-to-see format.

Storyline Online

Ages 5–8 / Free / Subject: Reading/English

This library of video and audio recordings contain a directory of children’s books recorded on video that can be both watched and heard. Most of the stories are children’s books and have a narrator that reads the book while pictures of the pages appear — perfect for students who need to listen to the story and follow along with it.

WordQ

All Ages / Free / Subject: All

Predictive text devices are useful for students of all ages since they reduce the need for writing while improving readability and spelling. These devices even have the speech to text ability, allowing students to convert lessons into notes that can be read to them later.

Kurzweil 3000

Ages 13+ / $$ / Subject: All

One of the top text–to–speech sites, this allows students to have any text (either online or in print) read to them. For students with trouble reading or understanding unfamiliar words, this site can help them hear the information and allow students to follow along. Text-to-speech tools can help students with reading difficulties better comprehend the text but also learn unfamiliar words and phrases.

Geogebra

Ages 13+ / Free / Subject: Math

This is the ultimate graphing calculator. The website allows students to draw on virtual graph paper or enter in an equation and see the correct answer. With the added visual element, this is perfect for students who need additional assistance or visual aids.

tools

Word Web

All Ages / Free / Subject: Reading/English

Designed to help any student who has trouble spelling or reading, electronic dictionaries provide definitions, correct spelling, and even synonyms with the click of a button. These dictionaries can even read the correct pronunciation and definition of the word for students with visual impairments.

Cellphone's Clock App

All Ages / Free / Subject: All

Did you know that most teachers (and parents) already have one of the best time management apps for any student? A cellphone’s clock app is the perfect timer to use while students are working, to ensure focus and can alert students when it is time to move on.

Talking Calculator

All Ages / $$ / Subject: Math

Using a calculator can be difficult for students with any type of visual impairment, but talking calculators can help. Whether an app or a device, talking calculators allow students to interact with the calculator. They can hover over a button and a voice tells them which button they are pressing.

Smartpens

All Ages / $$ / Subject: All

Smartpens are used with special paper so students can write notes that correspond with audio recordings. This allows students to play back the corresponding audio recording when they touch the pen to their handwriting.

Alternative Keyboards

All Ages / $$ / Subject: All

These keyboards contain special keys designed to help students that have trouble typing or with their vision. The keys can be in a different layout, have different symbols, or even be highlighted in different colors in order to assist students.

Apps

Math Pad

Ages 13+ / Free / Subject: Math

With Mathpad, students can write out math problems onto a screen and the app turns the writing into a more readable version. The app works well with alternative keyboards that include special math symbols.

To Do Math

Ages 5–8 / Free / Subject: Math

Designed with students of all abilities in mind, ToDo Math app is a math practice and learning center. Students can play different games or “missions” related to math skills they are learning. These missions can help reinforce the topics that are covered in class.

Dragon Dictation

All Ages / Free / Subject: All

For students who have difficulty writing, Dragon Dictation allows students to capture and document anything said and convert it into text. This lets a student focus on listening and allows the app to convert the voice into notes that can be referenced later.

Educreations

All Ages / Free / Subject: Math

This app provides students (and teachers) with an interactive whiteboard interface used to solve math problems. Beyond that, the actions on the screen and the audio can be recorded and shared as a video file.

Read2Go

All Ages / $$ / Subject: Reading/English

For students who need computer-assisted practice, this online math directory is the perfect place. The site contains various math questions related to topics ranging from basic addition to calculus. Students are able to practice math skills in an easy-to-see format.