Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology enables independent study for students with learning differences.

Learning how to use assistive technology at Diablo Valley Educational Therapy includes the following:

  • Interactive learning process using Smartboard technology which facilitates a hands on approach leading to mastery of software or technology tool
  • Practical classroom support strategies enables the use of various technologies for positive student performance outcomes
  • Integration of assistive technology with effective organization routines and study skills are beneficial at every level of school

Students learn software features and practical strategies to incorporate assistive technology into effective study routines. Diablo Valley Educational Therapy supports the following software and technology:


Kurzweil is an assistive technology for decoding difficult text, enabling active reading comprehension, and writing from brainstorming to final draft. Students complete writing assignments, worksheets and tests using decoding and writing tools embedded in the software. Students can access their digital library of text material, class work, notes, homework and tests. Diablo Learning Center supports the development and maintenance of a digital library with the cooperation of teacher, parent and student. Students scan documents directly into the software to create digital copies. Parents can outsource large scanning jobs to Diablo Learning Center to streamline the introduction of large documents into their student’s digital library. Kurzweil software is available at home, school and everywhere an Internet connection is available.

Impact of Kurzweil software on students with dyslexia and ADHD

  • Increase in reading fluency
  • Improvement of study skills
  • Writing and editing support
  • Independent completion of homework and tests using a keyboard

iStock_000006967521XSmallStudents use Kurzweil to read and study independently.

  • Students scan in text materials, worksheets or tests
  • Keyboard written responses to scanned worksheets ad tests are embedded in worksheet and test documents
  • Completed worksheets and tests can be printed or sent to teachers electronically
  • Software reads text to student
  • Students highlight main ideas from the text material
  • Study guides and outlines are created from highlighted text
  • Technology also works with Internet content opening up web content to students with reading difficulties

Homework can be completed on a computer instead of being handwritten.

  • Worksheets are scanned into Kurzweil software
  • Student creates dialog box to answer questions
  • Student prints out completed homework

Test taking using Kurzweil software

  • Students can independently complete classroom tests
  • Documents/tests scanned into the Kurzweil software can be completed using writing tools
  • Students with accommodations can easily answer essay questions and other test forms.
  • The Kurzweil software reads the questions to students and allows students to type answers directly onto the image of the scanned test

Kurzweil facilitates active reading

  • Highlighting
  • Text circle tools
  • Bookmarks
  • Annotations
  • Voice notes
  • Study guides
  • Word lists

Kurzweil study skill tools

  • Outlines created using highlighted text can be exported to MS Word or Inspiration
  • Assignments written by students can be read by assistive technology to help correct grammar and syntax errors
  • Notes created using Kurzweil software can be exported to MS Word


This is an interactive software that supports writing disabilities and organizational issues. Pre-writing support begins with brainstorming, followed by a graphic organizer or outline and concludes with draft, revisions and final draft support tools. This tool can be very helpful for students preferring to think using a visual organizer. The software will convert the visually structured information into a traditional outline.

Dragon Naturally

Dragon is a speech to text software that supports students with dysgraphia, dyslexia, ADHD and writing disabilities. Dragon can be used for pre-writing and drafting of documents.

Live Scribe

Live Scribe is a classroom note taking tool for students with dysgraphia, dyslexia, ADHD and auditory processing issues. Students can use the Live Scribe pen to locate specific locations in a lecture by just touching a diagram or note taken during the lecture. Using the pen to replay critical parts of a lecture students can complete diagram notes, time-lines, or lists that were covered during a lecture. Live Scribe will help students to stay calm and present during a lecture. This enables them maintain a higher cognitive level during a lecture which improves their ability to synthesize, analyze and evaluate information both during the lecture and later when filling gaps in lecture notes.  The live scribe is a useful tool than can be used with modified Cornell notes. Cornell notes are a valuable tool used in the mastery process.