Assistive Technology Doesn’t Have to Be High Tech

Assistive technology is any device, software, or equipment that helps people work around their learning challenges.

When we think of assistive technology for students with learning difficulties, we often think of high-tech devices such as Chromebooks, computers, and iPads.

In fact, sometimes high tech solutions can inadvertently create new barriers by increasing the cognitive load. (Haven, 2009).

Fortunately, there are many ways that we can help students using simple, low-tech supports in the classroom.  The great news is, many of these supports are already widely used to help students learn.

Low tech solutions coupled with strategies to support all students including guided practice and teacher modelling help students process information and explicitly teach new skills. (Kaufman 2010)

Flexible deadlines and assignments, including the use of choice boards, allow students to approach classwork in multiple ways.  This can improve student engagement and assignment completion.


Series, P. E. N. S., & Exploratorium, S. F. (2009). What AT is… and isn’t.

Netherton, D. L., & Deal, W. F. (2006). Assistive technology in the classroom. Technology Teacher, 66(1), 10-15.Kaufman, C. (2010). Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students. Brookes Publishing Company. PO Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285.

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