One thing that always shocks me when I look further into is how well developed our assistive devices are today. When you look into the past, as we will soon, you will learn that kids or people with any disabilities just were not cared for. We must realize that the world was a very relentless space a near hundred years ago for those who were not deemed as “normal.” Remember that we are all one incident from being disabled and be grateful that you live in the era where everyone is considered normal.
A Peek Into the Past
As I have already stated, the pickings were bare bone as for as assistive devices in the classroom was a concern. When you research education in the 1900s, then you’ll see that all spheres of it were bare bones. Outside of books, paper, and wooden pencils, the classrooms hardly consisted anything else. Here are the few assistive devices I could find, but these were hardly made to assist the disabled:
Blackboard and Chalk – While this at first might seem just like a classroom essential, this was the only thing that could support those who had difficulty hearing. Granted it was only to an extent but what else could you hope for back then?
A Look Into the Future
The future of assistive devices, in contrast, is looking brighter with constant innovations in the field being made every day. The goal is to put everyone on an equal playing field for success, and it seems as if we are getting closer to achieving this day by the day. These are only a few of the wonderful inventions that we have today:
Intel Reader – No longer will those struggling to learn Braille will have to guess the words. This can take any document and read it aloud in a way that does not sound mechanical. Unlike the teacher, it is hand-sized and can be transferred from place to place.
Kurzweil 3000 – Some people struggle with reading a language, and this is doing its best to close the language barriers. It has an extensive range of features for those with a disability! You should check it out yourself to see if this can help.
FM Systems – American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and I would agree that this is the best solution for those who suffer from hearing loss. ASLHA would go one step further to categorize this lost as sensorineural hearing loss (loss occurs when the inner ear (cochlea) or nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain are damaged).
A Stare Into the Now
As for now we are prepared for that as well. It might just surprise you with the number of advancements that we have when in compared to that of the past. So much so that I will not be able to cover them all here:
Electronic Worksheets – This is something that can finally help people with dyslexia as this helps accurately line up their assignments and equations without having any extra work or paper on behalf of the teacher. There is even a reliable text to speech functionality that is always a welcomed addition to anything.
Phonetic Spelling Software – This helps kids with learning disabilities by providing them with an alternative way of typing. There are plenty of kids that struggle with writing, so this program changes their word into what they were intended to say.
Talking Calculators – This was designed to help children with dyscalculia that could greatly benefit from a talking calculator. Outside of the very obvious, it makes it easier to check assignments, read numbers, and perform calculations. While it is relatively straightforward in its design, the benefits are near endless.
Variable Speed Recorders – Everyone learn at a different rate, and this is a plan to fix just that. These students tend to struggle with lectures, so this recorder not only slows down speech but also speeds it up if the needs arise. If the pitch is too hard to understand then, this can be changed as well.
We live in an age where there is at least one disability that is now alleviated in the classroom, but this cannot cover the full range that inflicts so many people. We at the very least have a future that we can look towards where there will be multiple solutions for every type of disability.