Using ICT to support pupils with special educational needs

ICT and EBD ICT and ASD ICT and Dyslexia

Some pupils in your class may have problems in accessing the curriculum due to learning difficulties with reading, writing, spelling or numeracy, visual or hearing problems, emotional or behavioural problems.  I.C.T. can, in many cases, help to alleviate the problems.

For pupils who find handwriting difficult or impossible the use of a keyboard might enable them to record their work for easily.  Speech to text software is readily available now and has a high rate of accuracy.

Pupils with visual problems can be helped through the use of different coloured screens and fonts; icons and screen menus can be enlarged to suit.

For those with co-ordination difficulties, mouse speed and number of clicks to open a document can be varied as can the use of the mouse for left handed people.  Setting up sticky keys can mean one key will do the job of two – for capitals to avoid the need for the use of the Shift key.

Software programs often come with facilities whereby teachers can set different levels for each pupil.  This is very useful for those with learning difficulties.  Not only does it mean they are using the same program as their peers but it means they can set themselves targets to work towards.  These programs are bright and attractive and make use of multimedia which appeals to those who need stimulus from more than one sense.  They can be used regularly for reinforcement as often as a child needs in order to grasp the concept. A list of software provided by Granada for using with pupils who have special educational needs is provided at

Using the computer with pupils who have emotional or behavioural difficulties can allow them to have periods in a non-threatening environment where they are likely to be more motivated and less likely to ‘fail’.

Use Power Point presentations to help concentration. The children have to memorise what appeared on the screen etc..what’s missing?, what order did they appear etc..
To make it more interesting, use cut outs of different football clubs, different pop bands, things that they are really interested in. B asically have the items come on to the screen, then disappear

They children have to concentrate to make sure they see all the items etc..

Powerpoint and Opus can be used very effectively for pupils with severe and complex needs.

A letter to Santa – simple activity for children with learning difficulties
Clicker Grids – lots of suitable frameworks to help children with SEN
Clumsy Cupid – literacy lesson using Powerpoint Evaluating Software for use in the Classroom
(includes section for SEN)
Ideas for word processing (pdf)
Ideas for Using Writing with Symbols
Laptops for Pupils with Special Educational Needs (pdf)
Literacy Resources using ICT
(you need to register but well worth it)

Inclusion through Innovation: Tackling Social Exclusion through New Technologies
Memory Activities
Numeracy Resources using ICT (register first)
Some Questions and Answers
Training Resources in ICT for teachers of children with Special Needs (non-mainstream)
Using ICT creatively
Word Processing for Learning Disabled Students (you may need to register first) ICT and Inclusion
My Web, My Way Offers help with seeing, hearing and reading websites and using keyboard and mouse Talking Word processors and speech output utilities
Quick Certificate Maker use this to reward those who make a special effort. Coming of Age: An introduction to the NEW world wide web
Open Source Assistive Technology Software
Talking Books Using Technology for reading, taking notes and producing braille or tactile images

Further Information