What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as communicating with others, going to school or work, or participating in activities can be a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance and have access to a quality of life, that may otherwise not be known, and lead more independent lives.

The mission of this blog is to serve as a voice of a constant researcher in the field of educational and assistive technologies so that the best products, strategies and services may be located easily, in hopes that they will then be delivered, taught and used to better the lives of people with disabilities.


Compiled by Susan Mistrett
UB/CAT (716) 829-3141

Assistive Technologies for Students with Disabilities
Reading And Writing Solutions


Digital Sources - The Internet is another resource for stories and books for elementary students. Some sites offer stories at various reading levels to download. Some of them are "classics" or well-known books; others can be found only online. These texts can be read aloud with a screen reader or by importing them (with copy and paste commands) into talking word processing programs.
  • Alex: A Catalog of Electronic Texts on the Internet
Catalogue with roughly 2,000 entries of e-texts, mostly on gopher servers
Comprehensive list of links to literature and language Web sites for children
Includes American heritage Reference Collection, encyclopedias, dictionaries, Roget Thesaurus, Quotations, etc.
Internet resources related to books for children and young adults
On-line research database containing: newspaper and magazine articles; works of literature; television, radio, and government transcripts; and reference materials such as an encyclopedia, a dictionary, and a thesaurus
An extensive listing of prose and poetry e-text available for downloading
On-line listings of sources of e-text of collected works, magazines, newsletters, and scholarly journals
Eclectic subject matter available to download as e-text
Links to picture books, short stories, poetry, myths, fables, magazines, and information about authors
Thousands of stories written by children all around the world
A fully searchable library of over 250,000 works of English and American literature
Directory of sources for over 6000 on-line books
Light literature (such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, or Aesop's Fables), heavy literature (such as Moby Dick or Paradise Lost), and references (such as almanacs, encyclopedias, or dictionaries) in downloadable formats
Directory of electronic books





Recorded Books:
These books are recorded at 10-15% slower reading pace that standard readings. The Homework Pack includes the audiobook and print book so that students can follow along in the print version while they listen to the narration.
The British SmartReader is a controlled reading level text written to interest middle school students through adults. Topics include biography, adventure, mystery, nonfiction and mythology. Recorded by British actors SmartReaders are written for those older students who read at a 3rd to 4th year primary school level. Packs include print text, audiotapes and a teacher's guide.

  • Start to Finish Books
Don Johnston, Inc.
Each book is published in CD-ROM and paperback format and written to exacting standards to control vocabulary, sentence complexity and phonetic regularity. Words are highlighted as they are read on each page. Clicking on a word causes it to be read again. Teacher Materials include blackline masters for writing activities, pre-reading vocabulary lists, multiple-choice questions and other support materials.

Classic Adventures

Treasure Island
Red Badge of Courage
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Famous Short Stories

Edgar Allan Poe Collection
Jack London Collection
Mark Twain Collection

Nick Ford Mysteries

Grave Robber: Mystery in Missouri
Crossbow Killer: Mystery at
Alcatraz, The Rock

Nick Ford Mysteries 2

The Night of the Loch Ness Monster
Big Ben is Dead
The Secret of Old Mexico

Overcoming the Odds: Sports

Home Run Heroes
Flo-Jo: The Story of Florence Griffith
Ali: The Greatest

A Step Into History
Rosa Parks: Freedom Fighter
Frederick Douglass: A Hero for All Times
Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her

Catalogs of Text Verions:




This project uses technology tools for integrated into challenging science curriculum and instruction to ensure access for students with disabilities.
Classroom connect develops original web-based curriculum products and professional development programs for K-12 educators. Site includes access to Classroom Today, Connected University and Quest interactive adventures for learning.
This site provides information needed to choose appropriate assistive technology to help persons with dyslexia. Also includes 10 steps to self-help in writing and reading.
Links to great educational resources on the web.
Teachers and students can connect with more than 6,000 classrooms in 80+ countries
Filamentality (Pacific Bell) is a fill-in-the-blank interactive Web site that guides you through picking a topic, searching the Web, gathering good Internet sites, and turning Web resources into activities appropriate for learners.
This site contains excellent information on AT supports for persons with learning disabilities. Several contributions by Richard Wandeman offer creative solutions for writing and everyday activities. Great Site!
This project looked into integrating computer assistive technology into the educational curriculum for the purpose of assisting students in the writing process. The three types of assistive-writing technologies examined were Alternative Keyboards, Word Prediction Software, and Voice Recognition Software.
These science and technology programs for school groups are fun, engaging, interactive and educational.
This internet gateway provides a host of education related features including: lesson plans and curriculum materials, on-line resources, education news, feature articles, reference materials, professional development, educational shopping, and an interactive community for the exchange of advice and information.
This site's mission is to help educators create, share and find solutions to integrate technology into education. The site includes a variety of tools and resources.

Ÿwww4teachers, a carefully indexed collection of online resources made by teachers for teachers!

Trackstar, QuizStar, Problem Based Learning and Web Worksheet Wizard are tools available to make technology integration easy. They include lesson plans, and tools to develop plans that incorporate relevant websites into student learning plans. Loads of teacher resources and interactive lesson plans for all grades and disciplines. Some references to PBS programs.

A collection of "tool boxes" to increase the learning of students with disabilities with technology-based applications. http://www.ed.sc.edu/caw/toolbox.html

This site offers the opportunity to look for quality web sites on particular subjects, for specific age groups. Students are guided in learning by following web links for information. Training materials are available as well as other resources. This site is a "must" for web-active learning!