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.

Wednesday

Disability Awareness Resources






Great websites to explore:

Access and Opportunities: A Guide to Disability Awareness - This online guide was "prepared by VSA arts as an informational tool for those who want to gain additional knowledge about disability and tips for social etiquette and positive interactions with people with disabilities." It includes both general and disability-specific information.

Bandaids and Blackboards - "This is a site about growing up with medical problems. Its goal is to help people understand what it's like, from the perspective of the children and teens who are doing just that. These kids have become experts at coping with problems that most of you have never heard of. They'd like you to know how they do it, and they hope that you'll be glad you came to visit one of the three areas (one for kids, one for teens, and one for adults)."

Building Disability Awareness and Inclusion- Kern County has a nice listing of activities and resources worth exploring including using media wisely and books dealing with disabilities.

Book Nook - These may provide a window for you to better understand what it’s like to have a disability. Books can also help you realize that people with disabilities are individuals who are just like you in many ways.

Creature Discomforts - "Through our award winning campaign, thousands of people around the world have expressed their desire to change their attitudes. Take a look around this site to find out more about the real lives and experiences of disabled people."

Disability Awareness Kit - The goal of this site is to to promote an understanding of issues surrounding disability, to develop an understanding of appropriate and effective methods of interaction with people with disabilities and to foster an understanding of the ways in which the information needs of people with disabilities can be met. This site provides core information, handouts, activities and resources in 5 basic disability groups: Print disability, hearing impairment, physical, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. This is a very rich site.

Disability Awareness Activity Packet - This packet deals with most disabilities. They provide a nice introduction of things to consider/remember when working with others to create an awareness. It explains each disability with bullets of brief information then it provides activities for each. This is in PDF format.  Also check out this Disability Awareness Packet for activities and resources. 

Disability Awareness: 10 Things Parents Should Teach Their Kids About Disabilities article on Huffington Post: "there are a few things that are repeated. From telling their child to always look away or giving them a generic viewpoint of people with disabilities, mistakes on how to talk about us are abound. Since even the most well-meaning parent can accidentally flub up, here are 10 ways to help give your kid a leg up on how to think differently about disabilities."

Everybody Counts! - Everybody Counts! is an interactive, educational disability awareness program for young people, focusing on grades K-8. The goal is to promote understanding and acceptance of differences through a classroom-oriented program. The program is designed to allow children to experience both the feelings and challenges of coping with a wide range of disabilities. Tactile, visual and auditory learning activities are provided.

Indiana Disability Awareness offers "Activity Packets which includes different informational packets with specialized offerings to a variety of audiences. Feel free to download and use as many of these packets as you wish, and share copies with others."

LD OnLine offers a variety of information, links and activities worth exploring.

Misunderstood Minds - "This site is a companion to the PBS special "Misunderstood Minds", and profiles a variety of learning problems and expert opinions. It is designed to give parents and teachers a better understanding of learning processes, insights into difficulties, and strategies for responding."

Teaching Tolerance has a variety of lesson plans available for classroom use.