Assistive technology in the inclusive science classroom

Federal legislation requires that supplementary aids and services be provided to students with diagnosed disabilities to assist them in accessing the general-education curriculum. Such modifications to the curriculum may include assistive technology (AT) devices and services. AT can be any item, piece of equipment, or teacher-made product that is designed to improve a student's functional capability or help a student succeed in accessing the general education curriculum. Students with disabilities have used items such as pencil grips and text-to-speech devices to succeed in life activities and in inclusive classrooms. Lahm and Morrissette (1994) identify seven instructional areas in which AT has proven advantageous for use with students with mild disabilities: organization, note taking, writing assistance, productivity, access to reference materials, cognitive assistance, and materials modification. In this article, the authors discuss the applications of a wide variety of ATs in each of the seven instructional areas that are especially useful in the secondary science classroom with both special-needs and regular-education students.

Watson, S., & Johnston, L.
Science Teacher, Vol. 74 (3), 34-38.
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Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
visual impairment
Instructional Support: 
electronic references and resources
multiple formats of text and notation
opportunities to learn concepts
NSTA Content Standards: 
earth & space science
history & nature of science
life science
personal & social perspectives
physical science
science & technology
science as inquiry
unifying concepts & processes