Dealing with Learning Disabilities Essay

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Dealing with Learning Disabilities

“He’ll know things one day, but not the next”. “She is seeing or writing words or numbers backwards.” “She has difficulty grasping simple concepts”. These are comments made by teachers who have classified certain students in their classroom as having the unfortunate burden of a learning disability. A learning disability is “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations”(Metzger, 1983, p7). Students with learning disorders may exhibit difficulty learning in a number of ways. Such conditions as
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Researching deeper into the definition, the more specific term adaptive 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 a disability” (Braswell, 2001,p1). Assistive technology has been making it possible for children with disabilities to do more for themselves and become less dependent on others. For example, a child who cannot use her hands can operate a computer with a switch and an on-screen keyboard. A child with speech problems can communicate using a portable electronic device that “speaks”. These are just a few of the examples of the wide variety of adaptive equipment that is available today.

Fortunately for the disabled students of the new millennium, adaptive technology has greatly improved. Technological developments have been emerging since the early 1900’s, but looking back on the past twenty years, adaptive technology has come a long way. In 1988, Retail point-of-sale devices began to use picture-based keyboards. This technology was originally developed in the mid 1960’s to enable people to speak using a keyboard, computer, and speech synthesizer (Jacob, 1999). Today, these picture-based keyboards enable retail establishments to employ individuals, who, for one reason or
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