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Assistive Technology Applications

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Definition
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 Examples:
positioning equipment, mobility devices, computer applications, adaptive toys and games, adaptive environments, electronic interfaces, homemade battery-powered toys, medical equipment, prostheses, and alternative and augmentative communication aids
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Potential Outcomes
Meeting the challenges of everyday life Overcoming barriers to independence and inclusion Compensating for functional limitations Fostering interactions Enhancing learning capabilities

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Purposes
To augment an individuals strengths by counterbalancing the effects of a disability To provide alternative methods for performing a task so that disabilities can be compensated for or bypassed entirely

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

The Continuum of Technology


Blackhurst, 1997 (p. 42)
High-tech solutions involve the use of sophisticated devices, such as computers and interactive multimedia systems. Medium-tech solutions use less complicated electronic or mechanical devices, such as videocassette players and wheelchairs.

Low-tech solutions are less sophisticated, such as adapted spoon handles, Velcro fasteners, or raised desks that can accommodate a wheelchair.
No-tech solutions require no devices or equipment. These might involve the use of systematic teaching procedures or the services of related services personnel such as physical or occupational therapists
Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Outcomes Research
National Council on Disability, 1993 (pp. 1-2) Almost 75% of school age children with disabilities were able to remain in a general education classroom and 45% were able to reduce school-related services. 62% of working age persons were able to reduce dependence on family members, 58% were able to reduce dependence on paid assistance, and 37% were able to increase earnings.
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Outcomes Research
National Council on Disability, 1993 (pp. 1-2) 80% of elderly persons studied were able to reduce dependence on others, half were able to reduce dependence on paid persons, and half were able to avoid entering a nursing home. Almost 33% saved money, averaging around $11,110 per month. 25% indicated additional equipment related expenses that averaged around $287 per month.
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Outcomes Research
National Council on Disability, 1993 (pp. 1-2)
92% of those with jobs reported that the assistive technology enabled them to work faster or better, 83% earned more money, 81% worked more hours, 67% obtained employment, and 15% indicated that the equipment enabled them to keep their jobs. When asked to estimate the impact of equipment on their quality of life, users reported that without the equipment, their quality of life on a scale of 1 to 10 was about 3; as a result of the equipment, it jumped to an average of 8.4 points.

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Policies and Legalities Surrounding Assistive Technology

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act


Considerations for Technology Planning

The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the childs customary environment; Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities; Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act


Considerations for Technology Planning
Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the motor life function of that child.
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act


Teacher Training

Professional development for general educators, special educators, and related service personal should include training in selecting, implementing, and modifying assistive technologies Competencies:
Accessing hardware and software Using the technology Accessing resources for implementation
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Teacher Tasks
from Bausch and Hasselbring, 2004 (p. 101) Assess/evaluate students who have been referred for AT Match students to the most appropriate devices Consult with school faculty and or individual teachers Train students, teachers, families on using specific devices Collaborate with IEP team members Provide professional development training to school staff Purchase equipment Collaborate with other staff to include students with disabilities into the general education classroom Adapt and modify the curriculum Follow-up and evaluate AT implementation.
(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

Teacher Training Programs


Effectiveness Guidelines
hands-on integration training over time modeling, mentoring, and coaching post-training access

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Assistive Technology Act of 2004


Supports states in sustaining and strengthening their capacity to address the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities. Supports the investment in technology across federal agencies and departments that could benefit individuals with disabilities. Supports micro-loan programs to individuals wishing to purchase assistive technology devices or services
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Usage Barriers
Awareness Cost The Digital Divide Teacher Expertise

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Types of Assistive Technology

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Off-the-Shelf
Tape Recorders Page Flags / Sticky notes / Highlighters Modified Keyboards Word Processing Programs Widgets PDAs Virtual Reality
(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

Early Childhood Uses


Language Development
Augmentative Communication
Aided Systems
Books Boards Computers

Unaided Systems
Sign Language

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

School Age Uses


Literacy and Academics
Reading and Writing Software Calculators Word Processors

Vision, Hearing, and Physical Modifiers


Touch screens, Eye Control, Key Guards, Light Signals, Sound Alarms, etc.

Communication
Augmentative Systems
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Incorporating Technology into the Classroom


Merbler et al., 1999, p. 23
Use devices that permit customizing. Find the lowest technology solution that can work. Collaborate with other teachers. Collaborate with parents to ensure that assistive technology devices that go home are properly used and maintained. Dont believe that you have to master a device or software application completely before you begin using it. Assistive devices should match the age, gender, and preferences of the user to promote acceptance and use. Be sure that your school or school system has a comprehensive policy covering assistive technology. Funds must be allocated for training in the use of the equipment. Do not be afraid to experiment. Assistive technology is a very young field, and everybody is learning.

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Postschool Years
Emphasize technology during transition phase Focus on an individuals support needs in the community, at home, and with employment Switches, communication aides, prosthetic devices, and computers can all have applications
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Summary

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Definition & Benefits


The IDEA defines assistive technology as 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. Assistive technology can range from high-tech solutions, sophisticated devices, to no-tech solutions that require no devices or equipment. Assistive technology assists in overcoming barriers toward independence by compensation for their daily limitations. Technologies can decrease dependence on others by allowing individuals to become or remain integrated into their chosen communities. Assistive technology allows access to similar educational services as students without disabilities

Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Policies and Legalities


In accordance with the IDEA, special and general education teachers should consider the appropriateness of assistive technology as a tool or an intervention for all students who have individual education programs. The Tech Act provides flexibility to states in addressing the need for increased access to technology by individuals with disabilities and their families. The ADA requires the delivery of auxiliary aids and services as needed to assure equal access to programs and services. Teachers must have access to necessary hardware and software, should be comfortable with the use of technology, and should have adequate training to implement assistive technologies effectively.
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.

Modifications
Technologies for young children should provide opportunities for interaction and play at an early age. IEP teams are charged with the task of considering necessary assistive technologies for school-age children. Keyguards, touch-sensitive screens, and speech input and recognition systems provide assistance for individuals as they use computers. Technology training for adults should be emphasized during transition programming. Technologies for adults should address an individuals support needs in the community, at home, and with employment.
Beirne-Smith et al. Mental Retardation, Seventh Edition

(c) 2006 by Pearson Education. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2006 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458 All rights reserved.