Assistive Technology Devices Improve Life for Children
Assistive technology has proven exceedingly valuable for special needs children. Special needs children can use assistive technologies to interact with computers and do things that they normally could not achieve without help. They benefit, in particular, from having access to on-demand technologies so they can work at their own pace. What they achieve by way of using a computer enhances their self-esteem and offers a greater sense of being in command of and engaging with the world around them. Children have a greater chance of independence, obtaining and maintaining a job later in life, and enjoying many societal benefits more now than they ever have before (Scherer, 2002).
Assistive technology is defined as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability” (IDEA, 2004). Assistive devices “are used by people with physical limitations or disabilities to help them lead lives that are as independent as possible” (Stokes, 2010).
According to Raskind (2008), “the variety of adaptive devices now available has helped people maximize their functional capacity across the age and disability spectrum”. Children with disabilities go to school with their peers and experience less challenges on a daily basis. Assistive technology does not cure or eliminate challenges, but it can take advantage of a child’s strengths, and then circumvent areas of difficulty. It can also aid children to transfer the knowledge and skills gained to both familiar and new situations in their lives, and success can be measured by a child's ability to put what he or she has learned into practical, everyday use. Assistive technology can be the backbone of independence for children with disabilities, as well as helping this vision become a reality by improving the...
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