National Center on Educational Outcomes gives assistive technology a thumbs up

I enjoyed reading the post Laura Bierck wrote here last week about the 60 Minutes tribute to Steve Jobs and decided to sit down and write a short post about that segment myself.

I was lucky enough to catch the tribute when it aired on 60 Minutes and thought that one of the most telling parts of Leslie Stahl’s piece was when she interviewed the teachers at the special school for kids with autism. They were so amazed at the abilities their students were able to demonstrate via the ipad. The kids were able to communicate. They were able to express understanding, emotions and preferences that the teachers believed were never possible. Research from the National Center on Educational Outcomes shows that when kids with significant cognitive disabilities have access to appropriate assistive technology they are often able to demonstrate abilities that might have otherwise been lost or unseen.

Another person featured on the 60 Minutes piece was a non-verbal young adult who was able to directly communicate using a language app that also speaks. He and his mom were interviewed as he ordered dinner in a restaurant from a waitress using this iPad.

If you missed the 60 Minutes piece when it originally aired, you’re in luck: you can still see the Apps for Autism segment online. Remarkable.


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