Assistive Technology for Students with Mild Disabilities (page 3)

By — Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division of Learning Disabilities (DLD)
Updated on Dec 16, 2008

Cognitive Assistance

A vast array of application program software is available for instructing students through tutorials, drill and practice, problem solving, and simulations. Many of the assistive technologies described previously can be combined with instructional programs to develop and improve cognitive, reading, and problem-solving skills. Prompting and scheduling through PDAs, pagers, and Internet software also can assist students in remembering assignments or important tasks. They can help students to follow directions or a sequence of events, establish to-do lists, take and retrieve notes, check spelling or look up words in a dictionary.


Special educators are familiar with the need to create or customize instructional materials to meet the varied needs of students with disabilities. Today, assistive technology can be more specifically targeted to address an individual's needs through the emergent power and flexibility of electronic tools and the ways in which they are combined and used. These innovations affect teaching and learning as well as individual capabilities. For students with mild disabilities, assistive technology can help to balance weak areas of learning with strong areas.


Behrmann, M. & Schaff, J.(2001). Assisting educators with assistive technology: Enabling children to achieve independence in living and learning. Children and Families 42(3), 24-28.

Franklin, K.S. (1991). Supported employment and assistive technology-A powerful partnership. In S.L. Griffin & W.G. Revell (Eds.), Rehabilitation counselor desktop guide to supported employment. Richmond, VA: Virginia Commonwealth University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Supported Employment.

Lahm, E., & Morrissette, S. (1994, April). Zap 'em with assistive technology. Paper presented at the annual meeting of The Council for Exceptional Children, Denver, CO.

Lee, C. (1999). Learning disabilities and assistive technologies; an emerging way to touch the future. Amherst, MA: McGowan Publications.

Rose, D. & Meyer, A. (2000). Universal design for individual differences. Educational Leadership, 58(3), 39-43.

Center for Applied Special Technology

Closing the Gap

Journal of Special Education Technology

LD Online

Literacy Access Online

The National Assistive Technology Research Institute

Internet resources cited in this document were current at the time of publication. Please note that Web addresses are subject to change.

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