Assistive Technology In Instruction

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  • 1. Assistive Technology SPED 7110 Legislation Types Benefits Barriers
  • 2. Definition
    • IDEA: “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability” (20 U.S.C. #1401[25]).
      • ? Increase = improve?
  • 3. Federal Legislation
    • The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (1975) – FAPE, rights of children w/ disab. and their parents are protected (Clinton, 1992)
    • The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act (1988) – schools have to provide students w/ disab. and their parents access to technology resources.
    • The Individuals with Disabilities Act (1990)
    • The Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
    • The Individuals with Disabilities Act (1997)
  • 4. Controversy
    • FAPE and LRE:
      • Mainstreaming, inclusion, and collaboration
    • They increase chances of equal opportunities, but also hold school systems responsible for making sure that “all technology opportunities are accessible to all students” (Roblyer & Edwards, 2000)
      • AT needs must be mentioned in: IFSP, IEP, transition plan.
  • 5. Continuum of AT Devices
    • No-tech solutions – no devices or equipment
    • Low-tech solutions – less sophisticated devices or equipment; e.g. adapted spoon handles, pencil grip, Velcro.
    • Medium-tech solutions – electronic or mechanical devices not very sophisticated; e.g. wheelchairs, VCRs
    • High-tech solutions – complicated devices; e.g. computers, software, speaking key board.
  • 6. Benefits of AT for Students w/ Disabilities
    • Improved motivation and self-concept (longer time spent on-task, self-confidence in succeeding solving tasks) – in turn changes perception of others on these students
    • Increased opportunities to communicate and interact
    • Fosters student independence
    • Improves time-management skills
    • Allows equal access to school environment
    • Helps with transportation
    • Improves job opportunities – more marketable skills
    • Provides more support for teachers to cope with paperwork
    • (see empirical evidence textbook – p. 505)
  • 7. Technology Applications
    • Reading (and math) disabilities : tutorial, drill and practice software to build fluency
    • Writing disabilities : (talking) word processors
    • Generalization strategy enhancement : simulations of not readily accessible environments (or transition from class to environment instruction)
    • Physical disabilities : input devices (mouse – switch, touch screen,touch tablets, optical pointers; regular keyboard – customized, alternative, voice-expanded keyboards; voice-controlled devices; word prediction software)
  • 8. Technology Applications – cont’d
    • Visual disabilities : enlarged computer images and text; speech output – tells what the program does; printers with large print or Braille; tactile output devices – scans a page and translates it into a tactile display (requires training)
    • Speech and language disorders : augmentative communication unaided (use only body motions) and aided (use of pictures, notebook, or computerized system) – language analysis, develops articulation skills
  • 9. Technology Applications – cont’d
    • Hearing disabilities: captioned video – subtitles; TTD (telecommunication devices for the students) – facilitates communication through the telephone
    • Other : graphic and drawing software, hypermedia technology, word prediction software (prompting system), virtual reality (cyberspace, 3-D environments), internet (www.), databases (ASD dx. – organizational skills), calendar, note-taking software, multimedia production (high-functioning ASD – foster splinter skills & social interaction)
  • 10. Barriers of AT
    • Persons with disab. and their families are unaware of possible benefits of AT
    • They are not ware of availability of AT
    • Limited access to technology (teachers)
    • Limited knowledge of how to make AT available to students (teachers)
    • Limited equipment funding (classroom, univ.)
    • Lack of incentives (classroom, univ.)
    • Idealistic views that AT “cures” disability
  • 11. Assistive technology and IEPs for young children with disabilities - Parette, H. P. Jr. & Murdick, N. L. (1998)
    • Group 1:
      • Give examples of devices or equipment from each type of AT from the continuum
    • Group 2:
      • Why is AT important in classroom? (discuss benefits and ways to hinder barriers)
    • Group 3:
      • Discuss the case study provided on p. 196 (Was it a beneficial placement? How did AT devices help Paul? Would learning of the other students be impeded?)
  • 12. References
    • Beirne-Smith, M., Ittenbach, R. F., & Patton, J. R. (2002). Mental Retardation , Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.
    • Parette, H. P. Jr. & Murdick, N. L. (1998). Assistive technology and IEPs for young children with disabilities, Early Childhood Education Journal , 25(3), 193-198.
    • Roblyer, M.D. & Edwards, J. (2000). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching. Columbus, OH: Merrill-Prentice Hall.