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Discussion 1

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In examining what we have learned about assistive technology, it is hard to imagine not using some form of technology in our everyday world. Assistive technology is often used by employers who wish to enhance worker’s accuracy (spell checkers, recorders, etc.). Therefore, it is difficult to imagine the missed opportunity to use assistive technology in the classroom, particularly when transitioning into a society where it has become the norm to support work-related tasks and learning.  For the duration of this course, the benefits of assistive technology have been geared specifically toward students who struggle with gaining access to the general education curriculum.

Review the following video,
The Case Against Assistive Technology.  Explain how your position on the use of assistive technology has evolved throughout this course. Would a reliance on technology provided in a school that a lower-income family cannot afford be counter-productive to the child’s education?  Explain how your philosophy about the use of assistive technology would argue against or for a universal approach to assistive technology.

Guided Response:  Respond to at least two of your peers’ posts.  Evaluate your peers’ responses regarding their evolved position about assistive technology and where you place the need to use assistive technology moving forward.  How has your knowledge about assistive technology used by individuals with disabilities developed?  In what ways are you better prepared to use assistive technology to support all students


Discussion 2


Watch the following video before entering the discussion: Play AT and Classroom Integration Video – Part 1

You can view the transcript to the video
here. (http://www.sc.edu/scatp/cdrom/integratingat.htm)

Timothy was a third grader in regular education. Prior to the referral to the assistive technology team, Timothy was using a communication device and was taking accelerated reading tests on the classroom computer. He has great difficulty using a pencil and paper, so his shadow was interpreting his answers and putting them on paper for him. Timothy’s occupational therapist (OT) and his parents were interested in seeing him become more independent with his classroom work. Requests included assistance in finding software that would allow the teachers to scan worksheets into the computer so that Timothy could work on the same assignments as his peers. Grammar rules were programmed into his device so that, during class discussion, Timothy can give the correct grammar rule when asked.

In the video, Timothy is shown using his computer or augmentative communication device (assistive technology device) to complete an assignment and is shown to be an inclusive member of the classroom.  His teachers and assistive technology team have found ways to utilize assistive technology and align universal design for learning strategies to design lesson plans to promote the use of assistive technology.  

After watching the video, explain what opportunities Timothy might have missed out on if assistive technology were not considered as a means of communication or access.  Explain the teacher’s role in assuring that lesson plans are universally designed (to include assistive technology) so that students like Timothy are included.  

Guided Response:  Respond to at least two of your peers’ posts.  In your responses, discuss missed opportunities for students with disabilities when assistive technology is not considered.  Also, evaluate your peers’ thoughts about the teacher’s role in creating universally designed lesson plans that include assistive technology and how they relate to or are dissimilar from your position.


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