Effect of Assistive Technology in a Public School SettingBy Watson, Anne H.; Ito, Max; Smith, Roger O.; Andersen, Lori T.; American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 18-29
Publication Date: January/February 2010
Study explored the effectiveness of assistive technology (AT) in a public school setting by determining the outcome of AT provided by a multidisciplinary individual education program (IEP) team in helping students enhance their performance. The overarching study question asked how students in special education are affected by the inclusion of AT as an intervention strategy. Subordinate questions concerned how student performance outcomes are affected by the inclusion of AT and, relative to other intervention strategies, how AT contributed to students attaining identified IEP goals and objectives. Participants were a heterogeneous group of 13 students from preschool through eighth grade with disabilities such as autism, cognitive and learning disabilities, and developmental delay in a school system where AT had been newly provided, including written communication hardware and software, computer access software, speech generating devices, and curriculum support software. The outcome measure used was the Student Performance Profile (SPP), a customizable tool specific to the use of AT in a public school setting. Eleven of the participants showed a mean 31 percent improvement in ability level on identified IEP goals or objectives after receiving AT, compared with ability level at pretest. Participants’ overall performance on SPP posttest Section II, percentage of ability on IEP objectives and goals, improved significantly. Relative to other interventions, such worksheet modifications, alternate test taking, speech language therapy, and tutoring, AT showed a significant effect on IEP goal improvement. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) (Website:http://www.aota.org)