Assessing for Development, Emerging Knowledge, Intervention, and Modification: Using Assistive Technology


The importance of assistive technology is to help those in need with the normalcy that

too many take for granted. “According to the Technology-Related Assistance for

Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-407), an assistive

technology means 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 individuals with disabilities.” (Stokes, n.d., para 3)

Even as educators working with young children it is necessary to be able to use tools that

assist them in learning and address delays early so early childhood educators can help

each child reach towards their fullest potential. When educators modify tasks, they take

in consideration all students and break the mold from the one size fits all with education

and the assessments children must take.

       Picture communication symbol(PCS), has a software system called Broadmaker, that

ELL and special needs children and adults can use, black and white pictures symbols

with messages to help students with word and picture recognition. (Stokes, n.d., para 6)

True Based Objects Icons are suggested to use with children who may have problems

identifying objects. It takes shapes and lines and create a way for children to see and feel

what the object it’s trying to represent a two-dimensional shape. (Stokes, n.d., para, 9)

These technologies can be used for preschool to adult in reading comprehension, self-

help, academic skills, and scheduling organization. Even in music visual impaired

students use/ Braille embossers and note takers to transcribe music. Text to speech

computer laptops used programs such as “GOODFEEL, a program designed by Dancing

Dots Software, can open scores created with Lime, translate them into braille music

notation, and send them to a connected braille embosser.” (Rush,2015, p. 79, para

6)Visual systems can be used to assist in mathematical concepts with pictures to

represent numbers and word problems. Visual systems can also assist with scheduling to

show little ones where to move to help with time. Visual systems are great in identifying

reading concepts and words also. Placing pictures with words helps with reading. Visual

systems can include anything used to help stimulate the mind through the eyes. Visual

stimulation can be in any object real or non-real, pictures, drawings or written words

(Stokes, n. d.) Culturally this is great because it helps English Language Learners (ELL)

with a picture to recognize the words to have a path to their long-term memory to

connect pictures with words. Teachers are called upon at most times to differentiate

instruction and show pictures to ELL children. This system is effective.  Educators can

use real life objects like taking a nature walk with ELL children and showing leaf, ant,

and rocks. Explaining everything slowly with an object meant more to the students.

Visual technology especially on computers are helpful. Children who are five years old

continue to click on a picture because it kept saying the word of that object. The only way

to determine effectiveness is show the child that object at a different time and see if they

could recall the picture schedule or the object at random in an informal assessment or

on a standardized test that also shows pictures. The fault colleagues have seen when

pictures and words are connected, are the different meanings or names for objects. For

example, the test may say dish and child is calling it a plate. Sometimes the visual and

words do not match. Double meanings like color word orange also being a fruit can

confuse an ELL student.

“Livescribe Pulse Smartpen, a pen that is slightly larger than a regular ballpoint pen.

The Smartpen contains a camera and microphone, which capture everything writers say

and draw. Students activate the pen’s audio and visual features by tapping “start”—one

of several icons that run across the bottom of special Smartpen dot paper.”  (Bogard &

McMackin, 2012, p. 316, para 1) They can replay any part they need and talk out their

plots. They can tap any part of their work and resume. Audio pens are wonderful that

can be used by older children and even kindergarten can use it. Their standards include

characters and plot so they can make up and discuss stories using the audio technology.

The technology is great in reading and help with language usage and grammar. This

would help ELL children to see their words become a part of a picture on the computer.

It also helps them to cognitively concentrate so that what they really want to say shows

up on their picture. An issue would be the mispronunciation of words which may cause

frustration of unwanted drawings on the computer.


Bogard, J. & McMackin, M. (2012). Combining traditional and new literacies in a 21st-

century writing workshop. Reading Teacher65(5), 313-323. doi:10.1002/TRTR.01048

Stokes, S. (n.d.). Assistive technology for children with autism. CESA 7. Wisconsin

Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved from on Nielsen, L. (2011). 25

incredible assistive technologies. Retrieved from





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