Assistive technology evaluation expertise when matching high-technology devices to students identified with specific learning disabilities
Sousa, Lisa Thompson
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Rates of use associated with assistive technology by individuals with specific learning disabilities were compared to rates associated with low incidence disabilities. To address disproportionate practices for specific learning disabilities, four constructs (combined dependent variables) were created: (1) knowledge of specific learning disabilities, (2) knowledge of computerized devices, (3) expertise in assessment for computerized assistive technology devices with specific learning disabilities, and (4) frequency of consideration. Based on the constructs, a survey was piloted and distributed online to professionals involved with assistive technology decisions. Participants were separated into four groups typically found in IEP meetings: (1) related service providers (2) special education specialists, (3) general education instructional specialists (4) education technology specialists. The level of self-reported knowledge, expertise, and frequency were analyzed and described by comparing the groups. A fifth independent variable, collaboration, was created and compared among the constructs using ANOVA and significant findings were found regarding level of collaboration in relation to the four constructs associated with assessment of computerized assistive technology when paired with specific learning disabilities.