Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology

There are no limits to what people can achieve when technology reflects the diversity of everyone. [1]

Accessibility options help all students, not only those with disabilities. Options are available on all computers and phones and include tools like the following:

  • a magnifier
  • large text
  • zoom text
  • assistive touch
  • headphone accommodations
  • spoken content
  • audio descriptions
  • voice control
  • dictation

Check out the helpful links on PANDA’s website homepage.

Another useful tool based on Universal Design for Learning (which maximizes learning for all students), is the UDL Tech Toolkit.

An example of what is found in the UDL Tech Toolkit is mentioned by blogger [2] and UDL Tech Toolkit author Karen Janowski, and is used to teach about the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As we teach the significant work of Dr. King, CommonLit, a free digital tool, offers a variety of inclusive instructional materials to commemorate his important contributions to society.  This short video demonstrates several of the features. There are texts supporting all content areas for working with learners in grades 3-12.

CommonLit includes the following embedded scaffolded supports:

  • read aloud (text to speech) features
  • ability to adjust the font size
  • side-by-side translation into thirty-three additional languages
  • ability to highlight and/or add annotations,
  • guided reading mode with additional supports to help readers better understand the text
  • paired texts to provide background information, build knowledge and provide context
  • embedded definitions of more difficult vocabulary
  • related media resources

There are many more tools to support learners such as audio books, text to speech, speech to text, graphic organizers, writing and math tools.

For more information about UDL or accessibility features, check out PANDA’s website at or email PANDA at [email protected]

[1] Microsoft:

[2] Ed Tech Solutions: Teaching Every Student –

Wendy Sweeney, PANDA Manager PANDA - Minnesota ABE Disability Specialists
Lori Yurick, PANDA Administrator PANDA - Minnesota ABE Disability Specialists