As with most of the tech available today, one of the largest limitations to the use of assistive technology in the classroom is the teacherís lack of understanding and training in the use of the devices (Schaaf, 2018). Many teachers are unaware of what tools are out there, let alone know how to access the devices and make them available to their students.
Since their initial release in 2010, iPads have quickly gained popularity as one of the most versatile forms of assistive technology (Ok & Ok, 2018). iPads are equipped with built-in accessibility options for visual and hearing impairments, physical and motor disabilities, and even attention deficit disorder (Ok & Ok, 2018). As of 2016, there are more than 1,000,000 apps available for the iPad (Ok & Ok, 2018). Many of these are free or low-cost solutions, providing resources from skills practice, formative assessment, communication software to scheduling and data collection.
I have had the opportunity to implement iPads into my classroom for several years now. We mostly use them for skills practice, formative assessment, and data collection, but when the need arises, we have access to a wide range of accessibility opportunities. Students who struggle with hand-written tasks, can benefit from the opportunity to type out their work, or even use a speech-to-text tool to demonstrate their learning and skills. Technology has opened up the world for students with disabilities by offering numerous tools and resources to provide them equal access to the curriculum.
Ok, M. W., & Ok, M. W. (2018). Use of iPads as assistive technology for students with disabilities. Techtrends, 62(1), 95-102. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-017-0199-8
Schaaf, D. N. (2018). Assistive technology instruction in teacher professional development. Journal of Special Education Technology, 33(3), 171-181. https://doi.org/10.1177/0162643417753561
Created by: Casey Jo Burrus © 2021
updated: March 4, 2021
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