Assistive Technology and Down syndrome
Assistive Technology (AT) is any device, software or equipment that helps people with disabilities work around challenges so they can learn, communicate and simply function better. For example, a type of software that reads aloud text from a computer is AT, as is a keyboard for a child with handwriting challenges.
Assistive Technology tools can help people work through and find solutions to challenges they may be experiencing. This is especially important and necessary for students who struggle with reading, writing, and communication. Using AT to work through these challenges can have positive effects such as increased confidence and independence. According to Dr. Richard Nyankori, deputy chancellor for special education at the District of Columbia Public Schools, AT breaks through the barriers of academic success and future employment opportunities.
Even though the technical term is Assistive Technology, not all AT tools are high-tech. AT also includes many simple adaptive tools, like a pencil grip for a child who has challenges with writing. For individuals with Down syndrome, assistive technology is any type of device, equipment, adaptation, or materials that improve his or her ability to learn, work, increase independence, and make tasks easier to complete. Assistive technology fosters independence and autonomy, and can be as simple as a slanted writing surface or as sophisticated as learning software.
Assistive technology for Down syndrome is a new method that has been developed specifically to help special needs children in the classroom. It includes any type of equipment or materials that will enhance the child’s learning and make the tasks easier to complete, from scissors with a spring to a shortened pencil or enlarged graphics.Down Syndrome