Teachers’ and students’ perspectives on the extent to which assistive technology maximises independence
Subjectsspecial educational needs
Subject Categories::X300 Academic studies in Education
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AbstractAssistive Technologies (ATs) are extensively used and integrated into society, mainstream and specialist education settings, more so with students who have learning disabilities. Everyone has a perspective on the extent to which these devices provide students with disabilities and specifically in this case study, students with visual impairments (VI) independence during their education. This case study indicates the importance of researching emerging technologies within specialist education such as tablets, multiple forms of braille, and screen readers, while utilising a constructivist paradigm to undertake the mixed methods research. This study triangulates through the use of qualitative and quantitative research tools to discover mixed views on the extent to which AT promotes the independence of students with vision impairment, ultimately discovering the extent is somewhat individualised to each and every student. This study was conducted in an English, special-mainstream partnership further education college. Four students and five teaching staff members were interviewed, alongside five classroom observations of each staff member interviewed. The foci of this article are teacher and student perspectives on the extent to which ATs provide students with VIs independence in their learning, and if ATs play a crucial role in these students’ educations. The findings revealed largely positive views surrounding ATs potential for students with VI. The extent to which the students benefit from these advantages is dependent on the individual. The students focused much of their attention on their personal feelings towards using technology, whereas the teachers elaborated on their feelings and went into detail about particular students’ successes and pitfalls when using ATs. As technology is constantly changing, the participants expressed their concerns for keeping up to date. Recommendations for further research include a longitudinal study at the college where this research took place to discover whether partnership further education facilitates inclusion.
CitationLoveys M, Butler C (2023) 'Teachers’ and students’ perspectives on the extent to which assistive technology maximises independence', British Journal of Visual Impairment, (), pp.-.
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