The Best Technologies to Benefit Kids with Special Needs: Notability

We’re fortunate to live in an age where technology can help individuals with disabilities overcome obstacles, or even make those obstacles disappear. There are many people who might be considered legally blind but who wear glasses to compensate for poor vision. Even more miraculously, technologies such as LASIK eye surgery result in perfect vision without any assistive devices. Many apps and technologies can do the same for kids with learning, attention, and social/emotional issues.

In this series of posts we highlight the way that many popular apps and technologies can be revelations to kids with special needs and to those who may not have a specific diagnosis but experience difficulty in one or more aspects of school, psychological adjustment, or life skills.

For kids who struggle with slow processing speed, cannot remember what a teacher says during lectures, or do not keep up with the pace of classroom discussions, Notability is a tool that can eliminates some of these concerns in the classroom. Notability is a note-taking app that lets users take handwritten or typed notes and record audio while notes are being taken — perfect for jotting down the highlights of a class lesson. Better yet, the app automatically syncs notes with the corresponding audio, making it easy to organize information and find what you need. Users can title their notes and organize them into categories such as “Algebra,” “History,” and “Homework,” and even add photos and “sticky notes.” Notability is probably best suited to kids in middle school and up and where students are allowed to use a laptop or tablet in the classroom.

Examples of the types of kids who could benefit from using Notability include:

  • Kids with working-memory issues who can keep a limited amount of information active in their minds
  • Kids with slow handwriting and processing speed who work too slowly to keep up with fast-paced lectures and discussions
  • Kids with organizational issues who cannot organize materials for schoolwork
  • Kids who are poor note-takers and tend to write down less important information or miss a lot of what is being said
  • Kids who routinely have attention lapses during classroom lectures
  • Kids who benefit from hearing and seeing the information they want to study


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