Assistive Technology: Saving Time and Increasing Quality

As we near the end of the year, it’s difficult not to ask yourself, “where did the time go!?” Life seems to be moving progressively faster and with that, demands, expectations, and stresses at school and work can pile up without warning.
To curb this sometimes daunting reality and to achieve a competitive edge in your life, learning, and work endeavors, technology often provides the most ideal solution. Specifically (but not exclusively) for learners, Assistive Technology (AT) provides an exceptional spectrum of tools and supports to help users accomplish tasks more efficiently, effectively and independently.
Often thought of as only assisting people with cognitive, sensory, physical, communication, learning, and/or other challenges, Assistive Technology provides a variety of values and benefits for the whole family or within any work environment.

Key Features of AT
• Text to Speech learning tools read electronic or on-line text aloud allowing oral learners or non-readers access to information and advanced readers the opportunity to multi-task
• Writing Tools translate oral dictation into text that can then be edited, adapted and expanded on in any format
• Read-Back Function will read-back written words or sentences to provide accurate, quick proofreading and provide a model to improve reading fluency
• Predictive Spelling, Dictionary & Thesaurus put these tools at your finger tips
• Vocabulary List with image icons support visual learners and consolidate meaning
• Highlighting and transfer (from the net to Word) functions can be used for a variety of quick organizational purposes
• Sticky Notes assist in summarizing, predicting and making inferences
• Graphic Organizers make sense of and organize ideas in logical ways

Key Benefits of AT
• MOTIVATION! Users are empowered and excited to use the many at-your-finger-tips supports
• Fosters independence and problem solving skills
• Develops a spectrum of skills that are transferable to any learning or working environment
• Helps overcome barriers that prevent individuals from doing their best work
• Provides simple tools for organizing, editing and revising work
• Allows users to easily access, use, and transfer written work and on-line text
• Increases efficiency of work and study projects
• Appeals to the strengths of the individual learner, whether visual, oral or tactile
• Eliminates the need for gathering, managing and cleaning-up multiple working materials (i.e., paper, eraser, dictionary, highlighter, ruler, stapler, hole punch, binder)
• AT Programs Interact with both Mac & PC
• Mobil and Cloud based versions available

Whether completing a research assignment at school, practising typing at home, or inputting data into a document at the office, Assistive Technology expedites and improves the user process by providing an all-in-one, user-friendly project platform. Not only do they save time, but AT programs teach and check for accuracy to help improve the overall quality of work. Deadlines and workload demands will begin to feel lighter, confidence will rise, and before you know it, you’ll be asking “What should I do with all of this extra time!?”
Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space provides one-to-one training packages for students, parents and teachers. Training can be conducted at RRLS or in a student or teacher’s school. RRLS can also offer support to parents for advocating and coordinating services with schools.

For more information regarding support, purchasing or receiving training with various Assistive Technology programs, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space 416.925.1225 or visit http://www.ruthrumack.com.

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