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Blackfriars Academy’s aim is to increase the inclusive opportunities and educational outcomes of children and young adults with Special Educational Needs through the use of Assistive Technology.

Through continuous assessment we identify potential technology to help students realize full independence, whether accessing the curriculum or socializing with their peers in the school environment or further afield.

To ensure a full understanding of a student’s needs, assessments may include input from parents, carers, physiotherapists and other agencies.

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive Technology helps people learn, communicate and live more independently.

Assistive technology is any product or service that maintains or improves the ability of individuals with disabilities or impairments to communicate learn and live independent, fulfilling and productive lives.

Assistive technology (AT) includes computer software, hardware, or other devices that improve student access to the curriculum. A selection of technology across the Academy is available to all students while other forms of technology are only available to those who demonstrate a need through assessment.

AT can be categorised into 3 distinct groups; "low tech", "mid tech" or "high tech".  Low tech items are usually inexpensive, simple to make and easy to obtain and implement. Some examples of low tech devices are pencil grips, risers, paper communication boards/cards, highlighting, specialized paper, or a program modification such as increased time or access to classroom notes.  Examples of mid-tech devices are calculators, eye glasses, splints, digital recorders, a magnifying glass, switches, Big Keys keyboard, cause and effect software programs, and static display communication devices.  High Tech items would include wheelchairs, Dynamic display augmentative communication devices, complex computer software programs that involve speech to text and text to speech components, infrared mouse options, and computers.

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