Use of Assistive Technology (AT) in Communicating to Student’s with Exceptionalities
Communication plays a crucial role in improving an individual’s performance since it is a channel for sharing knowledge. In this context, sharing ideas to students with exceptionalities has been a primary challenge for many years, thanks to technological advancement the limitations can be mitigated using different approaches. Notably, the number of students with exceptionalities is large and yet to exploit their potential due to limited access to information (Cortiella, & Horowitz, 2014). Relatively, the community and the recurring studies have shown a significant response to the need for improving communication approaches to enhance cognition for this group. In this context, assistive technology is an appropriate strategy to apply in communicating with the group since it provides a wide-scoped solution to the disabilities associated with hearing, speech, and sight.
As a result, it will be possible to nurture the students in school as well as develop fundaments for them to apply the same skills in the work environment. Besides, currently, the world is striving to achieve efficiency through the use of internet and computer devices and this strategy integrates the use of these instruments. Bearing the limitations identified in people with exceptionalities in access to information, the paper will highlight how assistive technology is applied in communication, discuss on the associated devices, identify its merits, provide recommendations and then draw a viable conclusion from the discussion.
Need for the Strategy
People with disabilities have identifiable difficulties in the exchange of information. It is a limitation that results in delayed identification or total failure in the exploitation of talents. As a result, a sense of social inequality arises between the normal and the people with exceptionalities. Some of the emerging disparities for these students include challenges in language, reading, and writing that complicate the learning process. Disabilities emanate from possibilities of differences in brain structure, which might be genetically based (Poobrasert, 2017). Therefore, the pace of these individuals in capturing new ideas might be slower compared to other people. However, students with exceptionalities should not be alienated with a reference to sickness but assisted with the use of available resources, skills, and patience. Their performance can be improved as long as the instructor identifies the problem and apply an effective communication strategy and in this case assistive technology.
Integration of Assistive Technology
Assistive technology is a multidimensional approach that is used to enhance the disabled establishes independent functionality. This approach means that the individuals are provided with devices that positively impact on their performance. Some of these include devices with sounds for people with impaired hearing and magnification objects to enhance the performance of individuals with visual problems. In this context, it would be important for one to intervene and provide the necessary assistance like the explanation of terms and application of the devices. For example, as an instructor, it is possible to use an argumentative communication device that would foster the voice of a student who cannot communicate with her voice (Ava, 2017). This establishes a connection to an extent that, if the device remains effective and the student is corporative, it would be possible to learn in a class with other students. To some extent, the other students might perceive this as a special situation, but later the benefits would be mutually shared as all share the knowledge together. When identifying the best approach to communication, the use of Ava software and Thai word speech.
Ava software is a remarkable technological advancement for enhancing communication between the instructor and students with hearing and speech problems, and among themselves. To some extent, discussions would be almost impossible when dealing with the individuals to translate information for people with the two problems. However, Ava provides a solution to this problematic situation through conversion of speech to text and text to speech (Ava, 2017). Therefore, both hearing and speech difficulties are catered for. Av necessitates the learners to have a smartphone or a tablet to install the software. It has been designed to fit in these devices an aspect that makes it favorable in this situation. When the instructor talks, the information is captured by the device then translated into text that displays on the devices. This step helps students with hearing disabilities to participate in the lesson. Also, the devices can be connected to speakers to translate a text input in the devices to sound output. Now, that approach solves the problem associated with visual disabilities.
As an instructor, it would be important to be the coordinator of the flow of information by integrating sign language to indicate the progress of the discussion. This intervention would include giving individual chances at a time to avoid the possibilities of information flux in the questions, arguments and providing the feedback. As a result, the learners will have consistency and coherent flow of information that would improve understanding of the concepts and decision making in the related concepts.
Besides, assistive technology is an appropriate communication strategy for people with learning disabilities particularly, the use of Thai Word Search program in helping people with a writing problem. The program is designed to help the students in searching vocabularies for words with similar pronunciation but differ in their grapheme (Poobrasert, 2017). If the student wants to write a world that he has a difficulty in spelling, he only needs to have a hint; type part of the world and then the program highlights the most appropriate word from the suggestion.
Choosing assistive technology as the communication strategy is tactful to .introduce the learners in the technological world as well as improve their performance in different fields. In this case, the technology has manifested in the workplace and social platforms, and understanding the use of software indicated above would be appropriate in reducing disparities that have persisted in the community for years. Sadly, the number of unemployed people with exceptionalities range at 80 to 90 percent from a data collected from both developed and developing nations (Raja, 2016). As a result, they will become self-sufficient and reduce social and economic costs to the family, community, and nation.
From the discussion, assistive technology is a rational communication approach for people with hearing, visual and writing difficulties. These limitations influence low performance and social inequities in terms of employment and inclusivity in decision making. The social and economic disparities are the major concern for this intervention with an aim for improving student’s performance in class and in the workplace. With Ava software, people with hearing and visual problems can comfortably engage in a discussion in presence of an instructor while Thai Word Program helps in improving the performance of people with writing difficulties. From the insights above, it is necessary to acknowledge that, there are terms and conditions that bind the users and the software developers. As a result, the communication approach might necessitate partial investment that includes the purchase of smartphone or tablets and payment of any possible charges that the software developers might request. However, the strategy is worthy of adopting, especially considering the trending technological advancements at school and in the workplace.
Ava. A. (2017). How does life look with Ava? Life With Ava. Retrieved from https://www.ava.me/life/
Cortiella, C., & Horowitz, S. H. (2014). The state of learning disabilities: Facts, trends and emerging issues. New York: National center for learning disabilities, 2-45.
Poobrasert. (2017). Educational Assistive Technology for Students with Communication Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/educational-assistive-technology-for-students-with-communication-disorders-2375-4427-1000178.pdf
Raja, D. S. (2016). Bridging the disability divide through digital technologies. Background paper for the World Development Report. Retrieved from http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/123481461249337484/WDR16-BP-Bridging-the-Disability-Divide-through-Digital-Technology-RAJA.pdf