Skip to main content

Expert Q&A

Stigma and Assistive Technology

With so many students using technology now, has it become easier for students with disabilities to use technology without feeling stigmatized?

In the past, one of the barriers to using technology is that students felt they were standing out as being different. So they didn’t want to open that laptop in the classroom. But today, so many people have smartphones and tablets. So I may be looking at the same webpage as my friend, but I’m just using the added feature of having my headphones on, and having it read out loud to me, whereas everybody thinks I might be listening to music. I’ve just disguised myself. I think that’s one of the really neat things, or the leveling effect that technology has at this point, because we are seeing more and more of this technology in every classroom. Those who really benefit from some great features, they have access to it, and they don’t have to be stigmatized.