The Impact Of Assistive Technology In Education

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Assistive technology has a great impact on the lifestyles of people with physical disabilities. AT provides necessary assistance for people with disabilities in education, employment, and gaining independence for a good quality of life. Many people with physical disabilities are in need of mobile devices as well as communication devices to enhance their overall quality of life. As technology advances developers of AT devices, law makers, and rehabilitation counselors are instrumental in providing services that will close the gap and include instead of isolate people with disabilities. Impact of AT in Education “Assistive technology can be a powerful tool to help equalize learning environments for students with disabilities” (Stumbo, Martin & Hedrick, 2009, p.103). For example distance learning, online classes, and the use of the internet provide an alternative to the struggles and hardships for people who rely on mobility devices. For that reason AT devices such as computers are vital for providing communication in the educational journey of people with physical disabilities. Although distance learning and online classes are “typically not created with the intention of serving disabled students” it demonstrates an effective course of action for individuals to enhance their education (Foley & Ferri, 2012, p. 197). Acquiring the knowledge to use computers and the different AT devices, such as Ipads and smartphones at an early stage in the educational process offers the ability to keep up with the AT devices enhancements and new developments. The correlation between education and employment is well documented with higher education increasing the quality of employment and earnings. Stumbo et al. refer to a case study of 71 Au... ... middle of paper ... ...l as Rehabilitation counselors promote autonomy and accessibility within education, the workplace, and the quality of life of people with physical disabilities. Barzegarian & Sax conducted a study of 140 professionals who graduated from San Diego State University Rehabilitation Program to determine how well graduate students who have taken a class in AT have incorporated AT device selection and referrals into their professional practice. They found that the majority of referrals for AT devices were recommended “first” to people with low-vision impairments, “second” to people with upper extremities impairments, and “third” to people who were paraplegic or quadriplegic. (pp. 381 – 383). Therefore educating and bringing awareness of AT to clients, professionals, and the community must continue to assure a good quality of life for people with physical disabilities.
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