The Assistive Technology Skills, Knowledge, and Professional Development Needs of Special Educators in Southwestern Virginia

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Date
2006-04-05
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Assistive technologies can aid in removing many of the barriers that students with disabilities face in today's classroom. This study addressed special educators' perceptions of the facilitators for the successful implementation of assistive technology devices, skills and knowledge, and need for professional development. A self reporting questionnaire was designed to collect data. The questionnaire was mailed to 1164 special educators in southwestern Virginia. Educators reported that funding, time, technical assistance, assistive technology awareness and knowledge, professional development opportunities, and administrative support were highly important facilitators to the successful implementation of assistive technology. Special educators revealed an average level of skills and knowledge and need for professional development on 25 out of 27 assistive technology competencies. Furthermore, educators reported a preference for professional development opportunities in group settings that involved hands-on learning experiences.

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Keywords
disabilities, technology standards, IDEIA of 2004, adult learning
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