Assistive Technology

The term assistive technology encapsulates a large variety of things, all of which help “increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.”  One subset of assistive technology that I had seen before, but had not been in direct contact with, is a personal FM listening system.  This is a device where the listener has a receiver (earphone) that picks up the noises the speaker makes (via microphone).  This can help the listener focus on what the speaker is saying.  Growing up in school, as well as being in the classroom through my practicum experiences, I have noticed teachers wearing these wireless microphone devices around their necks, but it had not been obvious exactly what their purpose was.  Knowing now that it actually transmits the speaker’s voice directly into the user’s ear, I am very impressed by how discrete this device actually is.  This example of assistive technology is extremely advantageous for students whom it may benefit, like those whom are hearing impaired or need direct and clear prompting to stay focused during instruction, all while not attracting much attention, so as to distract other students or single the listeners out.


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