Explain 5 appropriate assistive technology devices for students with severe disabilities. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There is no question that advancements in technological devices have been boons to the disabled, affording them access to more, enabling them, and removing some of the limitations upon them.

VISUALLY IMPAIRED

  • Portable Braille Notetaker - These devices are small and portable; students especially like these because they can easily read and write on these and connect them to other devices that will display what they have written in regular print so that a sighted person can read their work.
  •  Kapten PLUS Personal Navigation Device - This device is made to assist visionally-impaired people navigate. An affordable accessory to a cane or guide dog, the device is a small GPS locator designed to be carried on one's person. In addition to speaking direction and location as one walks, it can also be used to plan and even store different routes. Certainly, it provides security to those who wish to travel independently.

HEARING IMPAIRED

  • Cochlear Implant - perhaps the greatest device ever for those who are profoundly deaf; this is not a new device, however, improvements have been made to the software and hardware that accompany it. 

...the cochlear implant first picks up sound via a microphone, which then carries the signal to a small computer worn behind the ear, where it is transferred to a digital signal and transmitted to the implant, itself. Once received by the implant, the device then directly stimulates the auditory nerve, providing an entirely new means of auditory sensory input.

OTHER DISABILITIES

  • iBot - While the American With Disabilities Act of 1990 helped to eliminate many obstacles for people who use scooters, wheelchairs, and such, now there is a wheelchair that will mount stairs. Called "the ATV of wheelchairs," the iBot is a wheelchair for the disabled that is self-balancing and stair-climbing, as well.
  • Impulse System for computers - For those with the inability to use hands on a computer now can operate a computer with a small Bluetooth device that adheres to the skin. With the purchase of specialized software such as E Z Keys, the transmitter interprets the input by the user, and it carries out the commands. The user can do all the things anyone else can do such as navigate  their computer's applications, surf the Web, and type with an on-screen keyboard.
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