Successful Stories Using Technology To Overcome Learning Disability

Optimism is something I rarely encounter when reading about learning disabled students. This article is an extremely hopeful account of three learning disabled students that are achieving dramatic gains with the assistance of computer technology. Eli, a third grader in Hawaii who was previously unable to read, has been able to use a computer program to help him develop phonemic awareness. At the end of his third grade year, he was reading at an early second grade level! Taba, another third-grade student is extremely bright, but his disability keeps him from translating thoughts in his head onto paper. With the assistance of a computer program that dictates his speech onto a typing program, Taba is now able to be successful with writing and other daily assignment. And finally, Camille is a second-grade student with Down’s Syndrome. While she is intelligent and eager to learn, her motor skills keep her from daily computer assignments. Software engineers developed devices to ease Camille’s frustrations and assist her in operating the computer. The greatest thing about this article was learning that these computer software programs/devices are not only available for these specific learning disabilities. In all the cases described, programs were adapted and created specifically for each student. This holds enormous promise for the myriad of difficulties our students face.

This article serves as a spring board for teachers, administrators, and technology specialists to begin developing programs for the numerous learning disabilities that exist. Additionally, the outcomes of these programs should ignite the idea of hope for many teachers, like myself, who feel helpless to reach students with disabilities that we do not understand.

The article can be read below, or accessed here:

Submitted by Jeffrey Tomlinson