My Own Experience With Assistive Technology

When tackling the idea of assistive technology in the classroom I have a bit of a different approach because of my own experience. Growing up in school I never had the access to technology, due to my age demographic and the development of technology at the time. Aside from that, I never received the technology I needed to succeed until grade eleven, and that is because I went undiagnosed. Since I wasn’t a student of concern, my administrators and counsellors couldn’t provide the funding needed, but encouraged my parents to have me undergo a psychoeducational assessment report. A psychoeducational assessment report is a test used to diagnose a student’s learning or behavioural challenges, and identify if a learning disability is present. These evaluations cost between $2,500-$5,000, and for a majority of the population that price is unattainable without funding from the school district. It is also needed in order to create and individual education plan (IEP), or qualify for funding to get tools and the assistance in the classroom. When I was in grade eleven I finally got the results from my psychoeducational assessment report and then my own IEP became a reality, which I needed so desperately my whole life. I was diagnosed with dyslexia, and below is a screenshot from my own psychoeducational assessment report breaking down the types of dyslexia.

Once I got the administrative stuff out of the way, I could look at different devices and programs to assist my learning. When it comes to technology and different devices I had the opportunity to use and iPad, and a laptop which aided me with note taking and  helped my success today. There is also this text/talk program called Kurzweil 3000, and I found it beneficial to help with reading, even though it is a robotic voice. The downfall to these options are funding and how imperative it is to have the money to support not only the student, but the classroom as a whole. Assistive technology will greatly influence how learners with disabilities, among their peers develop in the future. With the strides taken in the last ten years in regards to technology, it will be the best tool to help each student succeed.

Alyssa Lloyd

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