Learning Disability


Definitions


The term learning disability has been used to describe a variety of problems in acquiring, storing, and/or retrieving information. People with learning disabilities have difficulty taking information in through the senses and processing the information with accuracy. This may lead to difficulty learning and performing in school and work. Most learning disabilities are manifested in poor reading, writing and math which subsequently affect a broad range of functions and skills.

According to Tunstall (provider of Tele/Healthcare Solutions):
  • Around1.5m people in the UK are living with a learning disability
  • 200 babies are born with a learning disability every week
  • 50% of people with severe learning disabilities have Epilepsy

Assistive technology is an important piece of the whole support system individuals with learning disabilities require to achieve success at school, work and in the community. (Source: Assistive Technology Solutions)

Learning disability

Students with learning disability (including dyslexia)



Dealing with dyslexia (and dyspraxia)

Dyslexia - The struggle though school



Keyboarding for kids

Aspergers Syndrome - What is it?



Autism and computer technology

Breaking through Aphasia and Apraxia



Not really a Learning Disability, but included because it involves learning how to speak again after a stroke or brain injury.

Resources


  • Early Intervention - a great website providing guidelines for early intervention to maximize the language and communication development of young children with special needs.

  • Software for Autism
  • SEN Teacher has a number of freeware programs to help people who have learning disabilities

  • Using the software Each activity is very simple to use. The most basic activity, Shout, simply shows a randomly selected image that changes size as you make more noise into the microphone.
    Say lets you record a word or sentence using the big red record button, then use the green button to play it back.
    Talk gives you two walkie-talkies, each with a record and play button, so question and answer responses can be recorded. The circular arrow button switches to mobile phones, for variety and to maybe give a better degree of familiarity.
    Speak is very similar to Say, but an animated carton character will speak you word or sentence back to you. The arrows let you move between the characters.
    Screenshot of cartoon characters

    Keyboard lets you record a word or sound, then play it back at different pitches to make tunes and music.
    In Change, you can play back your words either normally, faster, slower, backwards, or in a 'robot' type voice.
    Emotions allows you to record a word relating to any of a selection of different emotions. This activity has pre-recorded samples which you can record over. Try recording your words with the 'feeling' the word describes. Clicking a face selects and plays the word, while the record button records over it.
    Words lets you select different words to make up a sentence, and play it in one go. You can also record the words in your own voice and pley them back as sentences. Click a face to hear it's word, click a word in the list to change it, and click record to record a new word. The play button will then play your whole sentence. You can record your own words by clicking on them to type or edit them, then use the record and play buttons as usual.
    In Words you can also add your own words by typing them in to the box below the word list, and clicking the add button. You'll need to record yourself to go with your new word, and words are only saved while you use the program.

    Keyboard and switch use

    The simpler activities can be controlled using just the
    space bar to move the mouse cursor over the buttons, and the return key to select - if you would like to use switches with the program, simply set them up to emulate space and return.
    Screenshot of talking and listening

    Setting Up
    The programs all require that your microphone is plugged in, working, switched on, and has the volume set about right. This is done through the Sound and Audio pages of the Control Panel, usually available from the Settings tab of your Start Menu.

    You may need you explore the Advanced settings of this area to find the correct volume slider for your particular microphone and computer combination.

    Download the program . . .

    Download the user guide . . .


    Symbols Based Web Browser

    A number of people with learning difficulties use symbols to read information. Widgit Software have developed a package called Symbol World. They also have their own channel on Youtube.