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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: ICT
  • Word count: 3185

Research the different software and hardware available to aid students with special/particular needs:

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Introduction

Research the different software and hardware available to aid students with special/particular needs: Sensory Impairment: A person with sensory impairment has reduced ability or lack of ability in using one of three senses: vision, touch and hearing. The effects of sensory impairment can range from slight to complete loss of the sense. It may be mild or have severe impact on their every day lives. Large monitor computers are relatively cheap in this day and age and can aid people with sensory impairment, by magnifying the screen and bigger fonts enabling them to understand and comprehend better. Talking computers are always useful also for people with sensory impairments, as they cannot see the screen so they listen to the words being read out, this is an effective way of teaching them and helping them learn. Other devices such as enlarged keyboards are useful for people also with sensory impairment this helps them type easier which therefore can help with the learning and education. For many blind or partially sighted learners, ICT can enable access to the curriculum by providing alternative methods of reading and recording work. It is likely that pupils with visual impairment may need to use ICT across most of the curriculum and that they will be following the same curriculum as their peers (unless they have other disabilities or learning difficulties). There is a range of different ways in which ICT can provide support for these learners. * Not long after the introduction of personal computer, software and hardware systems for reading screen text out loud were developed for people with visual impairment. * As computers and operating systems have become increasingly sophisticated, adapting computers for use by people with sensory impairments has posed increasing challenges. * Multimedia output that uses audio is not accessible to those people who cannot hear, and cannot on a keyboard type effectively. Fortunately, specialised hardware and software can make computer systems useable by anyone with sensory impairment. ...read more.

Middle

Visual impairment can take many forms and each eye condition will be quite specific. Therefore, the impact that visual impairment has on learning will be unique to the individual. The vast majority of people with a visual impairment have some useful sight, although the degree of sight can vary greatly. For the many learners with a visual impairment, reading and writing presents barriers to learning, often creating difficulties with literacy and numeracy. This can inevitably result in difficulties in accessing and engaging in the curriculum. There are a number of technologies that are of particular use when working with learners with visual impairment. For learners inputting in Braille, Braille translation software can produce a text version of the learner's work for their teacher to read. It can be very beneficial for some students to print out in Braille or softbraille using an embosser. Written text can be converted to Braille using a scanner and a Braille printer. Braille keyboard computers are available with synthesised speech or moving Braille output. An overlay keyboard can provide visually impaired pupils with a combination of sensory stimuli. It is possible to create tactile overlays, which can enhance access when used with speech feedback or visual representation. Text can be scanned in to a computer. It can then be enlarged on screen, converted to Braille or 'read' aloud by a speech synthesiser attached to the computer. Limited Mobility: Limited mobility in people can often cause an effect on their education as can any disability. ICT can provide and help people, who writing for them can be hard, and can assist them by typing, in addition to this it is much easier to type than to write when you are finding it hard to concentrate, controlling the pen. This has many advantages such as the person is not constantly moving and is only using their fingers. However when just generally using the computer there is not a problem for people in wheelchairs. ...read more.

Conclusion

and various comprehension skills. There are, also, 'drill and practice' spelling programs, which are carefully structured, grouping particular sounds and providing reinforcement. Examples are Starspell, Spellit 3 and Wordshark. The price of this software is approximately �60+. Literary assistance software Literary assistance software helps with particular styles of writing. An example of this type of software is Inclusive Writer, developed by Widgit Software and Inclusive Technology. The program comes with different literacy activities on the CD - for example story starters, and rhyming words - and also provides images and symbols. Multiple Disabilities For people with multiple disabilities computers can be a tool for play and communication. Webcams are useful for disabled people who are not able to go out and visit people and another advantage of this is that they are relatively cheap. ICT can greatly help those people with more than one disability. For example if someone was partially blind and had limited mobility, the use of ICT can be both practical for educational purposes along with entertainment and leisure purposes. ICT offer both challenges and encouragement for people willing to learn. Computers on the whole are valuable and helpful. They have become important for people with disabilities. Their flexibility allows adaptations to be made easily to meet different needs, making them easier to use. Another great thing about computers is that they are very affordable nowadays, and even with additional software it is reasonable, including the Internet, this is a big impact on the carers or parents who look after the disabled person. An immense disadvantage of computers is that it is possible to crash at any time. This will be an even bigger disadvantage for people who have more than one disability than for people who have just one because they are much more reliant on computers. Also they will find it difficult to fix it if they are in a wheelchair and have language difficulties to repair the computer than if someone just had limited mobility with a broken leg. 1 ...read more.

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