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Assistive Technology

Learning disabilities do not go away with time. However, assistive technology can help children with learning disabilities leverage their strengths and work around or compensate for specific learning problems. These supports can be key to helping users become more independent in school and throughout life—on the job and in activities for daily living.

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Assistive Technology



Apps to Help Students With Dysgraphia and Writing Difficulties

Apps for Students - Writing/DysgraphiaTechnology can be a great tool for students (and adults!) who have learning disabilities like dysgraphia or dyslexia that affect their written expression. We’ve personally reviewed these mobile apps and we know they’re LD-friendly. They can make the writing process a bit easier and even fun! Not every app will be a “perfect fit” for everyone who has LD, but with a little testing, you can figure out which one works best for your child or teen’s individual needs.


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Apps for Students With LD: Organization and Study

Apps for Students LD - Study OrganizationStudents with learning disabilities often have trouble with study skills like getting and staying organized—a crucial executive function skill—and remembering what needs to happen and when. My daughter (who has dyslexia) and I have researched and/or tested the following apps, and she’s found them especially helpful. We know that every person has slightly different needs, but it’s worth taking the time to find out which apps work for your child.

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Apps to Help Students With Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties

Apps for Students - LD ReadingReading is the area in which students with dyslexia struggle the most. Fortunately, there are many mobile apps that can help. While we’ve reviewed all of the following ones, and they work well for my daughter who has dyslexia, we also know that “one size (or app) does not fit all.” You may need to do additional research before finding the app that provides the best “fit” for your child.

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Assistive Tech Innovations: 14 New Apps & Other Tools

new apps assistive techI’m all for innovation in the classroom. I love how technology has catapulted differentiation to a higher level. Instead of incorporating a few learning styles, technology is allowing teachers to reach all types of learners. It’s exciting!

I participated in a combined #LDchat/#ATchat hosted by The National Center for Learning Disabilities on Twitter recently where education apps were the main focus. As I rapidly scribbled down the recommendations, it was clear that this list had to be shared.

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Apps to Help Students With Dyscalculia and Math Difficulties

Apps for Students - LD MathEver-evolving mobile technologies offer hope to students who have a learning disability like dyscalculia or dyslexia. My daughter (who has dyslexia) and I researched and/or tested all of the apps below, and we think they’re especially helpful to the student with LD in dealing with math – whether it’s for schoolwork or some other kind of everyday challenge (like figuring out how much something really costs).

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Assistive Technology: 10 Tips to Help Your Child Work Around a Learning Disability

Assistive Technology Tips - Students with LDStudents with learning disabilities (LD) may struggle with schoolwork in many different areas. While most are likely to have trouble with reading, others may have issues with math, memory, organization or writing. Assistive technology (AT) can be a great way to minimize the extent to which they need to ask for help and to enable them to be more independent learners. Assistive technology (sometimes referred to as “adaptive technology”) is a general term that describes the types of tools and devices that assist people to achieve greater independence. For individuals with LD, assistive technology can include such things as scanners and screen reading software, voice recognition software, calculators, highlighting and note-taking programs, electronic/digital organizers and much more.

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Choosing an Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology for Students-Assistive Technology for Children To first provide a simple LD-focused definition of assistive technology, let's define assistive technology as any item, any piece of equipment or any system that helps an individual bypass, work around or compensate for a specific learning problem. Though not as broad as the legal definition included in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), this definition still includes a wide range of items, from technology as simple as a book on audio-tape, to something as high-tech as a computer scanning system that uses optical character recognition (OCR) and computerized speech to scan the pages of a book and read them out loud.

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Assistive Technology - Making Good Decisions for Your Student

Assistive Technology for Students-Assistive Technology for ChildrenReflecting back on my time as a rookie junior high school teacher in the mid-1970s, I remember regularly asking my LD Resource Room students to reflect (we called it “constructive complaining”) on what they could do, both in school and at home, to complete their assignments, be more productive in their studying and time management, and of course, get better grades.

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13 Free Assistive Technology Resources

Free Assistive TechnologyA limited budget doesn’t have to stop you or your child from getting some of the best assistive technology available to help people with LD. These free resources will help you stretch your dollar while getting geared up for the new school year. Better yet, some of them may already be in your pocket—we’ve included features built into common devices like the iPhone and iPad that can be helpful for people who struggle with reading, math, organization and more.

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Can Audio and/or Digital Books Improve Your Child’s Learning Outcomes? - Part l

Audio/Digital LearningChildren with learning disabilities (LD), like dyslexia, have trouble understanding words they read. Causes are unclear, but we now know that LD is not due to a lack of intelligence or a desire to learn. While dyslexia is a life-long condition, early identification, support from a parent or teacher, and access to digital or audio books and other learning materials may help your child to improve their learning outcomes and be better prepared to successfully work around their LD.

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There’s an App for That! But Is It Right for You?

assistive technology tips - appsMy teenage daughter and I recently had the privilege of presenting at the Family Cafe’s Annual Conference in Florida. My daughter (who has dyslexia) gave a presentation on “Dyslexia: The Challenges, the Achievements, the Possibilities” and my presentation was called, “There’s An App for That.” In preparation for both presentations, we did extensive research on available apps and quickly learned that just because “there’s an app for that” it doesn't mean that it’s right for everyone.

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Community Favorites: Apps

Community Favorites - AppsWe reached out to our social media community and asked for their favorite LD-related app recommendations. A quick browse through this list will connect you with various apps that can educate, inspire and motivate students with learning disabilities. If you have any other ideas, please add them to the comments below. And to join NCLD’s social media community, please visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Can Audio and/or Digital Books Make a Difference in Learning Outcomes? Part II

Digital Books - Learning OutcomesIn Part I of our article, "Can Audio and/or Digital Books Make a Difference in Your Child’s Learning Outcomes - Part l," we learned about AIM, the acronym for accessible instruction materials and that more printed texts (e.g., books, literature, novels, K-12 textbooks) are now available in high-quality audio and/or digital files for academic instruction and pleasure reading.

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