Supporting Learning Needs

AI and ML Technologies are touching the lives of every individual and are making life easier for children with special needs. Their major impact can be experienced in the area of education where institutions, teachers and parents’ try to promote inclusive education with assistive technologies that can substitute human effort and promote education without discrimination. 


AI is especially influential for children who need special education. These children mostly have one type of learning disability, so they have some impairments in social skills like language and communication or they have trouble in reading, writing and math. Having all this in mind, it is obvious that the traditional one-size-fits-all approach is not applicable for children taking special education. More specifically, for example, autism is a spectrum which children with autism are so different from each other in their impairments and social skills. Because of their uniqueness, education that they take should be different from each other to be effective.


So far AI technologies can remove accessibility barriers through different solutions:

  • Image recognition for people with a visual impairment,
  • Facial recognition for people with a visual impairment,
  • Lip-reading recognition for people with a hearing impairment,
  • Text summarization for people with a mental impairment,
  • Real-time captioning or translations for people with a hearing impairment or even people who don’t speak the language.
  • Communicating with others and being connected.


What more can we expect from AI technologies in Special Education?

AI based special educational apps and games can  create better educational materials and get results with great effect. They save time, improve people’s lives, are cheaper than therapy sessions and provide a much better experience for the special children. 


Developing fully intelligent education tools and new virtual teaching assistants will take time for sure. But given the current technological advancements, here is the some changes AI is already making on special education market today:


  • New artificial intelligence systems are being developed to help teachers administer more effective testing that could uncover some of these often-hidden learning disabilities like dyslexia or dyscalculia. Once they can be properly identified, educators can tap into the resources available for a learning disability.
  • One of the most prominent issues with teaching students who have a learning disability is the inability to provide consistent feedback. In a large classroom setting, it can be a challenge to slow down to help a handful of students. With artificial intelligence rapidly developing, students can receive more reliable feedback directly related to their own performance.
  • Technologies like Voice Over, Virtual Assistants, Voice Control, Instant transcriptions, Face Recognition, Image Recognition, Keyboard Navigation Optimisation, Voice Recognition and Audio Descriptions when combined with AI and ML can be transformed to powerful tools that can help us shape new educational schemes on special education. In that way AI can help children with special needs to reach their real potential by individualized training and focusing more on the areas which they specifically need to improve.

AI technologies can help us develop pedagogies that promote creativity and will help in creating a safe environment for children where they are free to exchange ideas, conversations with each other and respect the differences in each individual. By having a user-centered approach, artificial intelligence technologies use inclusive design to conceive solutions that best meet the needs of people with disabilities to enhance accessibility. Indeed, AI technology enables them to gain more autonomy whether they’re at home enjoying a movie with subtitles or at work reading an accessible document making the world more accessible and inclusive to them.


Thing 9 Assignment

Given that AI depends on large datasets, how can we make sure people with disabilities and additional needs are not forgotten? Join the discussion on LinkedIn.

Practical Applications

You can find lots of ideas and resources in our AI@School Curriculum and Toolkit. 


10 Things about AI
Thing 9 - Supporting Learner Needs 90%