If you are new to Assistive Technology (AT), think about the types of day to day tasks you or your students may find challenging. An example of one of these challenges could involve reading. If so, would you consider a tool that reads out text from your Computer / Tablet / Smartphone to help you to read more quickly and effectively?
If you do want to explore reading tools then select the ‘Reading’ category below and see how you have both free and paid options to support your reading.
Equally you may find tasks concerning like organisation, collaboration or communication a challenge and there’s plenty of tech examples in those AT Hive categories to help with those too so pick a category that fits your needs and get exploring. Many AT apps and devices provide support in multiple categories so you may come across the same tool twice as you explore all AT Hive has to offer.
Be aware – sometimes it can take a while to find an AT that matches your needs and that’s perfectly normal. When you do find the right tool, it can then take time to build up familiarity with the AT and to make it part of your everyday life, so don’t sweat it if it doesn’t click right away.
Each section, 12 in total, offers some suggested tech tools to explore and each AT page has tips about the tool to give you further insights into using these technologies more effectively.
Assistive Technology specifically refers to practical tools that enhance independence for people with disabilities and is defined by the WHO as “any item, piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commercially, modified or customized that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (World Health Organisation & World Bank 2011, p.101).
If we think of it in a learning or working context, AT refers to any tools, devices, applications or features of applications that can support people with disabilities to learn and work more effectively and meet the challenges posed by the impact of their disability or the inaccessible design of environments and materials.
Common examples of Assistive Technology include screen reading software that supports visually impaired people to navigate computers, and speech to text software which turns voice into written text. More familiar examples to most include the growing range of mainstream mobile solutions available via apps on smartphones and tablet devices which can support everything from personal navigation (map apps), organisation (calendar/scheduling apps) and memory aids (to do apps). There are countless AT solutions to help with many different challenges and AT Hive aims to help you explore some of the more common ones.