The Use of Assistive Technology for Persons with Learning Disabilities in Special Needs Education in Nigeria

Abstract:

This is a discourse on the use of assistive technology in the education of persons with learning disabilities in Nigeria. Assistive technology is a tool that helps students maximize their potential and ability to achieve their individualized educational objectives. This study is significant in that assistive technology devices are veritable alternatives or complements for educating persons with learning disabilities as substitute to their disabling conditions and as compliment to enable them maximize their potentials. With the realization that special needs education is equipment driven, these devices facilitate their effective engagement or involvement in activities or tasks that ordinarily would not have been possible for them. In this paper, the concept of learning disability is highlighted as it relates to the desirable modifications in the teaching-learning process. Challenges associated with the use of assistive technology devices were identified to include the dearth of assistive technology, the high cost of these assistive technology devices and the poor level of appreciation of assistive technology use and application by the teachers, learners and parents of persons with learning disability. The paper concludes that the prospects of a technologically driven education for learning disabled children would only be realized if the assistive technology devices are made available, less costly and properly taught to the teachers, parents and persons with learning disabilities.