Kelly, S. M. (2009). Use of assistive technology by students with visual impairments: Findings from a national survey . Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness , 103 (8), 470–480. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X0910300805

Journal Article

Kelly, S. M. (2009). Use of assistive technology by students with visual impairments: Findings from a national survey. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 103(8), 470–480. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145482X0910300805

Tags

Assistive technology (for communication); Braille; Elementary; Enlarged print (on paper); Middle school; U.S. context; Visual impairment (including blindness)

URL

https://www.afb.org/publications/jvib

Summary

Accommodation

The use of assistive technology by visually impaired students was examined.

Participants

Data from SEELs, a large-scale national policy survey conducted from 1999 to 2004, were used. This survey asked about the experiences of special education students ages 6–12 in the United States. Three data collection waves (2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003) occurred. For research question one (pertaining only to students who read Braille or large print), data were examined for 98 students from data collection wave 1, 114 students from data collection wave 2, and 85 students from data collection wave 3. For research questions 2, 3, and 4, a less restrictive sample of 835 students was included.

Dependent Variable

Mathematics ability, parental involvement, school environment and placement, and use of assistive technology were assessed via telephone interviews and mail surveys completed by teachers, coordinators, principals, and parents. Mathematics ability was measured by examining the discrepancy between a child's grade and math level. Parental involvement was measured by parent report; specifically, parents were asked about their participation in parent meetings, programs, or training sessions for families of students with disabilities. School environment was measured via teacher report and included information regarding attitudes, feelings, and behaviors of students and staff. School placement was reported by school coordinators (residential or boarding schools). Use of assistive technology was measured by parent report.

Findings

Less than half (29–41%) of visually impaired students used assistive technology. Additionally, mathematics ability and school environment did not predict the use of assistive technology. Parental involvement and school placement did predict the use of assistive technology.