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Assistive Technologies

1.2  The most important element for classroom inclusivity: YOU!

One of the most crucial elements for the positive implementation of AT in the classroom is far from technical: it’s your openness to learn! It’s OK that you don’t know everything there is to know about assistive technology. What is important is that you are willing to learn along with your student. AT in the classroom is your chance to learn a new skill and help students develop a new type of literacy that will serve them in the future.

Because feeling comfortable using AT will serve students now and in the future, it is important to make the experience positive by normalizing the experience—for both for the student using the AT and the rest of the class. This is critical for the success of your student who may already be nervous about using a tool that she feels will make her look different from others in the class.

In the following video, educators discuss their own initial worries and the strategies they put in place that led to the successful introduction of AT in their classrooms. You will also find more help on this topic in the Module 4 of this series.

Implementing Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Making the Classroom Inclusive

The important thing to remember is that even without formal AT training, you can create a classroom that is welcoming and accommodating for students using AT from the first day they arrive.

UDL and differentiated instruction :

For more on UDL and differentiated instruction, consider the following resources:

To gain general understanding of UDL, watch the video prepared by Special Education Technology British Columbia:
http://www.setbc.org/setbc/curriculum/what_is_udl.html

For more in-depth information on UDL and its various components, visit the National Center on Universal Design for Learning at:
http://www.udlcenter.org/
and make sure to download their quick educator’s UDL checklist at:
http://www.udlcenter.org/sites/udlcenter.org/files/Guidelines_2.0_Educator_Checklist.doc

For information on implementing AT to help you meet UDL objectives, visit:
http://www.udlcenter.org/implementation/examples

Finally, a good resource for teachers wanting to introduce AT in the classroom is David H. Rose and Anne Meyer’s book, “Teaching every Student in the Digital Age,” which can be accessed for free at:
http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes/

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