Assistive technology is a term referring to tools that can help an individual compensate for difficulties affecting learning and performance. These tools range in price from $1 to $2000 or more. It is wise to try using the tool before you buy it because learning disabilities are complicated, and for some individuals the tool may not be suitable, or may lead to increased frustration. The more expensive tools may be well worth the investment for years of schooling and employment in the future.
The following examples illustrate how assistive technology may help someone with learning or performance difficulties:
1. A highlighter ($1) is used to make certain words or phrases stand out on a page. This can enhance memory, comprehension, and organization.
2. A digital recorder ($70) can be used to record homework, details about an assignment, a list of things to remember, or the boss's instructions. This benefits those with memory, sequencing, or writing difficulties.
3. Dragon Dictate ($100) is computer software which converts what is spoken into print. For those with writing difficulties, this can eliminate many of the problems.
4. Inspiration ($100) and Draft Builder ($200) are software programs for computers. These programs enable individuals to produce well-organized, attractive pieces of written work.
5. Kurzweil ($1700) is a text-to-voice program for computers. It will read aloud any text material which is scanned into the computer. This allows individuals to focus on the comprehension of what is read, and it speeds up the process of completing reading assignments.