Chambers, D., Jones, P., Reese, L., & Wilcox, C. (2022). Teachers’ perspectives of what works: Implementation of AT for students with disabilities . Assistive Technology , 34 (3), 352–361. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2020.1826597
The process of implementing assistive technology (AT) was examined, seeking the perspectives of teachers of students with disabilities. The AT tools or devices were not specified in advance of the collection of data, other than the intention that they provided access to the curriculum or the setting, and to address augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) needs. Specific AT being used by teacher-participants were reported as findings, and AT for test-taking was emphasized in this summary.
Ten teachers from four schools in the same school district completed interviews. The teaching experience of participants ranged from five to 24 years. Of the 10 interviewees, nine had previous AT training. The researchers noted that the larger study was conducted in both Australia and the U.S.; they reported on the data from the U.S. in this publication.
Semi-structured interviews with special education teachers addressed characteristics of their training and experience, as well as the extent of the needs of their students, the nature of technologies used—that is, "low-tech" to "high-tech," and challenges and how they addressed them.
Assistive technology (AT) tools addressing access to curricula or setting, or communication needs were identified by special educators; on assessments, AT included visible timers, pencil grips, switches, touchscreens, and eye-gaze for responding. Six themes of successful AT implementation emerged, which was described as the "STATUE" model: Support, external—that is, from people outside of the classroom setting; Training of all stakeholders helping students with AT; Approach incorporating collaboration and problem-solving; Time to plan and practice with AT; Use of AT in all stages of learning and testing; and Effort and Experience, requiring persistent application of AT.