Touch Communications: Special Needs Students
District/School: Hope Technology School (HTS), Palo Alto, CA
Number of Students in School: 120 students
Products: HP TouchSmart PC and Voice Notes
We needed an affordable solution that helps students with disabilities learn and interact easier.
TouchSmart technology has accelerated learning and helped to bring HTS students with special needs out of social isolation. The TouchSmart PC has been easy to integrate. The device costs roughly one-fifth the price of traditional Assistive Technology (AT) tools developed with proprietary hardware and software.
Teachers and students have found it extremely easy to use. The TouchSmart is an all-in-one touch-enabled PC—making it unique. Users simply touch, tap or sweep a finger across the screen to access information, the Internet, or social. No keyboard or mouse is necessary.
How We Use It:
Students can play music, video chat, check the weather, or watch TV. Children with autism use the device to practice speaking. Students send video e-mail using the webcam, and create videos for class projects. A favorite activity is Jeopardy, with the answers derived from coursework.
HTS is developing software to help people with special needs match icons and speech to communicate. It has opened a pilot technology lab to make devices available to the community at large.