Assistive technology tools you need to know

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What are the most effective assistive technology tools around? Read through this list and see what fits you best.

Table of Contents

Individuals with special needs can use certain tools to help overcome their challenges. This article will cover the most common examples.

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology includes services and systems that improve or maintain an individual’s function and independence.

Used correctly, assistive technology allows people with disabilities to rely less on support and health services or long-term care. It can prevent them from feeling isolated and reduce the risk of financial difficulties by enhancing their skills.

The tools you need to know

You can use numerous assistive technology tools and apps to alleviate learning disabilities.

Text to speech

Text to speech (TTS) is an assistive technology that reads text aloud. It’s also referred to as read-aloud technology.

After uploading a file, TTS platforms can turn the words on your smartphone or computer into speech. They’re especially helpful for the visually impaired or those who have difficulty reading, focusing, editing, and writing.

High-tech TTS is compatible with practically any digital device, including tablets and Windows PCs. They can also read almost any type of text, such as Google Docs, Microsoft Word documents, and PDFs. Some apps can even process web pages.

Another impressive feature of TTS is that it can highlight words as it reads. This lets you hear and see the text simultaneously to increase productivity.

Several TTS software programs read aloud from pictures. You can take images of street signs with your mobile device and turn the words on the signs into high-quality audio.

Over time, this can ease your reading and listening troubles, which are common in persons with dyslexia and ADHD.

Word prediction apps

Word prediction is another assistive tool. As the name indicates, it suggests words as you type. The technology usually requires a keyboard, like an on-screen keyboard or a physical model connected to your PC.

The suggestions normally appear in the upper section of your keyboard. Once they do so, you need only click or tap on the word, and it’ll be incorporated into your writing.

That’s the basic functionality of word prediction software. Advanced assistive technology devices provide more features:

  • Reading suggested words aloud using TTS – This is crucial for people with reading problems that keep them from reading the suggestions.
  • Tailoring suggestions to topics – Advanced apps can filter suggestions by topic. For example, the words in your science report differ from those in your history paper. You can make them even more accurate by choosing special dictionaries for your subject matter.
  • Example sentences – Robust word prediction tools don’t suggest words in isolation. Special education teachers can use them to display words in sample sentences. This helps learners decide between confusing words, such as to, two, and too.

Graphic organizers

People with impaired sensory and word processing skills, dyslexia, or autism, are often overwhelmed when writing essays or answering questions about a book they’ve read. Graphic organizers can help reduce anxiety in such cases.

These visual representations can make any learning material easier to understand. They help construct ideas, organize information, plan writing, and elevate reading comprehension.

Speech recognition software

Speech recognition software is a system that identifies words spoken aloud and converts them into text. There are several reasons this technology can be of massive benefit to persons with disabilities.

Primarily, it translates spoken words with closed captions. This feature allows individuals with hearing problems to understand others more easily.

Additionally, it enables those with impaired motor function to use computers and voice recognition rather than type.

Pencil grips

Pencil grips are low-tech attachments that fit pencils. They provide children and adults with a firm, functional grasp of their pencils.

These tools can improve fine motor skills and help people polish their handwriting. They’re made of numerous materials, such as foam, molded rubber, and silicone, letting you to choose the texture that feels best.

Magnifier apps

Magnifier apps are a match made in heaven for people with impaired vision. These platforms use the camera on your iPhone or Android smartphone to enlarge text and make it easier to read. They have lights, too, that allow you to see words in dark settings.

Some apps even have filters that let you enhance text legibility by highlighting letters on patterned or colored pages. You may also use color filters to help distinguish between different nuances faster.

OCR technology

This technology lets you scan printed material into a handheld device or computer. The recorders then read your text aloud using a screen reading or synthesis system.

OCR-based apps come with many features that help individuals with low vision or other issues:

  • Built-in TTS capabilities
  • Word processor capabilities (hanging font size, color, and type)
  • Adjusting the highlight and background color on the computer screen
  • Providing extra space between lines, words, and characters
  • Sending files to a note-taking device
  • Compatibility to Mac PCs and refreshable braille screens

Try Speechify – the web’s leading TTS screen reader

If you need an app that combines the features of multiple types of assistive technology, Speechify is the right choice. It’s the finest TTS platform that helps people with autism, attention deficits, dyslexia, and other disorders keep up with their peers.

One of the greatest benefits of Speechify is the ability to read any document, including PDF files, emails, web pages, and articles. You can scan them and convert them to narrated digital text, allowing you to understand the content without eye strain.

Upload your file to this text to speech software and enjoy a wide selection of natural-sounding voices that read aloud. Listen to the content at an appropriate pace while performing dictation assignments, taking notes, or proofreading your work with a spell check system.

Check out the platform today and test its cutting-edge capabilities.

FAQ

How can schools implement more assistive technology?

The easiest way to implement more assistive technology in the classroom is to introduce a wide range of compatible devices. The more gadgets you use, the more easily your learners will access the necessary tools.

What are the benefits of assistive technology tools?

Assistive technology tools help people become more independent and develop marketable skills.

What is an example of a sensory device?

A hearing aid is one of the most common sensory devices.

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