People learn differently from one another. Some are quick learners, while others need to go at their own pace. For people with learning disabilities, studying challenging subjects such as STEM can become overwhelming. Thankfully, there is assistive technology to help adults and children with learning disabilities.
Assistive technology is helpful for people with physical as well as learning disabilities. It is also a huge boost for STEM learning! Continue reading to find out why.
What is assistive technology?
Assistive technology is a type of technological tool to help people with disabilities. This technology helps people with disabilities perform tasks or functions that would otherwise be difficult without help. It covers a wide range of disabilities and can work for people of all ages.
People who have trouble walking or moving around make use of assistive technology in the form of wheelchairs or canes. People with hearing problems can use assistive technology such as hearing aids or text telephones. There is also a lot of software and hardware that people with learning disabilities can use.
The goal of assistive technology is to make life easier for a person with a disability. With this technology, most people will be able to live productive lives. The disability no longer becomes a hindrance when performing regular tasks.
Types of Assistive Technology
There are many types of assistive technology that can be used. All these tools were developed to help people function without having to worry about their disability. Here are some common types of assistive technology tools that are used today.
You might also like to read: How To Support Employee Wellness Goals
Mobility aids are designed to help people who struggle with standing, walking, or moving around. These aids include wheelchairs, electric scooters, canes, crutches, and prosthetics.
Aside from regular mobility aids, there is also a type of assistive technology called high-performance mobility aids. This type of assistive technology is designed for people who want to take part in athletic activities. If you have ever seen the Paralympics, most athletes with physical disabilities make use of high-performance mobility aids to allow them to compete at a high level!
Sensory assistive technology is designed for people who experience sensory impairment. This includes hearing aids and software like voice recognition and subtitle generation. These assistive technology tools also include hardware with visual aids like tablets and computers.
Cognitive aids focus on people with learning disabilities. These aids can include both software and hardware. The goal of these cognitive aids is to help people who are challenged in terms of attention, memory, and analysis.
Adaptive assistive technology includes tools that will help a person adapt to their environment. For people with physical disabilities, wheelchair ramps and grab bars assist with their mobility. For people who have limited motor skills, there are page-turners, adaptive switches, and even utensils to help them cook and eat.
Assistive Technology for STEM Learning
Now that you have a brief overview of what assistive technology is, how can it help make STEM learning more accessible?
With the use of assistive technology, students can learn through tablets or computers. This is especially helpful for students who struggle with reading but are more receptive to visual learning. Students who have a difficult time focusing in class can use auditory tools and visual aids to sustain their attention and interest.
STEM learning is for people of all ages, and it is widely recommended that people start studying at a young age. Every young learner must be allowed to learn about the world around them, regardless of whether they have a learning disability or not. Assistive technology can provide the proper tools for students to learn STEM.
Benefits of Using Assistive Technology
There are many benefits of assistive technology. The technology will allow students to learn STEM and other subjects with the use of different tools. Here are the main benefits of using assistive technology in an educational setup.
With assistive technology, everyone gets to learn at their own pace. Students will enjoy the learning experience because they will not be hindered by their disabilities. Instead, students can enjoy the subjects and build their interest in STEM by using technology that is meant to assist them with their learning process.
Engaging and Stimulating
STEM learning should be fun with all the different concepts and experiments taught in each subject. The use of assistive technology for visual and auditory learning is more engaging for students with disabilities. This technology can help students who struggle to focus on textbooks. It will also help those who have a difficult time understanding the material.
Stimulating students’ minds with technology will help build their interest in STEM. It will also encourage them to continue learning! The use of functional educational toys is another way to apply assistive technology to young learners.
You might also like to read: A Few Tips to Achieve Health & Safety in the Workplace
Build Communication Skills
Many students with disabilities struggle to communicate with their peers. But with the use of assistive technology, communication becomes easier for everyone.
Students who have difficulty with speech can use this technology to convey their message through text. Students who struggle with writing down their thoughts can use voice recordings instead. The communication skills that students learn with the help of assistive technology will also help them later in their lives.
The Bottom Line
STEM learning may be a challenging subject in class, but it is also one of the most fun to learn and explore. Educators and health care providers who use assistive technology must be sure to protect the patient’s personal health information.
Having a learning disability should not limit a student’s opportunity to discover the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. With assistive technology, many students who struggle to keep up with their peers in class can use tools that will assist them in STEM learning.