Raising and educating children is very often a demanding and difficult job. The weight of this work becomes even more apparent when it comes to raising and educating children with disabilities. Whether it is regular educational institutions or specialized centers, one thing is certain - every child should be provided with learning conditions adapted to his needs and abilities.
Assistive technology can be the greatest ally of experts in teaching children with disabilities. With the help of devices for assisted communication, it is possible to overcome speech and language difficulties and communicate more easily, an interactive whiteboard will introduce a dynamic and innovative approach to learning for all children into your classroom, devices for adapted computer access will provide each child with the satisfaction of independently managing computer activities, and a sensory room in your school or center will give you a space for effective sensory integration therapy and a safe place to relax.
These are just some of the categories of devices that can help your school or center in teaching students as efficiently as possible.
Communicate more easily
Whether it is a beginner or an advanced user of assistive technology, it is important to give the child the opportunity to say and express his thoughts.
Children with disabilities often have the need to stick to a precise and predetermined daily schedule of activities. The existence of such a schedule with visual and auditory support can certainly contribute to the reduction of frustration and easier functioning of students with difficulties, especially students with autism spectrum disorders. The talking schedule offers exactly that possibility and makes the daily schedule and organization of the day easier. You can also use it to create stories in series or to support the performance of daily activities - the possibilities are many!
One type of device that enables easier communication is GoTalk communicators. Beginner users can start with communicators that contain one, two or four fields, covering the most basic expressions and building a good foundation for further use of assistive technology.
The interactive wall is an excellent tool for working with children of primary school age without difficulty. It enables easier and more interesting learning and the development of cognitive skills.
For more advanced users, there are communicators with dozens of fields, with the possibility of combining sentences and multiple levels of recording. Multiple recording levels mean that you can easily have a template ready for 5 different teaching or educational units. The sound of the school bell will mark the end of an activity, and you will immediately be ready for the class ahead of you.
For children and users whose communication skills require even more opportunities for expression, there is Communicator 5. It is a program for assisted communication that converts texts and symbols into understandable speech, and also allows you to use a computer. It gives users the opportunity to communicate with others whenever they want and in a way that suits them best.
Interactive whiteboard - enrich your lectures
Today, the interactive whiteboard is an almost indispensable aid in the educational system, as it enables students to actively participate in classes.
This kind of teaching significantly facilitates students' learning and memorization of the material, and enables teachers to use visual and auditory content that has already been adapted for teaching needs (from mathematics, geography and history to music and art).
It also makes it easier for teachers to formulate and prepare material, and for students to have a better overview of what they have to learn. Due to the large number of possibilities, it facilitates learning even for students with developmental difficulties and is therefore the ideal choice for a smart and efficient classroom.
Computer access for all
A standard keyboard and mouse are often unsuitable for many people with disabilities. For people who have difficulty using their hands, there is a whole range of options for alternative access to the computer, such as special switches that connect to the computer, adapted keyboards, trackballs, especially sensitive joysticks and many other technological solutions that allow access to the computer for everyone.
One of the solutions for working with children with specific learning difficulties is the Clevy Maestro package for dyslexia. The package contains a Clevy keyboard, ABC Maestro program, Clevy computer mouse and HearSafe headphones, silicone cover, set of stickers with symbols, TTS Maestro program and the Croatian voice of Lana.
Watch a short video about how Daruvar Technical School helped Toni in his daily education and computer access:
Special allies for teachers and professionals in teaching and assessment
Assessing a user’s cognitive abilities can sometimes be a very demanding and time-consuming process. Gaze Viewer is a tool that can help you in that assessment. You will save valuable time and get a faster and better insight into the functioning of the user you are working with. Gaze Viewer can be used for various assessments and tests, such as the ability to understand, recall, read and write in non-verbal children, speed and delay in cognitive data processing, the level of understanding in adults with physical disabilities and the assessment of the usefulness of a particular device for assisted communication.
Look to Learn is another program designed in collaboration with teachers and experts and provides tools for assessing user abilities. It is designed to motivate the user and develop different skills through fun, giving experts feedback to assess the user’s capabilities.
The Boardmaker program will facilitate and shorten your daily preparations for working with children with disabilities. It is a collection of software packages for creating and working with pictorial communication symbols (PCS).It is used by teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists and teachers and parents of children with special needs.
You can use Boardmaker as a catalog of ready-made symbols to copy, cut, duplicate and print. You can use it like any other drawing program, and it offers you ready-made patterns for making games, templates for making cards and communicator templates, stacking strings and much more.