Assistive technology (AT) has continued to prove to be a great resource for people with dyslexia and especially for students. There are many different types of resources, including note-taking devices, text-to-speech software, and much more.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities has released a list of 10 tips for parents on how to help their children work around learning disabilities with the help of assistive technology. Below is the list, and you can access many more helpful resources about assistive technology on the NCLD website.

  1. If you’re just starting to investigate assistive technology, make sure you understand the basics—what AT can and cannot do.
  2. Review your child’s IEP or 504 plan to see if it includes provisions for assistive technology. (Federal law includes a mandate for IEP teams to consider assistive technology.) Many students with LD are under-referred for AT supports!
  3. If your child doesn’t have an IEP or 504 plan (or even if one is in place), use The Family Center on Technology and Disability’s "Assistive Technology Solutions Fact Sheet" to identify AT devices that may best suit your child.
  4. Include your child in the selection process. Make sure the technology really addresses his or her needs, and that it’s easy to use.
  5. For students who struggle with a reading disability such as dyslexia, audio or digital books can make a huge difference! Learn more about how reading technologies can help.
  6. Try out the AIM Explorer, a free simulation tool that combines grade-leveled digital text with features common to most text readers and other supported reading software. This tool is designed to identify which of these supports might help a struggling reader best access and understand text.
  7. New apps for smartphones and tablets are being developed all the time. Learn how to evaluate them to see whether or not one might provide the right kind of support for your child.
  8. Review the standard features and functions that your existing computer hardware and software provide. Most built-in technologies easily allow for adjustments to text size, font, background color, and line spacing.
  9. Don’t forget to consider low-tech (and low-cost) options such as highlighters, color coding files or drawers, or a different paper color.
  10. There is no one-size-fits-all assistive technology, so be prepared to spend some time finding the right matches for your child’s particular needs.

Do you have any tips you'd like to share on assistive technology? What has really worked well for you and/or your child? Tell us in the comments below!