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Product in Focus: School Essentials

25 January 2024

It’s almost time for school, and as many students are gearing up for another year, whether it’s primary school, high school, or university, there are many assistive technology (AT) items and related helpful products and equipment that can offer great support to school activities. 

Here are our suggestions to add to the school supply list that may assist students in starting the school year off feeling confident and independent. 

Visual Schedule Aids 

Getting ready for school can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful managing time, new routines, or even a new location. Visual schedule aids help kids and teenagers with autism or cognitive/learning disabilities to prepare for the day, both before, during, and after school. 

Suggested helpful products and equipment: 

Reading and Writing 

Reading and writing are incredibly important skills when it comes to learning, but they are also common areas where students may struggle, or they may need other ways to read, write, and learn. 

Pencil grips or holders can make it easier to hold the pen or pencil when writing. We have a great range of reader pens that can be very helpful in reading the text aloud as they scan.  

Other useful tools may include lined books with larger lines or text for more room when writing, using an iPad or computer with speech-to-text or text-to-speech, or book stands. 

Suggested helpful products and equipment:

Computer Access  

Computers are an essential part of schooling, and AT can help make accessing computers and laptops much easier and more accessible.  

Ergonomic keyboards and keyguards can assist in typing, while coloured or high-contrast keyboards can also be helpful in locating keys. Ergonomic mice assist with reducing or avoiding pain or strain on the fingers, wrist, and arm, and joysticks are a great alternative if traditional mice are unable to be used.  

There are also other options for computer access, such as EyeGaze, mouth stick styluses, switches and triggers; for more information about these products, chat with one of our occupational therapists. 

Suggested helpful products and equipment: 

Sensory and Play  

School may be about learning, but it is also about having fun and experiencing new things! Sensory and play tools like fidget toys or balance toys are excellent for regulating emotions, reducing stress, and allowing your child to build their physical, mental, and emotional skills in a safe environment – and giving them the opportunity to play and have fun too. 

Suggested helpful products and equipment: