Assistive technology selection in technology-rich and technology-limited schools : an exploratory study of IEP decision making
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Consideration for Assistive Technology (AT) for children with special needs is a mandatory element of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) required by both Missouri and Federal statutes. Methodology for the actual process has not been addressed by the explanatory regulations at any level. Several advocacy groups and researchers have attempted to design guides for the AT selection process but none have been universally endorsed. The IEP team relies largely on their combined experience and training for reviewing student goals and the appropriateness of AT. The adequacy of this approach for the informed selection of AT is unknown. For this study an instrument was built for to survey practicing special educators for their responses to questions about how they: 1) select AT during the IEP process, 2) resources they use for AT selection, 3) skills they use for determining appropriate AT, 4) collaboration with general educators, 5) skills for training students, teachers, and parents for using AT, and 6) how they stay current on AT devices. The instrument was developed for special educators working with students with specific learning disabilities.
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