Teacher Perceptions of Assistive Technology to Help Learners with Disabilities

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Alatheeb, Eman
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Assistive technology is considered a significant element that provides major support for learners with disabilities owing to the opportunities it presents to improve their learning by facilitating easier interactions with their instructional material. This research was designed to explore the perceptions of teachers about their knowledge and experiences relative to the use of assistive technology in their classrooms. Online questionnaires with open ended questions were disseminated to teachers enrolled in a graduate education program at an Eastern Canadian University. An inductive approach was adopted to analyze the responses of participants to discern emerging themes from teacher comments in response to the questions. Based on the findings, conclusions, recommendations and inferences were developed pertinent to best practices, teacher knowledge and teacher experiences in the use and implementation of assistive technology in their classrooms. Information drawn from the questionnaires supported the view that a large percentage of teachers used assistive technology in their classrooms. Further, it became clear from the information that teachers needed more support than they were able to access in order to feel comfortable implementing and using assistive technology with participants noting the need for more professional development and greater ease in accessing more current types of technology. These findings were discussed along with implications for government, school districts, teacher education programs and future research
Assistive Technology, learning disabilities,