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Collection: Early Childhood

purple arrowImproving Benefits of Assistive Technology

REFERENCE: Hutinger, P. (1994, Summer). Study shows assistive technology produces positive effects, makes recommendations for future efforts." ACTTive Technology, 9 (3), 1, 3, 4, 6.

Description of article:

CONTEXT: The article discusses recommendations for improving the benefits of assistive technology for children with disabilities. Recommendations are based on a two-year study describing the use of assistive technologies in educational programs for children with significant multiple disabilities. Assistive technology included such devices as switches, electronic toys, computers and their peripherals, and electronic communication devices. Many recommendations resulting from the study are presented, including the following sampling. Family involvement:

Maintaining and upgrading equipment:

Software design:

Outcomes/Reflections: In sum, families and professionals were provided with opportunities, equipment, and materials which encouraged children's social and emotional development, autonomy, and independent behavior. Although changes were slow for some of these children with significant disabilities, they did make progress, technology did represent a useful tool, and gains were made even with often inconsistent services. Gains over time related to positive social and emotional changes and to improvement in cognition and communication. It was found that the benefits that occurred depended on "the resources of the educational program, belief in technology benefits, the technology competence of his or her educational staff, the child, and the interest, resources and persistence of families (p. 6). "

CONTACT(S):

ACTTive Technology, Project ACTT, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455 Macomb Projects, under the direction of Patricia Hutinger, Ed.D., Professor of Early Childhood in the Department of Elementary Education/Reading at Western Illinois University, 27 Horrabin Hall, Macomb, IL 61455. Tel. (309) 298-1634

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP), located at Education Development Center, Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts.  NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

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