Assistive technology plays an important role in the learning process for individuals with disabilities. Assistive technology is defined as "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 functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities." (Maushak, Kelley & Blodgett, 2001, p. 419) Assistive technology is very beneficial to individuals that have disabilities. For example, students with mental retardation benefit from extremely organized learning situations because of their limited cognitive abilities. Students who are hearing impaired, blind, or visually impaired may need differentiated pedagogical materials. More emphasis should be placed on visual materials for students with hearing impairments than for other students. Modifying instruction for all students, especially exceptional students, requires strong dependence on media, materials and technology and the right choice of these components to fit particular ends. Moreover, research has indicated that technology not only can be adapted for use with students with disabilities, but when used can enhance students' educational achievement and self-image. (Duhaney & Duhaney, 2000, p. 393) With this knowledge, there have been many new products that have been developed to help individualize programs to fit the criteria for specific disabilities. Through out this paper we will be disusing three different pieces of assistive technologies. We will be looking at Dynawrite, AlphaSmart, and Texthelp and the benefits of each program.
DynaWrite is the first keyboard-based communication device in the Dyna...
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