Assistive Technologies to Support Students with Language-Based Learning Differences
Thursday, March 29 4:55 PM-5:15 PM Location: Bell
Presider: Sa Liu, University of Texas at Austin, United States
Abstract: In the Individuals with Disabilities Act (2004) Assistive Technologies (ATs) are broadly defined as “any technology, which enhances the performance of individuals with disabilities” (Haq & Elwaris, 2013). ATs can be devices, items, equipment, or product systems that increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of students with disabilities (IDEA, 2004). The purpose of ATs are to provide students with the controls and devices to access, manipulate, and reproduce instructional content in the mode of their learning needs. Parette, Crowley, and Wojcik (2007) indicate that AT can reduce the effects of certain disabilities and allow students to focus their ability on the specific demands of academic tasks of importance. The purpose of this study was to determine what types of ATs could support students and what specific Learning Disabilities (LDs) based on the types of ATs that were being used already. Participants for this study included four Technology Coordinators (TCs) at four private schools in the Mid-Atlantic. Schools were selected based on participation in a private school coalition within the state where they are each located. Results showed that there is some evidence that students with LDs can benefit greatly when the correct Assistive Technologies (ATs) are used to support their instruction and learning. Some forms of technology (like ATs) have the potential to help students with LDs leverage their strengths or compensate for specific learning problems.