Learning

ParentsAssistive Technology

How can AT help?

Just like the right pair of glasses can help us see more clearly, the right kinds of assistive technologies (AT) can make tasks such as reading, writing or organizing information much easier.

Different tools work for different needs, so there is no one solution. This website focuses on computer-based AT (mainly software) – each for a specific purpose, such as reading, writing, math, or idea organization. Some students use one particular tool, while others may use a combination of tools to support their learning and the completion of school assignments.

If your child has a particular learning difficulty, his/her teacher may already be introducing some type of AT in the classroom. Keep in mind, however, that AT software is just another tool to support learning, and many students (and adults!) of all abilities can benefit from using some of the same tools for work or study.

The resources on this website will introduce some of the options available, and can help you have a more informed discussion with your child’s teachers if necessary.

By visiting the Students Videos section, you can choose from several short student-focused videos that will introduce some of the different types of AT currently used in classrooms.

The Glossary contains a summary of all the AT tools introduced in the videos and the website.

Finally, for more information, visit the Resources section. There, you’ll find annotated links to informative articles as well as other useful online resources. The resources listed in the Student section include links to some online tools that offer similar features to some of the AT seen in the videos.

We encourage you to explore the information on our website and speak with your child’s teachers about the resources available at your school to help your child achieve success.

Featured Testimonial

Hear about how assistive technology helps in the classroom.

Video Resources

The Assistive Technologies Support Initiative has produced a series of videos for students designed to show how AT can help them with tasks such as reading, writing, and editing. These short 3-5 minute videos are also recommended for parents and anyone who supports student learning. They can be found in the Students Video section.

Resources for Parents

Have you ever watched the FAT City Video?

  • If not, borrow a copy from your local library or Learning Disabilities Association.
    "HOW DIFFICULT CAN THIS BE?" The F.A.T. City Learning Disability Workshop by Richard Lavoie
    F.A.T. City stands for the Frustration, Anxiety and Tension which comes from living with a learning disability.
    Rick Lavoie’s resources will change your perspective and help you help your child.

Mathematics and Disabilities Handbook: Your Guide for Students with LD, ADHD, TBI and Wounded Warriors eBook can now help you with more students with different disabilities and render up-to-date advice to faculty, disability services providers and administrators on helping students with disabilities.

The Learning Disabilities Resource Guide is a fantastic resource for volunteers, educators and parents. It's considered "the best resources out there" to help match assistive technology and learning strategies to the student's strengths and weaknesses.

This is a fantastic site Canadian about Attention Deficit Disorder with great video clips – makes you laugh, but gives you great information too.

This link brings you directly to a good overview article discussion AT for children with Learning disabilities. There are some good links to specific learning areas and a broad list of technologies available. This is a US site so the reader should keep that in mind.

Sudbury has developed an good site with lots of resources for teachers and parents. They have a good explanation of IPRCs and IEPs as well as links to free and low cost software.

E-ssential tips: A parent's guide to assistive technology. This overview of current technologies to help parents select the right tools for their children with learning problems. Can be downloaded at:

SNOW is the branch of the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University that focuses on inclusive education and learning. This Canadian site provides information and training for educators, parents and students with disabilities on technologies for learning both in and out of the classroom as well as promote understanding of inclusive practices.

The Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario has a very good site dedicated to "improving the lives of children, youth and adults with learning disabilities." They offer many resources for people with disabilities as well as parents and teachers. The following link is specific to their section on AT but you are encouraged to browse the many areas of the site.

This guide is based on over 20 years of research conducted by the Frostig Center in Pasadena, California. The research traced the lives of individuals with learning disabilities in an attempt to identify factors that predicted successful life outcomes. The guide has been developed by Dr. Marshall H. Raskind, Dr. Roberta J. Goldberg, along with research associates Dr. Eleanor L. Higgins and Dr. Kenneth L. Herman.

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education provides this very good site for understanding all of Ontario's requirements for Individual Education Plans. A good site for parents, teachers and other education professionals.

How to help your child develop resilience when they have a learning disability (PDF Document):

Misunderstood Minds PBS - a great tool for parents wanting to better understand their child's learning differences:

Training for Parents

Students need ongoing support to be success using assistive technology.

Parents and guardians should do their best to learn assistive technology software programs and the learning strategies that support AT—this website can help you!

The ATSI parent training resources will allow you to get familiar with some assistive technology software programs and learning strategies currently being used in education to support identified students. The ATSI resources will also provide you with the background, training and ideas on how you can support students that use AT, and how you can support teachers that want help implementing AT into their classrooms.

You will receive a broad knowledge of assistive technology and related learning strategies used in elementary and high school educational settings.

  • Background and relevance
  • Overview of AT
  • Overview of Learning Strategies and AT
  • Technology Training in Kurzweil 3000, Dragon NaturallySpeaking
  • Links and Organizations

This ATSI toolkit is flexible and can be used as a self paced model or in a group setting. The workshop includes reviewing the ATSI videos, along with self paced learning and suggestions for additional training.

If you want to organize a parent AT training event at you school, visit the Volunteer Training page.

ASTI Parent training Part 1

ASTI Parent training Part 1 provides:

  • Background on ATSI
  • Support and training

AT Training for Parents Part 1 PowerPoint Presentation (2.55 MB)

 

ATSI Parent Training Part 2

ATSI Parent Training Part 2 is meant as a cost-effective self paced model to become familiar with some of the AT used in schools.

AT Training for Parents Part 2 PowerPoint Presentation (181 KB)

Training Resources

Applied Learning Disability Specialist (LDGC)

This program will provide the necessary framework for individuals interested in acquiring the skills and training required to take on the role of educator for students with learning disabilities. This program has two streams, enabling course participants to specialize in either the Learning Strategies or the Assistive Technologies stream. This course may be of interest to both parents and educators.

Help improve our content

Your help to improve and add content to this site is appreciated. Your organization will be given credit for all contributions you want to share: tip sheets, training manuals, websites, etc.

Please send your contributions and ideas to:

Lee-Ann Scott
Director, Ottawa Volunteers in Education, Ottawa Network for Education
900 Morrison Drive, Suite 205
Ottawa, Ontario K2H 8K7
Tel: 613-366-3085 ext. 253
lscott@onfe-rope.ca