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Assistive Technology Grants Help MSU Students with Disabilities

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A Missouri State University faculty member ensures that disabled students have the technology they need to succeed.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- A Missouri State University faculty member ensures that disabled students have the technology they need to succeed.

Assistive technology through Missouri State University’s regional demonstration project is available to ensure student success for hearing or visually impaired students that need a computer to assist with obtaining educational information or those with learning disabilities who need software to help with their learning needs.

According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, tools for people with learning disabilities can be as simple as highlighters, color coding files or drawers, books on tape, tape recorders, calculators or a different paper color or background color on a computer screen. Complex or high-tech, assistive technology devices include:

Computers with print-recognition software that "read" text aloud.

Speech recognition systems that turn oral language into written text.

Talking calculators that assist people with math difficulties.

Software that predicts and edits words for people who are prone to spelling difficulties.

Timothy Lehmann, disability projects coordinator at Missouri State University, specializes in using this technology on campus to make classes, homework and facilities more accessible.

“If I’m working with anyone on campus that needs assistive technology, not only can I show them how to use the equipment in the classroom, they can also check out the equipment to utilize for class assignments,” he said.

Since 2005, Missouri State has received funding from the Missouri Assistive Technology Advisory Council to improve the experiences of faculty, staff, and students with disabilities through the purchase of various useful assistive technologies.

Lehmann provides training on the use of assistive technologies to faculty, staff, and students in finding personal technologies to meet their personal needs.

“This grant is so important because it gives the university access to beneficial equipment that doesn't need to be returned to the MATC,” said Lehmann.

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