Assistive Technology

The biggest thing that I took away from all three of the videos on assistive technology was that all of the tools were designed with inclusion in mind. One of the biggest principles in special education is when inclusion is possible it should be utilized, and assistive technology allows for more inclusion. The three devices that stood out to me were Dragon Naturally Speaking, Cowriter 4000, and Alphasmart. Starting with Dragon Naturally Speaking: It is a device that allows for a student to dictate and have their words transferred to text on a computer. This technology is useful for students who have a hard time writing, have unclear handwriting, or have a physical disability that prevents them from efficiently typing or writing. Cowriter 4000 is a text prediction tool. When a student who has a difficult time articulating there thoughts uses this tool it prompts some words for students and allows for students to have more words at their disposal and also to prompt students. This tool benefits students who have a difficult time coming up with he words they need, it provides an extra little boost to increase the student’s writing ability. One drawback or complaint that student’s have is that the suggestions are sometimes slow, making the writing and thinking process slower than the student’s writing ability. Alpha smart is an assitive technology tool that is not just limited to students with disabilities. Alphasmart is a keyboard and small text display that allows for portable word processing. The device also includes Cowriter 4000 for increased use. The device is useful for students who need the Cowriter tool for increased writing ability. In the video students said they prefer the Alphasmart because it allows for them to remain in the classroom to write, instead of begin taken to another room for help.

To me, Dragon Naturally¬†Speaking is one of the most interesting tools. After doing some research into more of the capabilities of Dragon Naturally Speaking I discovered that it’s capabilities go beyond simply translating spoken word to text. By simply scanning a document one is able to create an audio stream of a text, allowing for mass input and transcription. Dragon also allows for users to issue commands recognized by the program for simpler use and more hands free use, making Dragon more accessible by all.

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