IEP Assistive Technology Tools to Empower Students with Disabilities
Assistive technology is a broad term that encompasses all kinds of technology and everyday devices. AT might be needed to help a student with writing, reading, academic tasks, executive functioning, adaptive skills, modified classwork, visual schedules, and more. AT can be used for making visual accommodations, highlighting text, teaching/accessing vocabulary words and spelling, summarizing text, reading text aloud, translating speech to text, and so much more.
And despite the word “technology,” not all AT is high-tech. High-tech AT includes devices or equipment with digital or electronic components such as augmentative communication devices, power wheelchairs, or a software application that generates text to speech and word prediction. Low-tech AT includes tools such as timers, graphic organizers, and pencil grips.
There are literally hundreds of AT apps, and because the number of AT tools has grown tremendously in recent years, your school district might not be fully up to date on all the available technology. Your child will need an AT assessment so that an AT specialist can work out which will best support them.
Note: we have included the price of each app below, but be aware that your district should purchase whatever tool they decide is best for your child.
AT for learning or cognitive disabilities, speech communication, and visual/auditory comprehension
Reading comprehension browser extensions
Browser extensions to support better focus
Tools for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing
Tools for students with sensory needs
A flexible classroom design can create an atmosphere of inclusion for all students. Flexible furniture and tools such as standing desks, wobble stools, exercise balls, yoga ball chairs, seat cushions, and sensory vests&utm_term=4575961257327130&utm_content=All%20(D)#301=28) can help with sensory processing and attention issues.
Assistive technology for math
Photomath allows students to scan the math problem with their phone, and it offers a step by step explanation about how to complete the assignment. (FREE; $9.99/month for Photomath Plus)
ModMath is an iPad app that helps kids with dyslexia and dysgraphia do math. (FREE; $4.99 for pro version)
Equatio moves math into digital instruction and helps students hear their math read aloud to them. It helps students to visualize and explore a written equation. (Free trial/$150 per year for a single license; teachers have free access.)