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How technology can help disabled students in the classroom

March 15, 2011|By Mary Forgione, Tribune Health
(Livescribe )

Everyone likes having techie gadgets -- and college student Adam Amick is no exception. He carries an iPad instead of heavy textbooks and uses a Bluetooth-enabled microphone to offset his hearing loss. 

A Newport News Daily Press story explains how these gadgets help the 19-year-old sophomore, who has cerebral palsy. "It levels the playing field," he told the paper. "It allows people with disabilities to adapt to their environment and be treated like everybody else."

While they may be known as iPads to most of us, professionals who help disabled students deem these tools "assistive technology." The story continues:

"Smartpens" record audio while a student takes notes. A click of the pen on the page takes the note-taker back to the accompanying audio. That's helpful for kids who may have a hard time taking notes. ECO2 and ECOpoint track a person's eye movements and type the corresponding word or picture they focus on."

And as for the cost, in Virginia, where Amick goes to school, the NewWell Fund offers low-interest loans to disabled students and others in need.

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