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This PowerPoint assignment to digitally document the assistive technology available in school engages students with classmates with disabilities


Computers & Internet  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Assistive Technology in Schools
By – Sean Smith
Primary Subject – Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 9-12

Michigan Technology Benchmarks:

    Understand the purpose, scope, and use of assistive technology.

Learning Resources and Materials:

      Each student will be in groups and that group will need a digital camera and access to a computer. Students will use knowledge gained from other classes and my pre-project lecture.
Assistive Technology commonly refers to ” …products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.. .”

Assistive Technology Act of 1998

Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies. For example, people with limited hand function may use a keyboard with large keys or a special mouse to operate a computer, people who are blind may use software that reads text on the screen in a computer-generated voice, people with low vision may use software that enlarges screen content, people who are deaf may use a TTY (text telephone), or people with speech impairments may use a device that speaks out loud as they enter text via a keyboard.

Development of Lesson:


        One of Michigan’s technology standards deals with assistive technology. I wanted to incorporate a fun lesson that had to do with technology, but also taught the students something new. By teaching students about students with disabilities, I thought it would make students more tolerant of others.



        The first thing that students have to do is get a digital camera. We ask students not to bring personal cameras. As a group we walk down to the technology lab and sign one out. Then, we regroup as a class and talk about the assignment.
As a group of four, you are to find three forms of assistive technology and take a picture of it. After you have found three forms, you go to the computer lab where you upload the pictures. As a group, you then make a PowerPoint explaining the assistive devices and what they are used for. After this is done, return the digital cameras.



        The only adaptations that will be made are for the deaf students. We will assign them to the same group and have a sign language support teacher present.



        Evaluation will be given after the assignment is complete. I have a grading rubric for the assignment with everything ranging from types of pictures taken, to group teamwork. Grades will not be given on an individual basis, but as a group.



      I really enjoy doing this assignment. It not only teaches students how to use a digital camera and work with PowerPoint, but it engages students with classmates with disabilities. While some wouldn’t like this assignment, I don’t see any problems with it. When children ask to take a picture of a wheelchair, they are told to introduce themselves and tell the student in the wheelchair why they are taking the picture. Amazingly, students meet new friends in the process of this assignment.

E-Mail Sean Smith !

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