Assistive technology has transformed education for children with disabilities. More and more disabled students are getting empowered due to technology.
Who is a Specially-Abled Kid with a Learning Disability?
Any child whose body or mental functioning is weak or impaired but has skills and strengths to match with ordinary people, can be classified as a specially-abled child.
A differently-abled child usually has a learning disability, which means due to the weak body part, the child faces challenges in listening, speaking, thinking, writing, analyzing, calculating, and many such activities.
Many famous personalities in the world like Helen Keller, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, etc. suffered from illnesses that prohibited their learning capability and yet their struggle is reminisced by the world.
In earlier days, education with impairment was not a bed of roses. However, with advancing technology, many students are offered their deserving role in the world because education is for all, only the medium differs.
A simple example of reading disability by a visually impaired child is replaced by audiobooks that encourage partially and completely blind candidates to read without hesitation.
How Does a Student with Disabilities Realize their Potential?
Disabled children face a variety of problems like Downs Syndrome, Mobility and Physical Impairments, Vision Disability, Cognitive disabilities, Cerebral Palsy, etc.
It is usually challenging to comprehend if a particular solution will be suitable for a specific problem. Custom made solutions are expensive; nevertheless, they make life easier for disabled students.
Some free educational technology tools are available for all students irrespective of their incapability.
People with disability can easily read, write, memorize, organize, and also participate athletically due to the following learning and in-class activities:
- Braille and braille embossers
- Desktop video magnifier
- Navigation Assistance
- Wearable Technology
- Touch screens
- Text-to-speech conversion
- Special keyboards
- voice recognition system
- Joysticks and stylus
- Sip and puff technology
- Virtual assistant
- Screen readers
These are just a few of the assistive technology special education classroom setup examples and that is widely used in many educational institutes helping more children access education.
Benefits of Technology in Special Education
Technology offers equal opportunities to all individuals -able and disabled. One who can access scientific inventions and machines can outwit any disability.
If a child is permitted education in spite of the disabilities, the child is offered a fair chance in the world.
So, here are some benefits that a specially challenged child realizes using Educational Technology Tools;
- Most importantly, the child receives a chance in the world to be on par with other students.
If a disabled child is talented, technology paves the way to venture into an unknown opportunity.
- More and more handicapped kids feel independent with the use of assistive technology aiding their daily lives.
Especially kids with mobility impairments are free to move around, accessing schools and colleges to pursue education.
- Interaction and communication were one of the most significant barriers with children with a learning disability, vision impairment, deafness, etc.
Now, communication has improved with screen readers, touch screens, text-to-speech technology, hearing aids, and many such similar inventions.
- Homeschooling and individual schools were the only options for differently-abled kids.
But assistive technology special education classrooms in general schools give these kids a sense of equality.
- Disabled kids have faced unfair abuses and unjust behavior from the rest of the world. The loss of ability and stereotypic norms of society is responsible for throwing many disabled children in depression.
After the introduction of technological aids, these kids are more empowered, and the anxious state of mind is gone down the drain.
- All kids are intelligent and made for a specific task or skill, and disability cannot be a criterion to decide this.
Educational independence is the pathway to reduce the gap and provide the right academic skills to students.
- Assistive technologies make it possible for special kids to socialize with more people, teachers, other specially-abled children, and other influential people to can mentor children.
- Kids with disabilities are normally raised with a mindset of a burden to the family. Considering the restrictions, they have, many family members regard them as a problem in the family.
Due to technology, more children can make choices of careers that allow them to bring income at home.
Do Parents Need to Keep A Check on Gadgets with Disabled Students?
Technology has allowed an equal platform for children to obtain educational amenities. All kids are the same in the eyes of education and permitted the same level of knowledge.
When all kids receive the same platform for education via technological boost, it is right to assume that kids with or without disability, gain exposure to a large number of unfiltered contents which may pose as a threat for them.
Irrespective of the fact a child is able or disabled, technology can have similar impacts on all kids. For instance, the adult cartoon will have similar, if not identical effect on a child with hearing aid.
A child having impaired vision can listen to a podcast about terrorism or violent incidents in the world.
Let’s agree that technology is a blessing for special children, but parents need to take precautions to keep them away from the negative and hostile content.
Not to mention, pedophiles and cybercriminals do not spare kids with disabilities. They need soft targets, and any kid is a treat.
One essential step which parents can take is the incorporation of parental controls and tracking systems in portables devices like phone and tablets.
This change will ensure that parents are monitoring a child’s online activities and are up-to-date with all their new interests in apps.
Secondly, if parents can track a child’s phone using GPS, especially that of a disabled kid, it will work as an extra layer of security of your child.
Even if your kid is traveling in a group, the app ensures that you are on your child’s location all the time.
Are We Ready for Children with Special Needs?
No denying, kids with special needs are underestimated and not offered their rightful position in the world.
As parents and school authorities, we need to end this feeling by using the right aids to bring equal opportunities to children.
Let’s stop the discrimination against special children and offer the deserving a chance to explore the education landscape using instruments of technology for the classroom.