Assistive technology can open up exciting new opportunities for a child, but it is not magic. There are certain basic requirements for any individual to be successful with technology, and it is important to face these requirements squarely. It can be very disappointing and discouraging to purchase expensive equipment for a child which is beyond his or her capabilities to use. We encourage parents and students to become well informed.
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is the term used to describe various tools used to help individuals with disabilities live more productive, independent lives. Assistive Technology involves three levels -- low, medium and high. Think of a pyramid with three levels -- low on the bottom, medium in the middle and high at the top.
What are high technology (high tech) options?
High Tech options are at the top of the pyramid because they are the most complex and more often than not the most expensive types of assistive technology tools you can get. If you plan to use high tech options it is likely that you will need some sort of training to use it. High Tech options are adaptable to the individual's needs. For that reason, they are a favorite.
What are medium technology (medium tech) options?
Medium Tech options are more simple tools and adaptations made to everyday tools to make them more user friendly. These options are usually quite common and are available to most people. They are usually inexpensive. Medium tech options should not require very much training, if any.
What are low technology (low tech) options?
Low technology options are not what you would immediately think of as assistivetechnology. This option includes easy access tools - things which are probably lying around the house in many cases. Also, these tools are not expensive.
The key to choosing the right assistive technology is looking at yourself. You need to look at the areas which you want to develop and how you want to develop them. You should start with low tech options and if they work, then great. If not you should work your way up to the next level and try medium tech. High tech options are the last stop on the pyramid. You may not need to go this far but if you do be cautious because there are a lot of options and you should only use the ones that suit your needs.
Reprinted from: http://www.hhm.k12.nf.ca/grassroots/learn-dis/learning%20disabilities.html