On September 9, Next Montreal's Ben Yoskovitz released an interview with Andrea Prupas and writes an article titled Assistive Technology Helps Kids with Learning Disabilities. In it, he says that prior to meeting Prupas, he had no idea what assistive technology was. According to Prupas, "assistive technology is a broad term for any device that helps an individual bypass the challenges associated with their disability." He learned that popular devices such as iPads and similar touchscreen handheld devices could be used to help children with learning disabilities.
Prupas has her own site and company, inov8 Educational Consulting, with a mission statement that states, "We offer the most current and effective educational solutions in order to provide our clients with the tools that they need to be successful learners in school, and beyond." In other words, her company provides special needs students with assistive technology in order to help them succeed in school. According to her company, assistive technology can be divided into two categories: "learning and educational aids," which "are specifically designed to help an individual actively engage in the learning process and overcome academic difficulties," and "augmentative communication aids," which "are technologies that provide individuals with an alternative method of understanding or communicating language."
I found this interview incredibly interesting, especially because I've heard plenty of information about assistive technology, but have never heard it separated into separate categories. I always defined assistive technology as a combination of Prupas' "learning and educational aids" and "augmentative communication aids" categories, and never thought about dividing them to help those who don't know what it is further understand. Assistive technology is incredibly crucial to special needs students because of its ability to help further their education and provide additional learning with resources that wouldn't typically be readily available to them.