Personalize Learning Devices
The majority of school districts provide a learning device for each student with either full-time or part-time access to that device, depending on the grade level, student needs, and district policies. When students access a learning device, whether via a 1:1 program, computer lab, device cart, or even a student-purchased device, they should be able to customize the accessibility features and assistive technologies necessary to meet their learning needs.
Similarly, devices are typically provided to most district staff members including administrative staff, educators and support staff. Staff devices should also be personalized to meet individual needs.
When district teams review and select devices for students and staff, considerations regarding the abilities and challenges of all individuals in the district must be a priority. For some, a customized set-up of embedded options can lower barriers that may prevent access to learning opportunities and effective use of the educational materials. Following best practices for selecting and providing devices that include built-in accessibility features minimizes the need to provide alternative solutions for students or staff.
Actions to match devices with user needs:
- Select devices that include built-in accessibility features, such as enlarged text, text-to-speech, voice-to-text, or high-contrast.
- Include students and families in the decision-making to personalize devices, including participation in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) process.
- Ensure all users understand the process for gaining access to device accessibility features, including the process to request access to features that may be limited by the district.
- Provide district supported, individualized technology options when necessary. Options may include devices with increased memory to support assistive technology tools, a device with a larger screen, or a touch-screen device. An alternate or additional device (tablet or additional laptop) may be required in certain instances.
- Robust: Ensure compatibility, AEM Center at CAST
- What is AT? Assistive Technology Industry Association
- Family Engagement Literature Review, CITES
- Assistive Technology Module, IRIS Center
- Personalizing the Reading Experience and Personalizing the Writing Experience, AEM Center at CAST
- Digital Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments