Technology has changed the way learning is created and consumed in the 21st century. It has also brought in tremendous possibilities to create ‘inclusive’ learning that takes into consideration the special needs of differently abled learners as well – in educational institutes as well as corporate organizations. Computer-based programs have been developed to help these learners access learning material as well as contribute actively to gain an immersive experience. With the help of Assistive Computer Technology (AT) anybody – irrespective of any disability – can effectively interact with a computer. Assistive Technology has created visual as well as audio learning aids based on mobility, which help learners to not just access pertinent learning material but create avenues for two-way interaction and participation as well.
There are various challenges that learners with disabilities face. Some learners have physical disabilities or long-term illnesses that predominantly pose the challenge of accessibility where they are unable to travel to classrooms or other locations for trainings. For others with sensory disabilities like vision or hearing impairment, it is a challenge to utilize regular classroom tools or learning material. Many learners also have cognitive impairments, and have to learn in a different manner. While these challenges are real, with Assistive Technology it is possible to provide avenues of immersive learning for learners who deal with these challenges every day.
Here are a few examples of Assistive Technology and how it can help differently abled learners –
World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking is probably the best example of how Assertive Technology has helped a talented mind overcome physical impairments to contribute productively to the world around him. So we can now look forward to a more inclusive way of learning, instead of the cloistered existence that most differently abled learners had to face in the past. Newer technology allows differently abled learners to learn with their peers as well as contribute fruitfully to the collaborative process of learning. This is indeed the new era of learning – truly learning for all.
Source and suggested further reading: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/features/what-can-technology-do-for-disabled-learners/