Advantages And Disadvantages Of Assistive Technology

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Assistive technology (AT) has progressed significantly with the era of the modern computer. While low-tech devices (alphabet and picture boards) still have a useful and relevant role to play in supporting students who are deaf in an academic setting, modern computer technology has transformed the lives of students who are deaf or those who are hard of hearing. Students who are hard of hearing require supports to engage with their learning environments (as do students who are deaf). Devices such as FM systems, induction loop systems and infrared systems allow students who are hard of hearing to engage with the learning process within their classroom; they can hear, understand and interpret the spoken word of their teacher. While each of these systems operate in slightly different ways, they are broadly similar insofar as their main aim is to aid the hearing ability of the recipient. Inevitably each of these systems has various advantages and disadvantages for both the student and the teacher and technical difficulties (as is the case with any form of technology, especially medium and high-tech devices and systems) can occur and must be overcome swiftly to ensure continued and unfettered access to the curriculum is maintained for the recipient student. Beyond the scope of the AT, teachers can uphold practice where their student who is hard of hearing can have the maximum exposure to their spoken language wherever possible. For instance, they can attempt to remain
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