Enabling Technologies: Guidelines for the use of assistive technology in education Christopher Loiselle EM680
What is Enabling Technologies? <ul><li>The  Enabling Technologies  website  (www.enabletech.ie)  , was created by the Mini...
Enabling Technologies <ul><li>Enabling Technologies  offers an outline of how new information and communication technology...
Changing Concepts of Disability <ul><li>The changing concept of disability puts a different emphasis on the role of techno...
What is Assistive Technology? <ul><li>any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or of...
Limitations <ul><li>The use of AT sometimes ends with unrealized expectations and disappointment. It is important to try t...
Factors to consider when deciding on A.T. <ul><li>Unrealistic or unfulfilled expectations lead to frustration.  </li></ul>...
Factors to consider when deciding on A.T. <ul><li>Students with special needs are mentioned in the Government of Ireland E...
The student <ul><li>Too much emphasis on technology, and not enough on matching it with the student and his or her circums...
Funding and Examining Procedure <ul><li>...
Funding and Examining Procedure (Continued) <ul><li>Frequently-Asked-Questions in regard to assistive technology funding s...
References <ul><li>www.enabletech.ie </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Technology-Related Assistance of Individuals with Disabilities...
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Enabling technologies Case Study

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Enabling technologies Case Study

  1. 1. Enabling Technologies: Guidelines for the use of assistive technology in education Christopher Loiselle EM680
  2. 2. What is Enabling Technologies? <ul><li>The Enabling Technologies website (www.enabletech.ie) , was created by the Minister for Education and Science in the country of Ireland. The Minister is the senior member at the Department of Education and Science in the Government of Ireland. The website itself is intended as an overview of Assistive Technology (AT) in the education context. </li></ul><ul><li>It is for those interested in exploring and administering developing technologies for the benefit of students with special needs. It could never replace advice on specific students by experienced people. </li></ul><ul><li>It is aimed at the 'medium-tech' range - with a hope of being successfully implemented in the normal school setting. </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive Technology refers to any device or system that helps to improve the functional capacity of people with disabilities. Many assistive technologies are neither complicated nor expensive. </li></ul><ul><li>In education, this refers to computer-related applications. </li></ul><ul><li>AT can now make it possible for people with disabilities to do more for themselves, to perform some of the functions that were previously difficult or impossible because of impairment. </li></ul><ul><li>A student who cannot speak, for example, may be able to communicate through a portable device that will produce electronic speech. </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling Technologies is especially concerned with finding a workable 'fit' for appropriate technologies within the life of the student and school. </li></ul><ul><li>Rather than replace specialist advice, this guide is intended to provide a reference and overview of AT as a step in identifying options for individual students. </li></ul><ul><li>(www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Enabling Technologies <ul><li>Enabling Technologies offers an outline of how new information and communication technology advances can be used for the benefit of students with special needs. </li></ul><ul><li>The information is brought to the teachers by use of the internet. The teachers become learners themselves, in that they become aware of the technologies available to help them teach students with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>The website concentrates on those interested in the education of disadvantaged students. The intended learners are students with special impairments. The information provided on this website by the Department of Education and Science will be used by teachers and advisors, whose purpose is to help the disabled learn with/through technology. </li></ul><ul><li>E.T. is part of the Ireland Schools Integration Project (SIP). SIP is part of the Government's Schools IT2000 initiative that was designed to strengthen the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in Irish schools. </li></ul><ul><li>SIP's role within this is to foster the integration of ICT in teaching and learning by funding innovative projects. </li></ul><ul><li>SIP is the largest school based innovation activity in Europe, with 79 projects involving some 350 schools. </li></ul><ul><li>Special Needs is one area where ICT can make a significant impact . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Changing Concepts of Disability <ul><li>The changing concept of disability puts a different emphasis on the role of technology in the life of the disabled student. The label 'handicapped' tended to define the person as a whole. These people were viewed as a different element of society. This often led them to being socially excluded and separately educated. </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays, a disability is seen as a specific attribute and not defining the person as a whole. The loss of function resulting from this is often caused, or at least compounded by, the constructed environment and attitudinal barriers. </li></ul><ul><li>Impairment is often the word used when mentioned disabled people, as the individual is being impaired from normal functioning because of factors outside of the person, rather than within. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to buildings, transport and services raises similar issues and the concept of Universal Design suggests that new developments should be accessible to all from the beginning. </li></ul><ul><li>Because of a lack of universal design, the development of technology, in a unusual way, can increase the handicapping condition. Many of the technical advances that are normally taken for granted are not accessible to people with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Within the educational setting, therefore, assistive technology must not be viewed as a 'fix' for the 'problem'. </li></ul><ul><li>The student's impairment should be accepted as normal to that person. The technology should be viewed as an attempt to provide an alternative approach that works around the impairment. In this regard, assistive technology is sometimes referred to as 'work-around' technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Universal Design The &quot;Universal Design&quot; concept means that the design of products and environments should be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation. Technological developments however can often increase the handicapping condition because many technical advances are not easily accessible to people with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>    (www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Assistive Technology? <ul><li>any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified or customized, that increases, maintains or improves functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities (U.S. Technology-Related Assistance of Individuals with Disabilities Act, 1998, 100.407) </li></ul><ul><li>Low-tech solutions are often more effective and easily integrated into a person's lifestyle. </li></ul><ul><li>Computer-based, high-technology solutions have great potential. However their fit with the individual, and his or her circumstances and environment, must be carefully looked at before implementation. </li></ul><ul><li>There is, sometimes, a large gap between what is theoretically possible and what is practically achievable in everyday circumstances. </li></ul><ul><li>It takes expertise and persistence to find the most appropriate solutions. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Limitations <ul><li>The use of AT sometimes ends with unrealized expectations and disappointment. It is important to try to avoid this, as it usually results in an added setback for the student and parents, as well as the waste of time and resources. </li></ul><ul><li>This situation usually arises when too much emphasis is put on technology as a solution. Often, not enough consideration is given to how the technology will work in the busy school environment. The way the student is likely to react to it should also be reviewed. </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive technology may be limited in use because: </li></ul><ul><li>It is only one of a range of options needed to help students expand their potential . </li></ul><ul><li>Some high-tech AT requires a lot of learning that may be outside the cognitive or physical endurance abilities of the student. </li></ul><ul><li>Some solutions are achievable by more simple, inexpensive low-tech devices </li></ul><ul><li>Students may not 'buy-in' to assistive technology if it emphasizes their disability . </li></ul><ul><li>Some electronic communication devices will not allow students to engage in the normal flow of communication . </li></ul><ul><li>AT is not a end-all solution. The use of assistive technology may end in disappointment if too much emphasis is put on technology and not enough on how the student is likely to react to it, or whether it will work in the busy school environment. It is important to avoid failure as this results in a setback for the student and parents. . </li></ul><ul><li>(www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Factors to consider when deciding on A.T. <ul><li>Unrealistic or unfulfilled expectations lead to frustration. </li></ul><ul><li>This disappointment can be shared by student and teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>A student’s experience of technology should progressive and achievement should be a positive goal to strive for. </li></ul><ul><li>Students with a progressive condition might experience significant development, instead of regression. Implementing assistive technology in the education setting has it’s challenges and rewards. </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions about what AT devices to use can range from the very simple to the very complex, depending on many factors. </li></ul><ul><li>Eventual success will be determined by the student, school and home factors. Enabletech suggests that the student, teachers and parents are involved in decision-making as much as is possible. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Factors to consider when deciding on A.T. <ul><li>Students with special needs are mentioned in the Government of Ireland Education Act, 1998, which makes reference to the provision of an education appropriate to each individual's needs and abilities, as well as to the provision of support services. Such services must be provided where the Minister deems it appropriate and having regard to &quot;resources available&quot;. </li></ul><ul><li>Boards of Management are required to publish the school policy in relation to the participation of students with disabilities, and the School Plan must state the measures that the school proposes to take to achieve their equality of access and participation. Provision to meet such special needs can operate within the resources available to the school and there is no enforcement provision built into the Act. </li></ul><ul><li>The Act contains a grievance procedure, which provides a mechanism for parents to raise grievances about a lack of support services. The school may be required to &quot;take appropriate remedial action&quot; as a consequence of a substantiated grievance. </li></ul><ul><li>By prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability, the Equal Status Act, 2000, may be of more significance in relation to AT provision than the Education Act. Under this act, educational establishments are prohibited from directly or indirectly discriminating in relation to access and participation. </li></ul><ul><li>The Act requires a school to do all that is reasonable to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability, as long as such provision does not go beyond &quot;nominal cost&quot;. This, however, is not defined and such a definition may, eventually, be determined in the courts. The Act does not apply to any provision that would &quot;make impossible&quot;, or have a &quot;seriously detrimental effect&quot;, on the education of others. </li></ul><ul><li>  (www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The student <ul><li>Too much emphasis on technology, and not enough on matching it with the student and his or her circumstances may contribute to failure. </li></ul><ul><li>It is important that a variety of strategies are considered if the outcome is to be successful. </li></ul><ul><li>It is generally acknowledged that there is a high rate of abandonment of assistive technology equipment and it is estimated that up to 30% of it may be abandoned in the first three months of use. This represents a setback for the student and his or her family, an attempt must be made to steer clear of this. </li></ul><ul><li>How the student perceives the technology as an addition to him or herself, or how it emphasizes their difference, may be among the more significant factors in determining acceptance and usage. </li></ul><ul><li>In some cases, the device becomes associated with the student's self-image in a positive or negative way. Reaction to the technology will also vary with age. For example, a child of a certain age may be pleased with a large and brightly-colored keyboard. Within a year however, this might be viewed as childlike, and a source of embarrassment for the student. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(www.enabletech.ie) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Funding and Examining Procedure <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  11. 11. Funding and Examining Procedure (Continued) <ul><li>Frequently-Asked-Questions in regard to assistive technology funding schemes : </li></ul><ul><li>Q. Who's responsibility is it to make an application for equipment? </li></ul><ul><li>A. It is the school's responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Q. Who owns the equipment? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A. The equipment is owned by the school and the Board of Management is responsible for it. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Equipment for blind students remains the property of the Department. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. Can the student take the equipment home? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. This is at the discretion of the school. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. If it breaks down, who pays for the repairs? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. The school. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. Can other students use the equipment? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Normally, no, but they may in certain circumstances. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. Can the student take the equipment to another school when they leave? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. No. The equipment remains the property of the school, with the exception of equipment for visually impaired students. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. What happens to the equipment when the student leaves the school? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. t may be allocated to another student with a disability within the school. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. How does the funding work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. At primary level, the Department provides about $2,500 U.S. dollars to the school for the purchase of equipment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Subsequent requests for more are considered. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The school purchases the equipment following the Department's approval of the application. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The school is then reimbursed by the Department on production of receipted invoices. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. Do the schemes provide funding for assessment, training or maintenance? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. No. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. Is there provision for the specialist training of school staff in the schemes? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. No, but this may be available from other Department sources. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q. What happens if the student needs an upgrade or extra provision? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A. Contact the relevant Inspector or Department office.   </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. References <ul><li>www.enabletech.ie </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Technology-Related Assistance of Individuals with Disabilities Act, 1998, 100.407 </li></ul><ul><li>www.x-rates.com/calculator.html </li></ul>

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