Joseph P. Akpan Ph.D., Lawrence A. Beard* Ed.D.
Universal Journal of Educational Research
Despite enormous improvements in AT devices and services in American classrooms, the number of students with special needs, and the complexity of needs that they and their families experience continues to be skyrocketed nationwide. In response to these urgent needs, more advanced and specialized assistive technologies have been developed that educators can use to revamp and redefine education of individuals with special needs, multiple learning styles, and physical challenges. AT helps students with special needs develop independent thinking skills, maintain self-reliance, increase autonomy, develop problem-solving skills, facilitate a sense of continuity in living conditions as much as possible, and become more actively involved in their educational activities at home, schools, and communities. It allows teachers to reach out to all children at home, in the classroom, workplace, and community through outreach programs. AT, both high and light provide enormous potential for students with special needs to capitalize on their strengths and by bypassing, or compensate for the loss of function, making the most out of their educational experiences. This article investigates the potential of AT to revamp education of students with special
needs. In addition, this paper will help make educators and the learning community aware of AT availability and the use of and benefits afforded by AT devices.