Technology: Hardware

Most students have some access to a range of technology both at home and in school.  Some will know how to use computers and other technical devices before they enter the classroom. Others will learn in school. The use of computers and other devices is now considered a life skill for all students. The majority of students will use standard computers with standard access methods. However some students with special needs will require non- standard or modified options. The choices will depend on the physical, cognitive, sensory and age profiles of these students. It is important to get informed advice and an individual assessment of the student if possible. Recommendations should include strategies and guidelines on the use of the technology including positioning, timing of use, training on devices and inclusion into the school life of the student.

Hardware Options

Typical options for students include

These may require modification to operating system and/or alternative input and output devices to allow the student to access and use the technology in an appropriate and effective way.

Specialist options include


Individual students may need to physically access the computer in a different way from their peers.
There is a range of

The selection and use of these will depend on the physical, cognitive and educational needs of the individual student.

Other Support Options

Modifications can be made to the Operating System on the computer that can make it easier for student to use the device. These options include making mouse pointer large, slowing down pointer speed, slowing down double click speed and set the repeat key rate so that student do not get accident serial repeat letters.

Some No-Tech and Low-Tech options can be used to support the effective use of technology. These include use of document holders beside computer screens, mouse mat, wrist rests, tactile marker on left click button on mouse or rollerball, etc


Computers and other devices need to be used and positioned in accordance with health and safety considerations and the individual physical needs of the student. Computers and larger equipment may need to be set up on height adjustable tables or mobile trolleys. Practical issues such as position in relation to electrical sockets, windows and other light sources, etc need to be considered as well as having the devices within easy reach of the student. The use of technology as an educational resource and support should be planned on an inclusive classroom model where the student can interact appropriately  with the teachers and his peers while using the equipment. 

The frequency and duration of use of technical devices needs to be considered for each students.  There should be at least an annual review of the use of the technology within the educational environment. The review should look at modification to use, supplementary equipment, new software and the effectiveness of the technology to support the student.


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