Usage Patterns of Assistive Technologies and their Contribution to Students with Learning Disabilities
Abstract: This study examined the usage patterns of Assistive Technologies (AT), particulary courses websites, amongst students with and without Learning Disabilities (LD/NLD) studying at the Open University.We investigated the question whether the use of AT contributes to their academic and socio-emotional satisfaction. The sample included 363 LD and 601 NLD students aged 16-74. Significant differences were found in the use of AT between the two groups; LD students are more familiar with AT and use it more frequently.LD students also reported higher 'Hope' scores for the Satisfaction Scale.LD Students log more often into the forum leaving more messages. They perceive the use of the sites as an important opportunity to exchange views with the course team. Conversely, LD students use less materials provided by the websites. It was generally found that course websites contribute to a greater extent to the LD students’ sense of academic rather than socio-emotional satisfaction.