As Shelley notes in the text, "Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom," huge improvements are being made in the area of assistive technology, especially with hardware, software, and Web-based tools. Because of these innovations, there is much information on the web about assistive technologies. I did a search for “assistive technologies” and I found these 5 websites to be quite useful in helping me gain a better understanding as well as offering tools that I could use in my own classroom environment.
http://assistivetek.blogspot.com/ is a blog on the topic of assistive technology, eLearning, min mapping, collaborative tools, and visual learning. It is run by Dr. Brian Friedlander from New Jrsey, a graduate professor at the College of St. Elizabeth and a consultant to various business organizations and school districts.
http://www.cildrc.org/ -as mentioned in an earlier blog, this is the website to my local indepenedant living center: The disability Resource Center whose mission is "To assist people with disabilities, those who support them, and the community, through information, education, and resources, to achieve the highest potential and benefit of independent living."
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/assistivetech.html Is the Department of Education’s effort to comply with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ensure the accessibility of its programs and activities to individuals with disabilities. “The Assistive Technology Program provides assistive technology solutions to disabled employees at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and also ensures that the agency’s electronic and information systems are accessible to employees and members of the public with disabilities.” It offers some good information for all about the use of assistive technology.
http://www.resna.org/ - RESNA is the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. Their purpose is to improve the opportunities for those with disabilities and help them achieve their goals through the use of technology. They promote research, development, education, advocacy and provision of technology.
http://www.pluk.org/AT1.html -PLUK is a private, nonprofit that was formed by parents of children with disabilities in Montana. Their purpose is to offer information, support, training, and assistance to aid their children at home, school and as adults. “We are people with disabilities, parents, professionals, relatives, and friends who want to assure that persons with disabilities participate in the community and have access to high quality educational, medical and rehabilitation services.”
Shelly, G., et al. (2009). Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom (5th ed). Boston: Thomson Course Technology, 2008.