I am opening a new series on my blog with a dedication to assistive technologies. I’m no stranger to helping some of our students with disabilities find their means of connecting to classroom content and instruction (read more here about my work with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind; here on how we use accessibility features with NWEA MAP testing; and here to view a video profile of students in our district). This series was inspired by a presentation conducted by the SC Department of Education that focused on Chromebooks. I’ve translated many of the needs and found them on the MacBook platform I am most familiar with. I’ve said before to others: There is tons of added value to the OSX platform that you don’t find on the surface when shopping for a school device. As you find needs for interaction or accessibility that you did not anticipate, Apple has you covered! Much of what was found for free on the Chrome stores was already built into OSX well before Google or Microsoft decided to play catch up.
In the next few sections, you will explore supports provided by technologies built into Apple’s OSX operating system (found on the Mac line of products). Some of these may be appropriate to get your students where they need to be. Some of these tools may make them reliant on technology. A good professional will consider many factors before making recommendations or using technology with students. That’s why we’re still in schools: we are here to make well-thought-out decisions. For accessibility features beyond what are featured here, visit: http://www.apple.com/education/special-education/osx/