The degree of technological and medical progress we have made over the past century is truly inspiring. Too often, we put our efforts and genius to work for things that are shortsighted or rooted in greed, hatred, or other negative impulses. To see humanity instead work to develop means by which to treat and assist those among us who need require extra assistance is a sign that, even in as fast developing a technological age as this, the best of our human values and common humanity remains constant.
Here, then, is a quick look at how certain forms of assistive tech is being used to help visually impaired students.
To begin with, it is worth noting that assistive tech for visually impaired students is not focused on providing assistance for those with mental disabilities. Though we have come a long way, some people still tend to conflate different types of learning difficulties. There is nothing wrong with the cognitive ability of most students requiring visual aids – they need assistance being able to see or using learning tools with braille.
Specific Forms of Assistance
The best forms of visual assistive technology for visually impaired students do just that, offering a variety of alternatives for students with particular conditions.
For example, students who have a hard time reading print or seeing smaller or close up items clearly can make use of handheld magnifiers. Some of these students also make use of audiobooks, an obvious assistive tool that can allow students who can barely see to listen to and read everything from Harry Potter to The Complete Works of Shakespeare.
In addition, there are assistive tools that make use of braille. These are critical for students who are nearly or entirely blind. Lately, refreshable tactile displays have allowed students with such disabilities to refresh and see displays on the computer in a tactile braille format they can read with their fingers.
All of these methods and the many more like them represent a tremendous leap forward in the field of assistive classroom technology for visually impaired students.