Technology can enable human potential and every day I am inspired to see this come to life in classrooms around the world – and particularly for children with special needs. For children with special needs, technology provides independence that they may not have otherwise and even more importantly provides them a voice and facilitates communication. Text-to-speech software, magnifying screens, touch-screen monitors and Microsoft’s accessibility solutions for education are some of the solutions I have seen that can help open doors to the world around them. 

 However, we have seen that obtaining best-in-class technology for students with special needs can be a time consuming and very complex process for schools. Every individual requires a customized solution so acquiring and implementing the technology plus equipping teachers with the support they need to leverage it and other accessibility solutions may strain a school’s infrastructure—not to mention its overall funding and resource allocation.

Today, I am very happy to announce a new collaborative effort with Microsoft to make it easier for schools to empower students and teachers with accessible technology and training. Dell’s Assistive Technology Service—created by special education teachers and accessibility specialists—simplifies the process of selecting accessible devices and assistive technology products.

Through this service, schools receive support and training including Microsoft’s accessibility guides and curriculum resources that illustrate how to use accessibility features in Microsoft products, like Windows and Office, in order to enhance learning and create accessible teaching materials like digital talking textbooks.

By providing a single point of contact through which educational institutions can acquire, integrate, and support assistive technologies, we’re enabling educators to reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks related to deploying technology that empowers students with special needs. As a result, schools can stay focused on their most important goal: delivering an outstanding education for every student.

We’re very excited about this collaboration with Microsoft and how our work together will truly help support each child’s unique learning needs.