How AI can be used to help students with disabilities

According to WHO predictions, by 2030, over 2.5 billion people with disabilities will use one or more assistive devices. Therefore, as AI systems have become more widely used and sophisticated, we are witnessing an increase in AI-powered solutions that can assist individuals with physical, mental, visual, or hearing disabilities in simple and difficult activities. I think that many institutions can improve the lives of students with disabilities by expanding access to AI technologies. Here are five ways AI can be used to help students with disabilities.

1. Easing Communication

For those with disabilities, AI voice technology like Siri, Alexa, and Echo facilitates communication. Persons with visual impairments can use these programs to describe text and visuals, and people with brain injuries can communicate or understand things more readily thanks to text-to-speech (or vice versa) technologies. One such program is called Parrotron from Google, an artificial intelligence technology that helps people with speech impairments convert their stuttering speech patterns into coherent speech.

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These AI solutions can be used by schools to foster a more inclusive environment that welcomes students with all disabilities. Additionally, these institutions may enable these students to exchange ideas across departments and teams and participate equitably in collaborative environments by giving them access to efficient speech transcription solutions.

2. Learning Opportunities

Regardless of their disability, everyone should be able to use any service. AI technologies can contribute to making this inclusive. For instance, braille enables visually challenged people to read, just as subtitles aid those with hearing loss in understanding a film. These days, the internet is filled with AI-powered braille tutor apps that help people with disabilities learn braille and get access to education at various levels. These applications convert physical braille characters into digital text via optical character recognition (OCR).

Educators can use AI-powered tools to foster a culture of lifelong learning and growth. For instance, you can use tailored learning pathways to assist students in locating pertinent training programs and resources based on their skill sets. Additionally, you may use AI tools to give students ongoing performance-based feedback so they can learn from their mistakes.

The educational system should offer individualized learning opportunities to students with disabilities so they may gain the know-how and talents required to be successful in their day-to-day lives. Everyone benefits from having a varied environment as a result. With the right implementation, businesses can eventually increase their bottom line by fostering a growth-focused mindset in their staff without prejudice.

3. Promoting an Independent Lifestyle

AI is making it possible for students with disabilities to lead autonomous personal and professional lives. To plan meetings, send reminders, and automate other speech operations, virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are just two examples of how various AI applications support organizations in creating productive and efficient workflows. To help students with various tasks, schools can also incorporate chatbots powered by AI into various work-related applications. One such instance is the Skype interaction with Microsoft Bing. Bing can be contacted via Skype by asking any query, and it will respond right away.

Additional AI tools that can streamline workflow include AI computer vision applications, which can recognize and interpret visual data through object detection, image recognition, facial recognition, and quality control; robotic process automation (RPA), which can automate repetitive tasks; and AI-integrated recommendation systems, which can be used to retrieve personalized suggestions from data. 

All students, including those with impairments, can use these tools to expedite manual processes and free up time for more important work.

4. Connection to the Outside World

People need to feel linked to one another more than ever in our fast-paced, globalized society. Thankfully, new methods for assisting those with impairments to feel a part of their environment have been made possible by AI technology. For instance, voice control is one way that Microsoft’s Cortana may help visually impaired people use their gadgets. For people who are hard of hearing, AI-powered programs such as RogerVoice and Ava record group chats and include crucial terms from the user’s lexicon, punctuation, and the sender’s name.

These AI-powered virtual assistants can be used to aid people with disabilities in attending and scheduling meetings, responding to emails, and working collaboratively with others just like everyone else. To help students who speak different languages communicate with each other, translation tools are also available.

5. Inclusion Regardless of Ability

Individuals with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities in life and to achieve their career aspirations as everyone else. They ought to have the freedom to work on their own, collaborate with others in teams, and pick up new skills. Thankfully, schools have been able to improve workplace inclusion and accessibility with the use of AI. Think about how you may use some of these tools in your schools to attract and maintain bright and diverse students, as well as to provide your present students with additional avenues for success.

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