Saturday, November 21, 2009

Assistive Tech, Module Two

The videos this week are really powerful. The graphic artist is particularly inspiring to me because it is so easy to get tunnel vision and view artists within the stereotype of standing at an easel, holding a paint brush in one hand and a paint pallet in another.

I also had no idea how many assistive tech hardware options there are out there! The foot controlled mouse is just one of many options.

In thinking about assistive tech in terms of my school library, I have been thinking most about a young man who is confined to a motorized wheelchair and has no body movement. I don't teach him, so I am not sure what his diagnosis is, but we exchange greetings in the hall just about every morning. To that end, I think I want to focus on voice recognition technology, and the piece of hardware that I have selected is this, the Cyber-Acoustics Speech Recognition Stereo Headset. To be used in conjunction with voice recognition software, this headset would enable the student at my school to compose works on the computer orally, since he does not have use of his hands.

My one complaint about all the amazing hardware available is the price. The headset alone costs anywhere from $26-$45, and this is very much the low end of the spectrum. How will school districts and public institutions which have already faced severe budget cuts in recent years afford the technology that would help make learning inclusive for all students? The expense should not be preventative, and the prices I have seen on enablemart make me think that may be the case.

1 comment:

  1. fed funds can sometimes help; it's interesting how AT can inspire thoughts about specific students