About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5485-5492
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1323

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: THE CASE OF STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AND VISION IMPAIRMENT

M. Papazafiri, V. Argyropoulos

University of Thessaly, Department of Special Education (GREECE)
Children with multiple disabilities often face barriers to accessing and participating in self-care, play, leisure and education. The main feature of "multiple" disability is the combination or interaction of disabilities and the effect of these factors on development [1]. Assistive technology has been employed as one strategy, particularly in educational settings, to enable these children to be more engaged in school activities [2]. Over the past decades, advances in technology have provided new opportunities for people who have vision impairments (VI) and people with multiple disabilities and vision impairment (MDVI) to be independent at school, work and/or home. Perhaps one of the chief benefits of assistive technology is the opportunity that provides to children with multiple disabilities to control over their environment, including enhanced exploratory play and independence in activities of daily living [3]. In recent studies central to the issues of assistive technology is the need to understand how teachers and other professionals feel about their knowledge and skill levels. For example, it is very common for teachers to report that they do not feel competent enough to support students with VI or MDVI via the use of assistive technology. This study aims to investigate the use of assistive technology in MDVI classes in Greece. 46 Greek professionals were recruited from different educational settings and relevant data was obtained through interviews and observations.

The results from this study showed that:
(a) most of the participants did not use assistive or adaptive technology during their intervention programs,
(b) the majority of the teachers preferred to use low or medium tech devices for tactual learners, such as Cranmer Abacus and Perkins Braillewriter, and
(c) no correlation was found between number of teaching years and use of assistive technology.

The results are discussed through cornerstones of education such as:
(a) intensive short in-service training programs,
(b) acknowledgment of up-to-date augmentative and alternative learning environments through assistive and adaptive technology, and
(c) assessment and networking.

Finally, it is highlighted that training programs for professionals– especially those who are involved in the education of students with VI or MDVI - should give greater emphasis on assistive technology training at professional development levels [4]. This is something that may be characterized as imperative considering the increasing number of students with combined disabilities – such as children with MDVI - and the need to tailoring instruction to meet all individuals’ needs under the concept of inclusive learning.

References:
[1] V. Argyropoulos & P. Thymakis, “Multiple Disabilities and Visual Impairment: An Action Research Project”, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 108(2), 163-167, 2014.
[2] K. Derer, L. Polsgrove & H. Rieth, “A survey of assistive technology applications in schools and recommendations for practice”, Journal of Special Education Technology, XIII(2): 62–80, 1996.
[3] M. Sullivan & M. Lewis, “Assistive technology for the very young: Creating responsive environments”, Infants and Young Children, 12(4): 34–52, 2000.
[4] E.M. Wong & S.P.J. Law, “Practices of Assistive Technology Implementation and Facilitation: Experiences of Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments in Singapore”, Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, May-June, 2016, AFB, 2016.
@InProceedings{PAPAZAFIRI2018ASS,
author = {Papazafiri, M. and Argyropoulos, V.},
title = {ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: THE CASE OF STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AND VISION IMPAIRMENT},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1323},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1323},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5485-5492}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Papazafiri AU - V. Argyropoulos
TI - ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: THE CASE OF STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AND VISION IMPAIRMENT
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1323
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 5485
EP - 5492
ER -
M. Papazafiri, V. Argyropoulos (2018) ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS: THE CASE OF STUDENTS WITH MULTIPLE DISABILITIES AND VISION IMPAIRMENT, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 5485-5492.
User:
Pass: