Enhancing our special needs students with technological resourcesPresentation Transcript
By: Ashley E. Caughman ITEC 7530-01F Enhancing our Special Needs Students with Technological Resources
What is Assistive Technology? Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. The Technology-Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Tech Act) was designed to enhance the availability and quality of assistive technology (AT) devices and services to all individuals and their families throughout the United States. The Tech Act and the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) define an AT device as any item, piece of equipment, or product system (whether acquired off the shelf, modified, or customized) that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. Studies have shown that assistive technology can significantly improve the educational, vocational, and social performance of individuals with disabilities.
Types of Assistive Technology There are many types of assistive technology including no-technology, low technology and high technology. No-technology: any assistive device that is not electronic. Low-technology: devices are electronic but do not include highly sophisticated computer components. High-technology: devices utilize complex, multifunction technology and usually include a computer and associated software. No-technology devices can include: Paper stabilizers Pencil grips Physical and Occupational therapy Low-technology devices can include: Wheelchairs Electronic voice-recording machines High-technology devices can include: Word-prediction software Alternative keyboards Touch sensitive screens
Types of Assistive Technology
Advantages of Assisted Technology in the Classroom One of the advantages of assisted technology is the ability for teachers and instructors to integrate students in inclusive settings. Inclusion in education is an approach to educating students with special educational needs. Under the inclusion model, students with special needs spend most or all of their time with non-disabled students. Inclusion rejects the use of special schools or classrooms to separate students with disabilities from students without disabilities.
Advantages of Assisted Technology in the Classroom cont. Another advantage of assisted technology is the ability for students with special educational needs to learn in the “least restrictive environment.” A “least restrictive environment” means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate. They should have access to the general educational curriculum, extracurricular activities, or any other program that non-disabled peers would be able to access. The student should be provided with supplementary aids and services necessary to achieve educational goals if placed in a setting with non-disabled peers.
Challenges Facing Assisted Technology Although there is much to gain from Assisted Technology, like many other educational programs there are certain challenges that they face. Teacher and Student Attitudes: some students with learning disabilities may resist the idea of relying on assistive technology. They perceive using a "bypass method" as cheating. Teachers themselves can prove to be obstacles to implementing assistive technology. It may be because they consider using technology to be an easy way out, or if they are inflexible when there are difficulties. Demands of Technology: many may find it daunting to imagine integrating technology into the way they learn because of the "never standing still" feeling of technology. However, once there is a commitment to begin using assistive technology, the advantages of these powerful tools often outweigh the complications of continual upgrades.
Challenges Facing Assisted Technology cont. Access to Technology: availability is another potential barrier to students' use of assistive technology. Technology can be costly for both schools and students. It is important to remember that the cost for technology is an investment to help students achieve academic independence and success. Training the Student: if the student is not supported in learning to use the technology, the results may be worse than having no access to technology at all. Without proper training on how to best utilize software, students may be unable to use the technology as efficiently as it was intended, and they may give up too quickly. It is up to the institution to plan how to implement training and support.
Summary Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. There are many types of assistive technology including no-technology, low technology and high technology. One of the advantages of assisted technology is the ability for teachers and instructors to integrate students in inclusive settings. Another advantage of assisted technology is the ability for students with special educational needs to learn in the “least restrictive environment.” There are many challenges facing assisting technology including: Teacher and Student Attitudes Demands of Technology Access to Technology Training the Student
Resources http://www.landmark.edu/institute/assistive_technology/challenges.html http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-1/assistive.htm http://www.pluk.org/AT1.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~wilbur/access/assistive.html http://www.icevi.org/publications/icevi_wc2006/15_personnel_prepararation/Posters/nac_001_pat%20kelley.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusion_(education) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_Restrictive_Environment Clip Art from Google Images