Assistive Technology for Writing in the Classroom

Instructor: Jocelyn Cherry

Jocelyn has taught Special Education for over two decades and has three post secondary degrees all in the field of Education.

This lesson looks at assistive technology for writing in the classroom that is worth writing about. Explore assistive technology for students needing support for writing composition, fine motor handwriting skills, and/or other areas of need.

Assistive Technology

The term 'assistive technology' implies a device that is technical in nature, but that is not always the case. Assistive technology is any item used to increase or maintain the capabilities of a child with a disability. An assistive technology device can be store-bought, handmade or an object that has been modified from its original form. This includes hardware, software, and any stand-alone devices such as a cellular phone or tablet.

Assistive Technology for Writing

My son Ethan is a typical 14-year old; he is in the 8th grade, plays football and basketball for his middle school team, and has not has a discipline referral/incident/or discipline related phone call his entire academic career. While he has never received a disciplinary from a teacher, he also has a specific learning disability: ADHD.

Writing is not one of Ethan's preferred subject areas. I describe the task as a triple scoop ice cream cone - each scoop is a different flavor addressing a different need. Each area of need has assistive technology devices implemented for Ethan to improve his functional capabilities for writing in the classroom. Let's take a look at these three areas and their respective assistive technologies.

Motor Skills

The first scoop is his fine motor skills required to write. His grip of a pencil/pen is almost painful to look at. He grips the pen as if the pen will jump out of his hand if he does not grip it with all his might. I see the veins bulging in his fingers, he presses down very hard often resulting in breaking the lead. His handwriting is a combination of upper and lower case letters, with cursive nonexistent.

Assistive technology used - pencil grips and a word processor.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account