» How Technology Assists People with Disabilities Lead Better Lives
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How Technology Assists People with Disabilities Lead Better Lives

November 16th, 2017

Children with serious chronic illnesses face immense obstacles in education and socialization. Until recently, it was not possible for a homebound or hospitalized child to attend school. However, it is happening now, with the assistance of telepresence robots. These robots, which consist of a rolling screen with a camera, microphone and speakers, allow users to hear, see, interact and move around in real time in a faraway place. They are being used to allow students with chronic illnesses to participate in traditional school environments for the first time.Littman Krooks Special Education Advocacy A child who must be at home or in the hospital can use a telepresence robot to attend classes in different classrooms, participate in small group discussions and talk with friends. This level of participation can help chronically ill students overcome their isolation, and it provides educational and social benefits that cannot be obtained from individual tutoring. Telepresence robots hold great promise for students with serious illnesses, but there are obstacles to their use, including the cost of the technology and the fact that not all school districts permit them.

For other students with special needs, a wide variety of smartphone and computer applications have been developed to help with educational and adaptive needs. These include apps that help students with communication skills, or that help young adults with vocational training. The Arc provides an online tech toolbox that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities find applications to improve their lives. The Arc of Westchester has formed alliances with other local organizations to focus on how technology can support the functional needs of people with disabilities. The organization is opening a Technology Enhanced Simulated Studio (TESS) in Mount Kisco, New York to help young adults learn to use technology to meet challenges as they transition to adult life.

Learn more about our special needs planning and special education advocacy services at www.littmankrooks.com or www.specialneedsnewyork.com.


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