Effective Tools For Teaching Students With Learning Challenges

According to the research conducted by National Education Association (NEA), the number of students enrolled in special education programs in the U.S. has risen to 30% over the past 10 years. The research also found out that today every general education classroom in the U.S. includes students with learning disabilities. Three out of every four uniquely challenged students spend a part or their entire day at school.

It has also been observed that as the number of students has increased in special education programs, the supply of special education teachers and instructors has not kept pace. There has been a shortage of well-trained instructors in special education.

There is one tool that can help students with learning disabilities even when there is an acute shortage of special education teachers and that is assistive technology. Assistive technology is today helping students with certain disabilities learn more quickly and effectively. It has a variety of features to suit every child, including, a graphic organizer worksheet to “high” technologies including smart phone apps and cutting-edge software. Assistive technology is very innovative, which is why it has rapidly become a growing and dynamic field. Today institutions are utilizing assistive technology tools in their classrooms and making a difference in how students of all abilities learn.

Below are some of the innovative assistive technology tools being used by educational institutions across the U.S.


  1. Text-To-Speech Assistive Tools

Text-to-speech (TTS) software is exclusively designed to help children who encounter difficulties reading the standard print. Print disabilities commonly include dyslexia, blindness, or any type of visual impairment, physical condition or learning disability that impedes children’s ability to read. However, children with intellectual disability,  attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism can also benefit from TTS technology.

TTS works by scanning the text and then reading the words to the student in a completely synthesized voice, using a variety of speech sounds that easily make up words in any given context. With the advancement in speech synthesis, TTS technology has become more accurate and lifelike than ever.


  1. Intel Reader

Intel Reader is an innovative mobile handheld device that uses advanced TTS technology to read printed text aloud. The device features a high-resolution camera that can easily capture printed text, convert it to digital text and read it to the user. During the playback, words are highlighted as they are read aloud one by one and the user can easily pause and can tell the device to spell out highlighted words. Intel Reader is portable and mobile enough to use in almost any environment.


  1. Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 has come out as a leader in TTS software for children with special challenges. It provides the most comprehensive suite of support tools for struggling students; including reading, writing, study skills, and test taking. It is a full-featured software program that tailors user experience to unique individual needs. It provides deep support for learners with learning disabilities and provides support for fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, study skills and test taking.

Nakata Consulting provides sound and practical advice to small businesses, individuals, and disability-special-education advocacy groups and acts in an advisory role when they need guidance. Get in touch with Nakata Consulting today for more details.