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Early Childhood Collection
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A variety of lo- and hi-tech tools can greatly enhance educational programming for our youngest students with disabilities. Early childhood educators are discovering the power of technology for promoting growth in communication, social interaction and cognitive developmentment among preschoolers. 

If you have any questions about a resource, please use the contact information listed for the resource.  These resources were compiled during NCIP's period of funding from 1992-1998.  NCIP encourages the reproduction and distribution of these materials as long as the contents are not altered in any way, and credit is given to NCIP.

The following print and video profiles are overviews of this topic developed by NCIP:

NCIP Profile

"Technology Supports Inclusion in Preschool"

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Video Profile: "Welcome to My Preschool! Communicating with Technology"

The following resources contained in NCIP's Early Childhood Collection were compiled by NCIP.  They are grouped into the categories: General, Practice, Products, Research, Vignette, and Publications.


Baby Power: A Guide For Families For Using Assistive Technology With Their Infants and Toddlers

Baby Power: A Guide For Families For Using Assistive Technology With Their Infants and Toddlers, edited by Patsy Pierce.

Chapter 1: Assistive Technology and Infants and Toddlers

Patsy Pierce defines assistive technology and provides a rationale for considering its use with infants and toddlers. She also provides a brief overview of the guide.

Chapter 2: Parent-Professional Partnerships in Early Intervention

Rebecca Edmondson discusses the key ingredients in successful collaborative relationships between parents and professionals and the parents' role in screening and assessment and developing individualized plans that include technology.

Chapter 3: Positioning and Mobility

Susan Attermeier, A Physical Therapist, discusses strategies and assistive devices for maximizing positioning and mobility of infants and toddlers. Sample goals for individualized plans are provided.

Chapter 7: Developing Communication Abilities

Debbie Reinhartsen and Patsy Pierce discuss the role communication plays in everyday learning and stress the importance of assistive technology to aid in the development of communication skills.

Chapter 8: Emergent Literacy: What Young Children can Learn about Reading and Writing Before they go to School

Patsy Pierce discusses the benefits of introducing early literacy-related activites to all children, including children with disabilities. Specific activities and strategies are suggested.

Chapter 9: Computers and Software

Jane Steelman an Instructional Technology Specialist, discusses how the computer can serve as an "equalizer" for children with developmental disabilities who otherwise may not be able to participate in physical learning situations. A resource list of books and computer software is included.

Interactive Technology and the Young Child

A paper published by the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Technology at Education Development Center, in which the author reviews major developments in interactive technology as they pertain to the education of young children.

Preparing the Preschool Computer Environment

Information from the "ACCT Curriculum Guide for Young Children and Technology" which focuses on the importance of the learning environment within which computers are used with young children.

Selection of Appropriate Technology for Children with Disabilities

An article originally published in Teaching Exceptional Children, in which the authors discuss the selection of appropriate technology for children with disabilities, particularly as it relates to public legislation which places greater responsibility on the schools to provide devices and equipment to students with disabilities.

Technology for Inclusion: Meeting the Special Needs of All Students

A description of a book by Mary Male which covers a broad spectrum of issues on technology for inclusion. Includes the author's recommendations for designing activities and selecting software for young children with disabilities.

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]


Assistive Technology and Young Children: Getting Off to a Great Start!

Describes how assistive technology services and equipment should be an integral part of early intervention and preschool services, as practiced by the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Project.

Computer Environments for Assessing the Strengths of Children with Special Needs

Three vignettes which illustrate how the computer provides an alternative environment for assessing the capabilities of young children with language disorders.

Computers for the Very Young: From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Describes how the Kingsway Learning Center's Early Intervention Program uses technology in their instructional and therapeutic activities with infants and toddlers with disabilities. Includes vignettes of four young children, with descriptions of the specific tasks and software used. Includes a list of software, adaptive equipment, switches, and a list of goals which can be integrated through the use of the computer.

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]


Storybooks on Computers: An Overview

An overview of story books on computer, with a focus on the features to consider when selecting computerized story books for students with disabilities. Highlights features such as speech and audio feedback, graphics, interactivity, and accessibility.

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]



A description of a research project which has developed the Baby-Babble-Blanket, a switch activated pad on which severely impaired and multiply handicapped infants can be placed. When the infants touch various switch locations, software is activated that emits various sounds, and the researchers evaluate the infant's responsiveness to and preferences for sounds.

Improving Benefits of Assistive Technology

A summary of recommendations for improving the benefits of assistive technology for children with disabilities, based on a two-year study by the Macomb Projects.

The Macomb Projects

A reprint of a brochure describing the work of the Macomb Projects, an umbrella title for a group of projects whose work centers on young children with disabilites, ages 0-8. The group includes one state and six federally-funded grant projects are located at Western Illinois University and range in focus from assistive technology, teacher training, and curriculum and software development.

Providing Public Education Services to Young Children with Disabilities in Community-based Programs: Who's Responsible for What?

One in a series of papers developed by the Research Institute on Preschool Mainstreaming to assist policymakers in developing preschool mainstreaming policies.

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]


Using an Expanded Keyboard to Help Students with Autism Learn to Write

This brief vignette is an expanded version of the sidebar, "Expanded Keyboard Helps Students with Autism Write," from the print profile Preschool Technology Supports Inclusion. It focuses on Paula Brassil's integrated classroom at the Warren Prescott School in Boston, MA. The benefits of access to an expanded keyboard for James, a student with autism, are highlighted.

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]


From Toys to Computers

A description of a guidebook which provides practical ideas and instructions on adaptations, devices, and techniques a child with disabilities can use to access toys and computers.

Simplified Technology for Persons with Severe Disabilities

Books and materials produced by Linda Burkhart, for practitioners and parents involved with children who have expressive language disabilities, including both expressive and receptive delays.

Southeast Augmentative Communication Publications

A description of resource books for teachers, clinicians, therapists and parents, which provide practical information and resources for alternative and augmentative communication.

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]

Other Early Childhood Resources on the NCIP site

drawing of a yellow school bus A tour of two exemplary early childhood classrooms
drawing of opened books Resources linked to the Early Childhood Tour
Toy block with ABC Early Childhood Online Workshop: The Art and Writing Connection

[ NCIP Profile | General | Practice | Products | Research | Vignette | Publications ]

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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. 

ŠEducation Development Center, Inc.