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Assistive Technology

Last Updated: 6/10/2021 3:53 PM

Cherokee County School District offers a wide range of assistive technology services for our students with disabilities to help them increase participation and achievement in their educational programs and to have access to a Free and Appropriate Education.

What is an Assistive Technology Device?

  • Assistive Technology Device . . . any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities
  • In short, an assistive technology device is an item or piece of equipment, which when used, increases functional capabilities. It can be any tool or device that a student with a disability uses to do a task that he or she could not do otherwise or any tool the student uses to do a task more easily, faster, or in a better way. It can be a simple low tech tool such as a pencil grip or a high tech tool such as a computer.

What are Assistive Technology Services?

  • Assistive Technology Services . . . any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or the use of an assistive technology device. Such terms include:
    • Evaluating – This includes the evaluation of a student’s needs, including a functional evaluation in the child’s customary environment.
    • Providing Devices – This includes providing for the acquisition of an assistive technology device.
    • Selecting and Repairing – This includes the selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, and/or replacing of assistive technology devices.
    • Coordinating – This includes coordinating with other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology services, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans or programs.
    • Training/Technical Assistance-Child – This includes training and technical assistance for an individual with disabilities, or when appropriate, the child’s family.
    • Training/Technical Assistance-Professionals – This includes the training or technical assistance of professionals, employers, or others who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of children with disabilities.

What kinds of assistive technology are there?

There are many ways to categorize assistive technology devices. One useful way is to group them according to the task in which they are helpful.

  • Writing:

    Understood.org: Understood is a non-profit dedicated to serving the millions of families of kids who learn and think differently.

    Link to Understood.org Writing Tools

    Windows 10 Text Suggestions: As you type, suggestions appear above your cursor to help you complete challenging words and continue working. Words are predicted based upon your spelling; as you type more letters, new and more accurate suggestions will appear.  

    Link to Windows 10 Text Suggestions video

    Microsoft Dictate: Dictation lets you use speech-to-text to author content in Office with a microphone and reliable internet connection. Use your voice to quickly create documents, emails, notes, presentations, or even slide notes.  

    Link to Microsoft Dictate video

    Microsoft Editor: Write with confidence across documents, email, and the web. With features that help strengthen your spelling, grammar, and style, let Microsoft Editor be your intelligent writing assistant.

    Link to Microsoft Editor video

    Read&Write: Word Prediction in Microsoft Word: Enrich your writing with word suggestions.

    Link to Read&Write Word Predication in Microsoft Word video

    Read&Write: Word Prediction in Canvas: Enrich your writing with word suggestions.

    Link to Read&Write Word Prediction in Canvas video

    Read&Write: Speech to Text in Canvas: Turns the spoken word into text.

    Link to Read&Write: Speech to text in Canvas video

    Read&Write on the iPad: Read&Write for iPad is an alternative keyboard for your iPad. It offers several friendly tools to help if you’re writing emails, creating documents or entering and editing any kind of text.  Use Read&Write for iPad for everyday typing, just like you’d use your iPad’s normal keyboard. Reading and writing text is made quicker, easier and more accurate.

    Link to TextHelp website for how to use Read&Write on an iPad

  • Reading:

    Understood.org: Understood is a non-profit dedicated to serving the millions of families of kids who learn and think differently.

    Link to Understood.org Reading Tools

    Microsoft Learning Tools—Immersive Reader: Microsoft Immersive Reader is a free tool, built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Office Lens, Microsoft Teams, Forms and the Edge browser, that implement techniques to improve reading and writing skills.

    Link to Microsoft Learning Tools Immersive Reader video

    Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge Browser to Read Aloud in Canvas: Immersive Reader is designed to meet the needs of readers with dyslexia and dysgraphia or anyone who wants to make reading on their device easier.  

    Link to Microsoft Edge Browser Read Aloud and Immersive Reader in Canvas video

    Read&Write Text to Speech in Canvas: Hear documents and web pages read out loud, with read-along highlighting.

    Link to Read&Write Text to Speech in Canvas video

    Read&Write on the iPad: Read&Write for iPad is an alternative keyboard for your iPad. It offers several friendly tools to help if you’re writing emails, creating documents or entering and editing any kind of text.  Use Read&Write for iPad for everyday typing, just like you’d use your iPad’s normal keyboard. Reading and writing text is made quicker, easier and more accurate.

    Link to TextHelp website for how to use Read&Write on an iPad

    Microsoft Lens: Microsoft Lens (formerly “Office Lens”) is a great way to capture information from documents, whiteboards, business cards, receipts, menus, signs, handwritten memos, or anything else containing text that you want to import but not manually type out yourself. It also has Immersive Reader built in.

    Link to Microsoft Lens video

    Flipgrid: Flipgrid is a simple, free, and accessible video discussion experience for learners and families.  

    Link to Flipgrid and Accessibility information and video

    Georgia Instructional Materials Center (GIMC): The GIMC provides accessible educational materials (AEMs) to all of Georgia's eligible K-12 students and acts as the clearing house for districts to access quota funded materials from the American Printing House (APH). The GIMC directly provides Georgia's students AEMs by producing or purchasing braille, large print, and accessible electronic text when possible.    

    Link to GIMC website

    Bookshare: Bookshare makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading.

    Link to Bookshare website

    National Center on Accessible Educational Materials: The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning at CAST provides technical assistance, coaching, and resources to increase the availability and use of accessible educational materials and technologies for learners with disabilities across the lifespan.

    Link to National Center on Accessible Educational Material website

  • Math:

    Understood.org: Understood is a non-profit dedicated to serving the millions of families of kids who learn and think differently.

    Link to Understood.org Math Tools

    National Center on Accessible Educational Materials—Teaching with Accessible Math: Math notation can be difficult to make accessible. Just reading the content aloud, without considering the order in which the parts of an expression need to be grouped, can cause confusion. Fortunately, text-to-speech technologies are becoming smarter and more capable of interpreting math notation accurately to support access and understanding. Many of the tools mentioned on this page also provide multiple options for creating math notation: you can type it, speak it, or even draw it. With these options, all learners can be successful at learning math.  

    Link to NCAEM's Teaching with Accessible Math website

    OneNote Math Tools

    Link to OneNote Math Tools video

    EquatIO for Windows: EquatIO allows you to create equations, formulas, and more, digitally. Helping to make math and STEM classes more accessible and engaging for every student it allows you to create equations, formulas, and more, digitally. Helping to make math and STEM classes more accessible and engaging for every student.

    Link to EquatIO for Windows video

    Link to EquatIO Quick Reference Guide

    EquatIO Mathspace:  EquatIO® mathspace is a collaborative workspace that lets teachers and students make math together, bringing mathematics to life for the whole class.

    EquatIO Mathspace video

    EquatIO Chrome Extension for use in Word Online

    Link to EquatIO Chrome Extension for Use in Word Online video

    EquatIO Mobile: EquatIO Mobile is a mobile companion for EquatIO for Google, Windows, Mac and EquatIO mathspace that enables you to use your phone or tablet to insert handwritten math, spoken math or images directly into your digital documents. You can draw, dictate or snap a photo, and your math is instantly viewable from your computer or Chromebook.

    Link to EquatIO Mobile video

  • Learning & Studying:

    Microsoft OneNote: Get organized in notebooks you can divide into sections and pages. With easy navigation and search, you’ll always find your notes right where you left them.

    Link to Microsoft OneNote video

    Microsoft Lens: Microsoft Lens (formerly “Office Lens”) is a great way to capture information from documents, whiteboards, business cards, receipts, menus, signs, handwritten memos, or anything else containing text that you want to import but not manually type out yourself. It also has Immersive Reader built in.

    Link to Microsoft Lens video

    Understood.org: Understood is a non-profit dedicated to serving the millions of families of kids who learn and think differently.

    Link to Understood.org Note Taking Supports

    Link to Understood.org Graphic Organization Tools

  • Computer Access:

    Link to Windows 10 Accessibility Features

    Link to Chromebook Accessibility Features

    Link to Apple Accessibility

  • Recreation & Leisure
  • Vocational Tasks
  • Communication

    Project Core: The primary goals of Project Core are two-fold: 1) Empower teachers and classroom professionals to deliver access to a Universal Core vocabulary and communication instruction during the naturally occurring academic and daily routines of the school day. 2) Improve the academic achievement of students with significant cognitive disabilities as evidenced by gains in their communication and literacy skills, and ultimately in their end-of-year assessments.

    Link to Project Core website

    TouchChat Communication Application for the iPad

    Link to TouchChat video

    Snap Core First Communication Application for the iPad

    Link to Snap Core First video

    PRC-Saltillo: For over 50 years, PRC has been a leader in giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. Since our founding in 1966, PRC has paved the way in the development of speech-generating devices (SGDs) and continues to innovate in the field of augmentative and alternative communication. They are also a pioneer in the field of language and vocabulary development, giving children and adults with communication challenges the ability to participate in life.

    Link to PRC-Saltillo website

    TobiiDynavox.com: Free Low Tech Core Word Boards

    Link to Tobii Dynavox website

    PrAACtical AAC: Supports a community of professionals and families who are determined to improve the communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties. It was founded in 2011 by two SLP professors, Carole Zangari and the late Robin Parker, around a shared passion for AAC.

    Link to PrAACtical AAC website

    One Kids Place Aided Language Input

    Link to One Kids Place Aided Language Input video

    AbleNet: A company that offers many different communication solutions for children and adults.

    Link to AbleNet website

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