Much of the time in school, students are expected to learn through listening. Students who have hearing impairments or auditory processing problems can be at a distinct disadvantage unless they learn to use the hearing they have, or they develop alternative means for getting information.

Assistive devices to help with hearing and auditory processing problems include: hearing aids, personal FM units, sound field FM systems, Phonic Ear, TDDs, or closed caption TV.

Vision is also a major learning mode. General methods for assisting with vision problems include increasing contrast, enlarging stimuli and making use of tactile and auditory models. Devices that assist with vision include screen readers, screen enlargers, magnifiers, large-type books, taped books, Braillers, light boxes, high contrast materials, thermoform graphics, synthesizers, and scanners.


Assistive Technology for Hearing

  • Pen and paper
  • Computer/portable word processor
  • TDD/TTY for phone access with or without relay
  • Signaling device (e.g. flashing light or vibrating pager)
  • Closed Captioning
  • Real Time captioning
  • Computer aided note taking
  • Screen flash for alert signals on computer
  • Phone amplifier 
  • FM or Loop system
  • Infrared system
  • hearing aid(s)
  • classroom amplification
  • boosted signal to noise ratio (e.g., headset to keep focus during word processing)
  • Digital Stereo Headphones (like they sell at Radio Shack)
  • Also see resource links below
  • SoundDirector: Personal Amplifier System
    As a convenient way to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in many listening environments, the built-in microphone allows you to simply point the unit at the listener...nothing extra to carry or plug in. When using the remote mic on the 10' cable, you can choose to use both mics or only the remote mic.

Assistive Technology for Vision

  • corrective lenses
  • enlarged print
  • taped books
  • voiced word processing
  • voiced screen directions
  • Eyeglasses
  • Magnifier
  • Large print books
  • CCTV (closed circuit television)
  • Screen magnifier (mounted over screen)
  • Screen magnification software
  • Screen color contrast
  • Screen reader, text reader
  • Braille translation software
  • Braille printer
  • Enlarged or Braille/tactile labels for keyboard
  • Alternate keyboard with enlarged keys
  • Braille keyboard and note taker


  • Clarity Video Magnifier   The flexible video magnifiers (CCTVs) for the visually impaired -- a low vision solution! 
  • The Windows Magnifier It is useful to test web pages with Windows Magnifier. Set the magnification to 5x to check whether images and more specifically images of text are still legible. Windows Magnifier is a free piece of software that comes with Windows and is located in the Accessibility Options.   

  • Free demos of scan and read programs for low vision and learning disabilities including dyslexia are offered. Also available is a demo of the new Rite N Talk software which reads handwriting back to the writer. 
  • This site offers downloads of accessibility features such as text reading and magnification for use at school or at home.

  • This site offers free downloads of games plus an icon reader program for students or adults who are visually impaired.

  •  Vischeck is a way of showing you what things look like to someone who is color blind. You can try Vischeck online- either run Vischeck on your own image files or run Vischeck on a web page - see   Download the Vischeck colour blindness plugin from (File size 64 KB) :



    Deaf – Related links  Anyone interested in creating original videos can download a demo of a software program that can be used for captioning videos to ensure access to the hearing-impaired population.  This site provides pictures in a variety of categories. One of the categories presents pictures of a hand demonstrating the sign language alphabet and numbers. It is appropriate for adults and children to use as basic instruction.  Anyone interested in learning sign language can download software that teaches finger spelling and recognition of the hand shapes. The user can then focus on developing speed and accuracy. The site also offers finger spelling games. The library includes online materials plus links to websites that offer sign language instruction, resources including national organizations and schools for the deaf and for deaf education, magazines, deaf culture events and information, and much more for deaf kids and their families. This site includes links for kids to animated signing websites and links for parents to locate and purchase deaf-related products, learn sign language, and find other information and resources. This site is designed for deaf students and includes a chat room for deaf kids ages 17 and under. The site declares the chat room to be safe and secure for children to use, although this claim cannot be guaranteed. The site is sponsored by Deaf Life magazine, a reputable company with a long history of service to the deaf population. This site features an on-line sign language dictionary, finger spelling activities, and finger spelling quizzes to test the user’s skills. Click on the sign language link at the bottom of the page and ignore the other links because they are either not working or not suitable for children. This website offers information and listening activities for parents of children with hearing impairments or speech delays. The activities are helpful for parents who want to understand their child’s language difficulties and support their child’s vocal development. Parents and deaf education teachers will find on-line newsletters on a variety of deaf-related issues. Teachers with mainstreamed deaf children will also benefit from this information.  This is the official website for Florida School for the Deaf-Blind. Click on professionals, then services, scroll down to Outreach: research and technology, click on technology resources. The user will find good overviews and descriptions of the many programs and equipment that are available for deaf and blind students at this school and ideas that could be useful in other settings with deaf-blind students.   Deaf Linx is your resource for information on deafness, deaf culture, American Sign Langauge (ASL) and all other related topics. Deaf Linx firmly believes that deafness is not a disability, but a condition that produces a sub-culture that should be celebrated. Many people are unaware of all the accomplishments that deaf individuals have made and the unique ways in which they have come together to create a distinctive identity. Whether you are a deaf person or someone with hearing loss, looking for other individuals in your area, or you just want to learn about deaf culture or deaf society, our resources on deafness are for you.


    We will be looking to add new free and low cost AT alternatives.  If you have a great idea you would like to share, please send it to the following:

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