When using ICT to support special needs students, it is important that there is regular assessment of their needs and regular monitoring of the progress they are making (or lack of progress in some cases). It may be that the resources need to be updated or that extra training and support is required for both the pupils and their helpers. This regular series of assessments will ensure that the equipment offered to pupils is suitable and appropriate for their needs.
ICT resources can include computer access devices such as switches, adapted mice and keyguards, communication aids and specialised software which is designed for students with physical disabilities. Identification of the specific impairments or individual needs is vital to ensure that the appropriate resources are available to the student. Pupils with visual impairment may be helped by manipulating display properties and audible feedback, while pupils with hearing impairment may need symbols, pictures and graphics to enhance the meaning of text. In addition, for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties, there is a range of ICT resources that can motivate and challenge pupils. For pupils with learning difficulties, there is a range of resources that manipulates layout, presentation and practice routines.
The basis for employing any of these resources is a comprehensive, accurate and independent assessment of abilities and development. We use a wide range of academically supported, valid and reliable tests in all our assessments and, as independent consultants, can be called on by schools, parents or other professionals to carry out these assessments.