According to recent figures published by the U.S. Department of
Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
(OSERS), between the years 1997-1998, approximately 5.5 million students,
ages six to twenty-one, received some form of special education. Of these,
almost .20 displayed speech or language impairments and .053 displayed
visual impairments. The webquest you are about to engage in will direct
prospective teachers such as yourselves to assistive technology resources
that are available for your students with Speech, Reading or Visual
special needs. Assistive Technology, according
to the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act
of 1998, is any item, piece of equipment or product system,
whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that
is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of
individuals with disabilities”.
Increased access to assistive technology and special
Enhanced understanding of stake-holders' issues and roles
in the assistive technology decision-making process.
Increased knowledge of the types of available assistive
This webquest was designed to help future educators learn more about
the use of assisted technology in education. The quest is focused around
three type of disabilities: Visual, Reading and Speech. By the end
of this lesson, you and your group after considering each of the roles,
will determine which assistive technology solution is best for the
particular type of disability you have selected. You will then give
reasons for the selection. You will break up into groups of three and you
and your group will choose to research one of the following categories of
Speech, Reading or Visual Impairments:
- Read the scenario and research all sides of the issue.
- Share research and reach a group consensus.
- Create and present the group recommendations according to the
directions given for each category.
Meet your new 3rd grade student
Darla. Darla has an Individual Education Program from her
previous school because she has cerebral palsy. She has been
diagnosed with athetoid CP and with moderate hemiplegia.
Because the left side of her body is primarily affected, she uses a
walker. With the aid of the walker, she can maintain movement
similar to a typical third grader. Her parents moved her to
your school because they were not satisfied with the communication
and accommodations made at her previous school. As a result of
poor muscle control on her left side, she has dysarthria.
Although she can form words, she is difficult to understand.
Her parents can understand her, but few others are able to
communicate with her. Through diagnostic testing, it has been
determined that Darla does not have any learning disabilities and
that her vocabulary is above that of the average 3rd
grader. Unfortunately with the picture board she was provided
at her previous school, her ability to communicate to the extent she
is capable was limited. Darla’s parents would like Darla
to have a more comprehensive augmentative and alternative
communication tools and techniques to reduce her limitations.
This was prevented by the multidisciplinary team at her previous
school who felt that Darla’s speech could be improved using low
tech. augmentative communication to encourage her to improve her
Cammy has difficulty with visual
processing. She misspells words, leaves out words, and has
difficulty making sense of what she reads. She must read things over
and over to understand the content. She even has difficulty reading
back what she has written herself. You will be having Cammy in your
college level course next semester. The course is required for her
major and is currently offered in a web-based format. She has just
informed you that she is “dyslexic” and is very apprehensive about
the online course.
My 19 year old son Neil, was the
victim of a fire several weeks ago in San Francisco. As he was
running down the stairs, he was struck in the head by falling
debris. One of the firemen was able to free him, and he was taken to
the hospital where he was treated. He was diagnosed with DVI
or Neurological Visual Impairment. The category of the impairment is
termed Cortical Visual Impairment. The doctors think it could be
temporary but no one is absolutely sure. Only time will tell. Neil
is attending the university and was taking three web classes before
his injury. Neither, Neil, his father or myself know where to
start. Who do we contact to let them know that Neil will need
technological assistance to complete these courses? What type of
technological assistance will he need? What do we need to provide at
home for him? What are the laws?
You and your group's performance will be evaluated according to the
Credits & References
Turnbull, R., Turnbull, A., Shank, M. Smith,
S. Dorothy, L. 2002. Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today's
Schools. Upper Saddle River:N.J. Merrill Prentice Hall, http://www.prenhall.com/turnbull.
Nicole Kramer, Northern Arizona University,
College of Education, Institute of Human Development.
Technology Related Assistance for
Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1998,
Jesse Stemmler, a survivor.
Last updated on (4/02/03). Based on a template from The Recommendation WebQuest Page