AT and Learning Disabilities

Writing Mechanics

Alternative writing surfaces (white boards) or slant boards and alternative writing implements (magnetic letters, alphabet stamps) can make a difference. Raised line paper or pencil grips can also help with handwriting.

Example:

  • Onion Mountain offers a collection of low and mid tech tools designed for teachers, classroom aides, and support professionals to use with students (grades K-12) who have special needs. Examples: keyboard lowercase labels, plastic writing guides, raised line paper, easy grip crayons, and pen and pencil grips. http://onionmountaintech.com/

Students who have difficulty writing notes while processing, understanding or remembering what they hear may find it helpful to record a teacher’s instructions or classroom lecture. Smart Pens can be used to capture spoken information and link it to the written word. Some students find that they are able to take fewer notes when a lecture is recorded for later review. Smart Pens are used with special paper that allows the user to use the pen tip to touch any point in the notes to play the recorded audio from that point in the lecture. A variable speech control feature enables the listener to play recorded text faster or slower than it was originally recorded, without losing the actual sounds of the words. Some students understand spoken language better at a slower pace and others find that they can review material faster by speeding up the tape.

Examples:

Some students find handwriting especially difficult and have illegible handwriting even after years of practice. When a student’s handwriting skills are a barrier to achieving academic success, keyboarding skills are often taught.

Similar to the Smart Pens, Microsoft OneNote allows a student to record a class lecture while typing notes. After the class the student can click on any typed word in the notes to begin playing the recorded audio at that point.

Reminder: It’s important to ask permission to record other people!

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