Article 4: Assistive Technology

Article: Assistive technology in the classroom

Authors: Netherton D. and Deal W.

Journal: The Technology Teacher 66.1 (2006)

Paper Overview:

The authors of this paper discuss the need to provide information about the availability of assistive technology, advances in improving accessibility and functionality of assistive technology, and appropriate methods to secure and utilize assistive technology in order to maximize the independence and participation of individuals with disabilities in society.

The authors make use of some real-life case studies of individuals with disabilities, who were able to avail of affordable high technology in order to maximize their participation in society. The authors make the case that often times, while there exist very expensive high-technology assistive gadgets in the market, due to the development of technology people with disabilities can now avail of such technologies at more affordable prices.

The authors also provided a list of services that provide help in assistive technology that most people do not know about.

Personal Reflections:

I was expecting a different topic when I found this paper and decided to review it. From the title alone, I had assumed that the paper was about technologies that could be used as assistive teaching tools in the classroom.

But when I began reading the paper I realized it was about assistive technologies that help people with disabilities maximize their independence and participation in day to day life. I was intrigued by the article.

It was a very well written and the writing was comprehensive in a way that made the authors seem like they really wanted to get their message out. The paper made use of 3 case studies of real people with disabilities and how they were able to increase their participation in society, simply by finding out more about affordable assistive technologies that they didn’t know about before that.

The authors made a compelling case and based their premise off of the fact that due to the developments and advancements in technology, better and more affordable assistive technologies exist that would highly benefit people.

It is not the onus of the school system to provide students with the best assistive technologies and hardware in the market, as they can tend to be expensive. As a result, students may lose out on opportunities due to their lack of access to the technologies they require to complete independent functionality in day to day work.

However, with the development of new technology, there are alternatives that have been created specifically as more affordable variations of the expensive assistive technologies in the market. The argument made by the authors is that there are many resources available now and that they should be advertised more so that more people can know about them and avail of their services.

I liked the writing style of the authors and I enjoyed reading their paper. It was a topic I hadn’t expected to write about or read about and so it was refreshing, though I don’t know that it will help me in the my ultimate final project.

 

1 thought on “Article 4: Assistive Technology

  1. Alda

    Thanks for bringing this issue up, Tulsi. I would be interested in seeing a list of the technologies discussed, especially the newer ones that I may not be aware of. I’ll definitely have to make time to read the full article. We can all probably do a better job of making our online offerings more accessible. People often forget to put in alternative text for images on their web pages, or don’t take the time to put in a transcript for their YouTube videos, for example.

    Reply

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