The term “Assistive Technology” is usually applied to electronic devices and computer hardware and software that increase or maintain the capabilities of an individual with a disability. Assistive technology (AT) includes those devices that assist all students, regardless of the presence of a disability, and those devices that have been specifically designed to assist individuals with a disability (adaptive technology).
For students with learning disabilities, the opportunity to use AT to support and reinforce the learning process along with reducing the functional impact of their learning disability, means that their overall level of success is greatly improved. As with other classroom accommodations, the purpose of using AT is not to provide the student with an advantage but rather, it reduces some of the burden of lower literacy or numeracy proficiency.
All students, including those without a learning disability, can benefit from using some of the assistive technologies available. AT can be used in a variety of manners within the classroom environment to support the general teaching process and to provide additional remedial support as it allows for repetition and rehearsal of learnt skills. AT use for general classroom instruction also allows for multisensory teaching opportunities that will not only benefit the student with a learning disability, but all students within the classroom.