Students with special needs benefit from technology grant
New high tech tools and software will support student achievement for the nearly 3,000 students with special needs who attend Highline Public Schools, thanks to a grant from Lowes.
“We are so grateful, and excited, to receive the grant from Lowes Charitable and Educational Foundation,” said Anne Hickey, speech language pathologist at White Center Heights Elementary. “Students with special needs often have challenges in the areas of reading, writing, and communication. Now we have access to a broad range of technology options that will help students overcome those obstacles.”
The equipment and software, purchased with a $64,581 grant includes iPads, mini laptops, laptops, speech generating devices, and more than 15 related software applications. The applications include a text magnifier with speech for visually impaired students, voice recognition software, and a communication application that assists students who speak in a manner that is difficult to understand.
A team of professionals from across the district worked together to prepare and submit the grant to Lowes.
"We’ve worked hard over the last several years to build Highline’s capacity to more fully support the technology needs of students with disabilities," said Dottie Handley-More, occupational therapist at Highline Public Schools. "These tools will help our students with special needs engage more fully in learning activities throughout their school day."
The devices will form an equipment lending library for use by all special education staff at the district. The staff will check out equipment and software from the library as they work with individual students. If a particular tool or device does increase a student’s access to learning, it may be purchased for on-going use by the student.