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Assistive technology

Assistive technology, also known as adaptive technology and AT, is any application or device that is used to increase, maintain or improve physical ability or academic performance. People generally think of mechanical devices, electronics, computers, hardware and software, but there is actually a range of assistive technology.

Assistive technology training sessions

The Student Wellbeing Service (Disability & Dyslexia) offers specialised training sessions for those interested in learning how to use the Assistive Technology software mentioned above.

Our one-to-one training sessions can last from 1-2 hours depending on your time and availability. Sessions are held in an informal relaxed environment where students can learn and trainers can cover a small number of key features, focusing on the main benefits of the AT software.

Low-tech assistive technology

This could include pencil grips, graph paper, highlighter pens, planners, digital clocks, calculators, computers, dictionaries and spell checkers.

Mid to hi-tech assistive technology

This could include digital recorders, talking calculators, portable keyboards, electronic spell checkers and dictionaries, reading systems that use a computer, scanner, and software to read scanned book pages out loud, speech recognition software that allows a computer to operate by speaking to it, mind mapping/outlining software, Global Positioning System (GPS), smartphones, PDAs, iPods, MP3 players etc.

Benefits of assistive technology

  • Can help students become more independent learners.
  • Can provide more choices and greater freedom in daily life.
  • Provides tools to enable an individual to experience success at home, at university, at work and/or in the community.
  • Helps people of all ages.
  • Can increase an individual’s confidence and self-esteem.
  • Improves quality of life, and removes barriers providing the tools for possible employment and educational opportunities.

Guides for using different types of assistive technology

Organisational skills

Planning ideas and essays

Support with note taking

Alternatives to typing by-hand

Reading and writing assignments