In Special Education Accessible Books and Periodicals Readers With Print Disabilities for Children’s


Passive Technology: High Tech

Generally we think of the computer when we think of high tech passive technology. Technology offers a great many benefits to individuals with special needs who find specific types of tasks difficult to accomplish. High technological or high tech devices offer individuals access to information technology through hardware, software, and peripherals.

  • Computers can translate spoken words into written words; this type of translation is called speech to text.
  • It can also change text into spoken words; this is called text to speech.

Computer benefits also include the ability to:

  • enlarge and scroll print for individuals with vision or visual field deficits,
  • predict words that would fit grammatically into a written composition (for students that have difficulty recalling or spelling words),
  • check spelling and grammar, provide word choices for individuals with memory deficits on tests or homework that requires children to supply words from memory, and
  • supply pictures for words.

In addition to high devices that supply speech and text benefits, technology also provides assistance to children with motor deficits. Switches allow individuals with limited arm, hand or finger movement to touch or tap a large, often brightly colored switch, to operate such things as communication devices, toys, or computers.

Augmentative or Passive Communication
Speech to Text
Text to Speech – e Readers
Word Prediction
JAWS Screen Reader from Freedom Scientific

Passive Technology

Passive technology provides a variety of alternative routes to Independence to individuals who, because of a disability or limitation, lack access to some part of their world.

Passive technology is available for individuals with all kinds of disabilities including speaking, reading, writing, hearing, vision, and motor deficits. From electronic wheelchairs to prosthetic devices; from the Kindle eBook to Leap Frog e Readers; from hearing aids to Audibles’ audio books; from eyeglasses to screen readers; and from picture exchange communication systems (PECS) to electronic communication devices most individuals can access academics and class activities in school despite sensory and motor deficits.

Aurora Ministries for the Blind provides FREE audio Bibles for individuals who are blind, visually impaired, and print-handicapped.

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