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Assistive Technology and Achieving Dreams

09/24/2013 06:44PM, Published by Brian O, Categories: In Print, Sports & Rec, Health, Today



By: Valorie J. Ahrendt, PAAT Program Director, South Dakota Advocacy Services


The definition of assistive technology is quite technical and is, to be honest, very boring. But when thinking about using assistive technology (AT) with children with disabilities, an easier and more exciting definition is any item that supports a child to be able to learn, play, communicate, and do things that other children do, and do these things as independently as possible. When a child has difficulties, AT should definitely be considered as an option. AT can be “low-tech,” such as a laminated picture choice board, or “high-tech,” such as speech recognition software. Whether low- or high-tech, the main goal is for the item to provide a child an opportunity that may not be otherwise possible. AT costs can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the device needed. However, there are a variety of free applications (apps) available for mobile devices, such as iPads, iPhones, or similar operating systems. Numerous devices, software, and apps are available to fit an array of needs. Using AT is easier than ever. Most devices and applications are already programmed and can be easily set up to fit individual needs.

 Examples of how assistive technology can be used with a child with a disability:

  • A child with difficulties verbalizing wants and needs could point to picture symbols or use a mobile device that has voice output, such as an iPad with a communication app.
  • A child with a visual impairment could use computer software that will read a story aloud.
  • A child who has limited mobility could use a stair lift in the home to get from one floor to another.
  • A child who has limited hand and arm strength could use an electronic stapler.

 If parents are unsure of how assistive technology could benefit their child or which device(s) would be appropriate, the first step is to request an evaluation for assistive technology through the local school district, hospital, or assistive technology specialists. The assessment should provide recommendations on selecting, obtaining, and paying for a device.

 All parents have dreams for their child’s future. Sometimes those dreams may seem lost when their child is diagnosed with a disability. It doesn’t have to be that way. With assistive technology, dreams can be realized. So start dreaming!



technology learning kids independent need assisting assistive help


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    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Free First Friday

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us for Free First Fridays, whether you are new to the area, new to the Pavilion, or even a r...


  • Little All Stars

    04/07/2017
    06:30PM — 07:20PM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/07/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators...


  • Little All Stars

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 09:50AM

    -Ages: Walking - 6 years -10 punches per card -Cards do not expire


  • SFLS Craft & Vendor Fair

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    Come on out for a day of shopping! Food Trucks, Craft Vendors, Gifts, Face Painting, Baby Gifts, ...


  • Super Second Saturdays

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Super 2nd Saturday is a special new program for our patrons! Each month features new exciting, ed...


  • Super 2nd Saturday

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Super 2nd Saturday is a special new program for our patrons! Each month features new exciting, ed...


  • Spring Party

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Hop on over to Morningside Community Center. We will be playing games, making friends and making ...


  • Easter Bunny at Sioux Empire Mall

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    IT'S TIME FOR EASTER BUNNY PHOTOS He'll be waiting for you Center Court. Simply go to simon.noe...


  • Tee-Ball

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 10:45AM

    Come to this intro class on tee-ball.where you can learn to play the sport or practice the skills...


  • R is for Robot

    04/08/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    It's a robot party. Come join Chip, Sprocket, and all the other robots as we explore all thing ro...


  • Infant CPR

    04/08/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Monthly on the second Saturday


  • Tee-Ball

    04/08/2017
    11:00AM — 11:45AM

    Come to this intro class on tee-ball.where you can learn to play the sport or practice the skills...


  • ATTENTION RETURNING CAMPERS! RECONNECT WITH YOUR CAMP FRIENDS! PLAY YOUR FAVORITE CAMP SPORT! ...


  • Saturday Cookie Decorating Days

    04/08/2017
    02:00PM — 04:30PM

    Call us by Friday 605-978-0991 and you can come in and decorate cookies on Saturday! We do cookie...


  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    02:00PM — 05:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Mary W. Sommervold Hall Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA i...


  • Super Saturday's

    04/08/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    We are bringing back our Saturday night open gym! Every Saturday night from 6-8pm! Anyone ages 6-...


  • R is for Robot

    04/08/2017
    06:15PM — 07:15PM

    It's a robot party. Come join Chip, Sprocket, and all the other robots as we explore all thing ro...


  • Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®- winning Broadway musical from the creators...


  • Rodgers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA

    04/08/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA Mary W. Sommervold Hall Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA i...



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