Assistive Technology

Quality indicators for assistive technology: A comprehensive guide to assistive technology services

More than 6 million children with disabilities in North America require assistive technology and related services each year in order to participate and succeed in school. This book, Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology, provides an essential guide for assessing a child's needs, choosing and implementing the right technologies and services, and training education professionals in how to optimize learning with these critical tools.

Bowser, G., Carl, D.F., Fonner, K., Foss, T.V., Korsten, J.E., Lalk, K., & Larson, J.B. Quality indicators for assistive technology: A comprehensive guide to assistive technology services. Wakefield, MA: CAST Publishing, 2015.

Call to Action for the Texas Educator

Special education teachers' use of assistive technology with students who have severe disabilities

Teachers' integration of computer-based assistive technology has been linked to positive educational outcomes for students with disabilities. This study was conducted to identify factors that are predictive of integrating assistive technology into teaching practices among general and special education teachers of students with severe disabilities. A survey was developed for teachers who instructed students who used computer-based assistive technology. Stepwise regression analyses were conducted to identify factors that contributed to the amount of student use of assistive technology. Out of seven independent variables, teacher preparedness was determined to be the primary significant predictor of student assistive technology use. Implications of this and other findings are discussed in light of how teacher preparation can be enhanced to support teachers' integration of assistive technology

Connor, C., Snell, M., Gansneder, B. & Dexter, S. “Special education teachers' use of assistive technology with students who have severe disabilities.” Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 18, no. 4 (2010) 369-386. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/28334/

Call to Action for the Texas Educator

Learn more ways assistive technology can support students with complex access needs. The Texas Education Agency is providing all Texas teachers with a free subscription to Assistive Technology Institute of America (ATIA).

Technology for students with multiple disabilities

Technology continues to offer new access to information for everyone, and the options change so quickly that it can be overwhelming to try to keep up with what is available. As with any tool, the first question must be how it will support existing goals for an individual student, rather than letting it become an end in itself. In other words, the use of a switch to activate a computer may reinforce the concept of cause and effect, and, as such, it can be a tool to help a student to develop important cognitive skills. The information on this page offers a basic introduction to types of technology that may be valuable to help students with multiple disabilities to have increased access to literacy skills.

Cushman, C. (n.d.). “Technology for students with multiple disabilities.” Paths to Literacy. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. April 30, 2020. https://www.pathstoliteracy.org/technology-students-multiple-disabilities

Call to Action for the Texas Educator

Consider ways assistive technology can be used in providing literacy instruction to students with complex access needs. Explore the possibilities at Paths to Literacy.

Literacy, assistive technology, and students with significant disabilities

Literacy is a national educational priority. During the last decade, unprecedented funds have been committed to ensuring that school children, particularly those at risk for literacy-learning difficulties, have access to research-based instruction that is most likely to support their development as readers and writers. Yet, for the thousands of students across the country with significant intellectual disabilities, literacy instruction is a distant goal, and information regarding research-based instruction is extremely limited. Adding to the challenge is the absence of information regarding the use of assistive technology to support access to the curriculum and learning for students with significant intellectual disabilities. In this article, we review the research and apply understandings and strategies used in literacy instruction for students without disabilities to students with significant intellectual disabilities.

Erickson, K., Hatch, P., & Clendon, S. “Literacy, assistive technology, and students with significant disabilities.” Focus on Exceptional Children 4, no. 5 (2010): 1-16.

Call to Action for the Texas Educator

Consider ways assistive technology can be used in providing literacy instruction to students with complex access needs.