Use of Assistive Technology by Students With Visual Impairments: Findings From a National SurveyBy Kelly, Stacy M.; Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, Vol. 103, No. 8, pp. 470-480
Publication Date: August 2009
Study investigated the extent to which visually impaired students use assistive technology (AT), the change in the use of AT over time, and predictor variables that play a role in its use. AT, in this study, refers to high-tech, state-of-the-art technology, such as text-to-speech devices and computer screen enlargement software, used by people who are blind or have low vision. Predictor variables were seemingly salient contextual factors including measures of mathematics ability, parental involvement, school placement, and school environment. The study was a secondary analysis of pertinent variables from the Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (SEELS), a large scale national policy survey commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted from 1999 to 2004. A sample of visually impaired students aged 6 to 12 was observed in three waves of data collection during a four year period. The study found that between 59 and 71 percent of the students who were most inclined to benefit from AT did not have the opportunity to use it. The change in the use of AT as the survey progressed was not statistically significant. Neither mathematics ability nor school environment significantly predicted AT usage. Children who had parents actively involved in their education had significantly higher odds of using AT, as had students who attended residential schools. Implications for interventions and potential changes in policy or practice are discussed.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
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