Strategies for disabled learners are effective for everyone
- Assistive technology is designed to make learning more accessible to students with disabilities, but it actually can benefit all students, according to a recent article in Edutopia.
- Text-to-speech technology can help students who struggle with decoding and fluency, and voice dictation technologies can help those struggling with writing to organize their thoughts.
- Clock apps can help students manage time, and toggling between browser views can reduce clutter and help streamline information to help promote more efficient workflow.
Realizing that the needs of students with learning disabilities do not deviate wholly from the needs of all students is the first step in ensuring equity at all levels of education. Rather than "othering" students with learning challenges, finding ways to incorporate assistive technology all students to use can help to boost achievement for the total population.
If the K-12 sector is faulted for not doing enough to promote learning for all students, higher education is even more behind the eight ball. Mandates to make online content accessible led to UC Berkeley deciding to simply remove volumes of information from its online portals. And while other institutions publicly declared they have no plans to follow Berkeley's lead, the act stood as a glaring reminder of just how far higher education has to go in making learning accessible to all students.
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