No child left behind.

Today, assistive technology can help students with certain disabilities learn more effectively, & can enjoy a customized, comfortable, and cool learning experience.

What is ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (AT)

Assistive technology is any device, application, equipment, product or service that supports and improves the capabilities of a persons with disabilities in his or her educational day  or  activities.

The challenge

 
  • It is a local challenge launched by SPEdu “special education” in a collaboration with space apps Cairo to develop tools (software, hardware or embedded) to be used as an assistive technology in inclusive classes for children with specific disabilities. The assistive technology tools from our challenge will be used as powerful & efficient tools to help teachers provide students with learning disabilities with the needed academic progress.

  • One motivating factor for finding & utilizing effective assistive technology for educating students with learning difficulties that they are facing challenges with their education, which prevents them from improving their academic stands and reaching their full potentials.

 

Specific disabilities to be focused on during the challenge:

 

Autism: is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have symptoms that halt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life like:

  1. Restricted & repetitive behavior.
  2. some difficulty with social interactions including reading facial expressions and following a conversation.
  3. become easily upset by changes in routine
  4. experience sensitivity to environmental stimuli
  5. Impairment in communications.

AT example :

  • AAC Device: With an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device, you can get a better idea of what a child might be thinking. These can take on several forms depending on the child’s need. They might be able to select a picture and have the word read aloud or they might be able to type in a full sentence. Some of this will depend on the fine motor skills and capacities of the child.
  • Bluebee Pals are talking stuffed animals that are excellent socialization tools. The plush animal's mouth moves while your students read storybooks, engage in learning apps, or sing songs. Bluebee Pals are used with Android or Apple devices. There are a variety of learning apps available for Bluebee Pals. 
  • resources: link
 

Dyslexia: is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language but generally the intelligence is not affected.

 

The problem may involve one of the following: spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, pronouncing words when reading aloud or understanding what one reads. Adding spaces between the letters, the use of special fonts or relating letters to sounds are the main lines of managing those kids. These difficulties make writing a slow and arduous process. With poor reading and writing skills, academic success is far from assured.

AT example:

  •  Livescribe: The pen records as the student writes. The student can turn handwritten notes into typewritten text with the touch of a finger. That means that later, when the student reviews his notes, they'll be legible. If he finds a puzzling notation,  he can listen to the recorded teacher's lecture and flesh things out, even hours later.
  • resources: link, link

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention. These behaviors interfere with school and home life.

ADHD often forget or lose things and are unable to complete tasks on time. These behaviors interfere with school and home life and make them struggle with reading and writing.

AT example:

  • Text-to-speech features (Speak-ItGoogle Read&Write) are able to convert written text to audio and read text on screens, aloud. This can help the student to focus, learn accurate pronunciation of novel words, and prevent errors in accuracy. In addition, with the reading speed set to normal, it can increase comprehension.
  • resource: link

Dyscalculia: Dyscalculia is a common learning issue that impacts kids’ ability to do math. It doesn’t just affect them at school, however. The challenges can also create difficulties in daily life. Kids with this learning issue have trouble with many aspects of math. They often don’t understand quantities or concepts like biggest vs. smallest. They may not understand that the numeral 5 is the same as the word five.

 

AT example:

  • Talking calculators: A talking calculator has a built-in speech synthesizer that reads aloud each number, symbol, or operation key a user presses; it also vocalizes the answer to the problem. This auditory feedback may help him check the accuracy of the keys he presses and verify the answer before he transfers it to paper.
  • resources: link

Intellectual disability: Intellectual disability1 involves problems with general mental abilities that affect functioning in two areas:

  • intellectual functioning (such as learning, problem solving, judgement)

  • adaptive functioning (activities of daily life such as communication and independent living)

AT example:

Hearing impairment: One of the most common disabilities that make the child unable to perceive the words especially in noisy situations like the classroom.

AT example:

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