Addressing Neurodiversity Through Universal Design

By David Banes: For More Info, Go Here…

Defining neurodiversity as individual difference

When we discuss neurodiversity we are recognizing that the way we all process and perceive information, think, and learn can be different from person to person. This diversity may be mild or can be significant and we have learned that traditional approaches to education and accommodations have not been successful in recognizing that diversity. Technology has had a crucial role to play in supporting those across a continuum, but the setting within which that technology is implemented is equally critical.

Accommodating individual difference through technology

Traditionally technology has been used to accommodate needs by addressing the mechanics of perceiving, creating and organizing ideas. Some of the best-known examples include:

  • Text to speech – allowing text to spoken out by technology as an alternative way to present information
  • Word Prediction – As we type, our technology predicts the word we are typing and even the next word we want to type, making it easier to transfer thoughts to text
  • Spell and grammar checkers – that apply rules of spelling and grammar to our written work to help us correct any mistakes
  • Mind-mapping or graphic thought organizers – that help us to organize our thoughts visually, rather than just as lists or script
  • Voice recognition – translates our speech into the written word, making it easier to produce large amounts of text, especially when combined with other tools.

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