Journal of Special Education Technology

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 0162-6434
Publications
Article
This article describes a university course designed to introduce preservice teachers to current technologies, help them attain a reasonable skill level using these technologies, develop effective integration strategies, and become critical thinkers and evaluators of digital information. The development and evaluation of the program is discussed. (Contains eight references.) (CR)
 
Article
This article describes a multimedia problem-based learning (PBL) CD-ROM designed to teach educators about the 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act discipline guidelines. The Disabilities and School Discipline module has three phases: the narrative introduces educators to the educational problem; the role strands require educators to assume one of 8 roles and is an interactive simulation of the manifestation determination process that requires educators to conduct a functional assessment; in the problem resolution phase, educators compare their solution to the problem to that of professionals. Implications of using multimedia PBL technology in special education teacher preparation courses are discussed.
 
Article
This study investigated the effectiveness of the CD, Families, Culture and AAC, as a culturally sensitive teaching tool for students enrolled in a speech-language pathology AAC course. Students enrolled in the course were divided into three learning format groups that (a) viewed the CD and engaged in learning challenges independently, (b) viewed the CD in class, and (c) had lecture only. Students took objective pre-post tests and also answered essay questions over the material after it was presented. Results indicated that the independent group made significantly smaller gains in pretest-posttest scores related to cultural content than did either the in-class viewing or the lecture group. No significant differences were found by learning group to answers to essay questions. Results are discussed and suggestions are given for appropriate classroom use of the CD. Appendix A contains Evaluation Questions. (Contains 2 tables.)
 
Article
Often, specialists in the field of Assistive Technology (AT) are presented with the challenge of teaching learners to utilize AT in order to increase, maintain, or improve their capabilities. Despite best efforts, rates of AT abandonment are alarmingly high. Understanding the factors that may influence an individual's choice to utilize AT may assist interventionists in designing and implementing effective interventions that prevent technology abandonment. This paper discusses some variables that may influence an individual's choice to utilize AT. Furthermore, the potential applicability of manipulating these variables to decrease the probability of AT abandonment are discussed. Journal Article
 
Article
This study evaluated a computer-assisted instructional program employing a constant time delay prompting procedure to teach spelling of abbreviations to four adolescents with mild learning disabilities. The program was found effective, and training generalized to hand-written performance in both a special and general education setting. (Author/DB)
 
Article
Computer access has become increasingly important within special education due to the increased functional independence that computers can provide children of all ages. Children with disabilities, especially, have benefited from access to computers (Glickman, Deitz, Anson, & Stewart, 1996; Judge & Parete, 1998; Swinth, Anson, & Deitz, 1993). Computers can allow these children to improve classroom functioning, to communicate thoughts and feelings, to explore play and leisure skills, to socialize, and generally to increase independence (Angelo, 1992). In order to provide computer access for individuals who have difficulty with physical switches, Edmark, an educational software company, has developed the TouchFree Switch. The purpose of this study was to: (1) Gather preliminary data on the speed and accuracy of the TouchFree Switch compared to a physical touch-based switch for a group of school-age children (ages 7 to 18 years) with physical impairment; (2) Compare the opinions of the students and caregivers concerning the two switches; and (3) Provide special education professionals with information about the TouchFree Switch to assist with decision-making. A descriptive methodology was used in this study, and included both quantitative and qualitative methodologies (Portney and Watkins, 1993). Quantitative methods were used to gather and compare data regarding user speed and/or accuracy with each switch. Structured interviews were used to gather descriptions and opinions about the two switches. This mixed methodology provided information on the effectiveness and subjective qualities of the TouchFree Switch as compared to a physical switch. The results of this study highlight that assistive technology (AT) needs and solutions are unique to each individual. It was important to consider individual factors when making switch choices, but the data analysis yielded some important generalities that may assist professionals during decision-making related to switch use.
 
Article
This article summarizes the results of a survey of teachers in Pennsylvania who have educational responsibility for one or more students who use assistive technology in the classroom. The majority of these students had some type of physical disability and used an augmentative communication device. The teachers who responded to this survey were highly educated and experienced in the use of computers and assistive technology. Issues surrounding the complexity of the equipment were among the greatest barriers to the use of assistive technology reported by these teachers. When asked to rate both the importance and availability of specific technology supports, training and maintenance issues were rated most highly. Teachers consistently rated supports as being more important than they were readily available.
 
Article
A local area network of six microcomputers provided 32 seventh-grade, LD and Chapter One students and their teachers with increased capabilities to access information associated with academic performance. Specific information in the system included descriptions of all academic tasks assigned to students, as well as such basic specifications as date due and point value. As each quarterly period of instruction within the school year progressed, the system accumulated a complete performance record for each student. Students, resource teachers, and mainstream teachers were able to request up-to-the-moment reports of pending assignments, missing work, grades on particular tasks, and estimated overall course grade. Findings obtained during a 27 week field test underscored the feasibility and potential significance of such a system. System use by students and teachers occurred at high levels. All participants indicated that system use was a positive experience and that system operation was important. A significant, positive correlation was obtained for student use and completion of academic tasks. Further potentials for such a computer-assisted information system are evident, including significant forms of home-school linkage and automatic recognition of student performance.
 
Article
Teachers' use of objective, ongoing assessment to help them formatively and empirically develop effective instructional programs is one signature feature of model special education programs. Despite their demonstrated efficacy, as well as frequent calls for their implementation, these assessment methods have failed to progress from model to typical special education practice due to feasibility problems. In this article, we describe a research program conducted over the past 8 years to address how technology can be used to surmount these implementation difficulties. The research program focused on one variety of objective, ongoing assessment known as curriculum-based measurement, in the areas of reading, spelling, and math. First, we discuss research on the use of computers to assume the mechanical aspects of measurement. Then, we discuss research on the use of computers to help teachers translate the assessment information into feasible instructional adaptations, even within the context of large instructional group size. Implications for the fields of special education, technology, and assessment are drawn.
 
Article
Audiographic conferencing technology is currently used by the Education Department of Western Australia (EDWA) to provide enrichment programs for talented and gifted students living in rural and isolated areas of Western Australia. In addition to increasing the access and participation of isolated students to a special curriculum designed to extend and enrich their learning, current policy also aims to improve and develop the applications of technology for special education needs. For the particular students involved in the study, the goal of higher-order thinking was sought as a learning outcome. Based on observations and research on the actual classrooms where audiographic conferencing was used to mediate learning, this paper suggests that higher-order thinking (HOT) among gifted students can be fostered by utilizing audiographic conferencing to create a classroom milieu of peer discourse, investigation and visual display of ideas. When teachers are encouraged to adopt a process-based approach and to foster the skills of negotiation, verbal elaboration and peer revision of ideas they also begin to utilize the two-way audio and video elements of the technology to maximize learning. The initial evaluation of the project for gifted and talented students indicated that the interactive features of the technology provided the possibilities for task-related collaboration and gave students the opportunity to share, discuss and evaluate concepts, thereby leading to higher-order thinking.
 
Article
Students with disabilities often lack the skills required to access the general education curriculum and achieve success in school and postschool environments. Evidence suggests that using assistive technologies such as digital texts and translational supports enhances outcomes for these students (Anderson-Inman & Horney, 2007). The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a text-to-speech screen reader program on the academic achievement of high school students with disabilities in an online transition curriculum emphasizing information literacy. The text-to-speech support was introduced and withdrawn in a reversal design across 10 curriculum units. Findings suggest that the text-to-speech support increased unit quiz and reading comprehension performance with large effect sizes. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
 
Article
A study was conducted to determine the accessibility of microcomputer instruction to learning handicapped (LH) students relative to their nonhandicapped peers. This was attempted through a survey of schools with special education students in which computers were available for general instructional purposes. The extent to which higher levels of school microcomputer resources increased microcomputer opportunities for LH students was also studied. Three hundred elementary schools were selected for the survey through a stratified random sampling of schools in 52 districts in Southern California. Only two-thirds of the sites with the potential for microcomputer use by resource room students allowed them access, while half of the schools with computers and special day class students provided them with instruction. Nevertheless, a significant correlation was found between computer availability at a school (the ADA/micro ratio) and the likelihood that LH students would have access to computers.
 
Article
The author describes a project designed to assess visual, auditory and tactile access to microcomputers for curricular, vocational, and leisure time use by visually handicapped youth. Criteria are proposed to evaluate software for use in computer assisted instruction. (CL)
 
Article
Computers can empower children with disabilities to participate in the normal processes of spoken and written language learning. To accomplish this, teachers must put access to computer-based speech output and text under the control of children with disabilities. Then, teachers must support children's construction of internal grammars by providing the language structure needed to link the computer-based speech and text with the children's personal meaning systems. A research project with children with Down syndrome is reported, supporting the contention that combining access to speech and text through technology with teaching methods that provide the language structure to link the speech output and text with personal meaning results in significantly improved language use compared with implementation of identical teaching methods with computers without speech output, or identical teaching methods with pencil and paper. Implications about the requirements for effective computer-based language interventions and about the role of teachers are discussed.
 
Article
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Amendments of 1997) charts a clear change of direction for special education teachers in two areas: (a) access to general education curriculum standards and (b) the consideration of assistive technology (AT) when planning the individualized education program (IEP) of all students with disabilities. Whereas the special education program once looked exclusively at the needs of the individual child, it now must look at these needs as they relate to involvement and progress in the general curriculum. Assistive technology has an increasingly important role to play in helping special education students achieve these general education outcomes (Behrmann & Jerome, 2002; Fisher & Frey, 2001; O?Neil, 2000; Rose & Meyer, 2000).
 
Article
This study examined individual school home pages and their corresponding district-wide home pages for Web accessibility. As of 1999, the U.S. government established that all public and private school Web sites were to be made "Web accessible," meaning accessible to students with disabilities. Although higher education sites have been subjected to previous Web accessibility studies, few studies have examined primary and secondary school sites. Home pages for K-12 schools were examined using the WebXact online software to determine compliance with federal mandates. Findings indicated that only about 14% of individual school home pages and 17% of school district home pages were Web accessible. When analyzed according to type of school, 17.6% of public schools were accessible compared to 7% of private schools. These numbers are disappointingly low, and far from the legally mandated requirement that 100% of Web pages be accessible to students with disabilities. The future challenge will be to determine how primary and secondary schools can develop their Web sites to be accessible to all to ensure compliance with the legal mandates.
 
Article
This status report on instructional software accessibility for individuals with disabilities notes current initiatives to further instructional technology accessibility and reports on a survey of 19 major companies producing instructional software. Only two responses reflected awareness of accessibility considerations and all the remaining reported no company efforts to address accessibility in product development and marketing. (DB)
 
Article
The World Wide Web (WWW) is a universal medium that has revolutionized the dissemination and gathering of information; however, on-line barriers limit the accessibility of the WWW for individuals with disabilities. Federal legislation directs that the provision of assistive technology devices and services enable individuals with disabilities to benefit from the opportunities available to their neighbors and peers without disabilities. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the accessibility of university special education programs' home pages and discuss accessibility recommendations. Eighty-nine special education Web sites were evaluated for accessibility errors. Most (73%) special education home pages had accessibility problems, and the majority of these errors (71%) severely limited access for individuals with disabilities. The good news is that the majority (83%) of the errors can easily be corrected. Recommendations and methods for improving accessibility to the WWW for individuals with disabilities are discussed.
 
Article
In this article we describe the development of a set of video-based training materials designed to present information on the availability and use of assistive technology (AT). The purpose of the article is two-fold: (a) to briefly describe the instructional materials, and (b) to describe the processes used to make the materials accessible to persons with disabilities. Describing the instructional materials provides information for potential users of the materials, and describing the development process provides information for instructional designers about the decisions made and processes used to make the materials accessible. The materials were designed for use in group training or stand alone training, and for in-service or pre-service ² audiences. Designing accessible training materials in a variety of instructional formats presented a challenge. The materials had to be sufficiently self-explanatory for stand-alone use while providing presentation materials for group-based instruction, in a format that could be used by persons who have visual and/or hearing disabilities. Steps taken to meet this challenge are presented in the article. We also make recommendations for increasing accessibility when developing video-based instructional materials.
 
Article
In this study, we examined whether a teacher-paced video (TPV) accommodation or a student-paced computer (SPC) accommodation provided differential access for students with disabilities versus their general education peers on a large-scale math test. Our results showed a statistically significant main effect for students' status. General education students outperformed students with disabilities on both the SPC and TPV math tests. When TPV versus SPC scores were analyzed by status, it was found that pacing significantly influenced the mean scores. In other words, the mean scores for students with disabilities and the lowest general education students provided differential access when the accommodation was student-paced on a computer versus when the teacher paced the accommodation via the video.
 
Article
This study explored the performance of sixth grade students with and without disabilities on a mathematics assessment aligned to state standards when provided a calculator as an accommodation. The study utilized a pre/posttest design. No student was given access to a calculator on the pretest, and approximately half of the students were randomly assigned to have access to a four-function calculator on the posttest. The results suggest that both students with disabilities and students without disabilities benefited from access to a calculator. The findings raise implications for calculators as a valid accommodation on assessments and suggest directions for future research.
 
Article
Given the increasing number of students with disabilities from diverse cultural backgrounds who are being served in special education settings (Harry, 1992), professionals have begun to focus attention on processes and strategies for ensuring culturally sensitive assistive technology (AT) decision-making (Parette, Huer, & VanBiervliet, in press; VanBiervliet & Parette, 1999). If professionals accept the basic tenet that an understanding of culture, both in terms of milieus/environments and family perspectives, is integral to more effective AT decision-making, one aspect to the dimension of culture that is little understood, and remains to be explored, is acculturation. Acculturation has been described as a powerful determinant of attitudes and behaviors and it affects many aspects of child and family functioning (Smart & Smart, 1992a). This article focuses on a discussion of the process of acculturation and its relationship to AT decision-making. A range of influences on the complex acculturation process is noted, along with a discussion of socioeconomic status and its relationship to acculturation. Finally, specific recommendations having relevance to AT teams are presented.
 
Article
The differences between teacher scoring and computer scoring within curriculum-based measurement (CBM) were investigated in the area of spelling. Subjects were 18 special education teachers from eight schools in a metropolitan area in the southeast. Data were collected from teacher and computer scored CBM spelling tests. Results indicated that although the accuracy of teacher scores was within an acceptable range, computer scoring accuracy was significantly higher and computer scoring produced greater scoring stability. Additionally, high correlations were produced between the computer or teacher spelling scores and a standardized test of spelling achievement—indicating robust criterion validity for CBM. Findings indicate that computers may enhance teacher planning by providing teachers more time for planning and more accurate assessment data.
 
Article
Two types of independent practice activities to improve accuracy of pre-service teachers' measurement of oral reading fluency (ORF) were contrasted. Forty pre-service teachers, enrolled in an introductory special education course, received instructor-delivered classroom instruction on measuring ORF. After lecture and guided practice, participants were divided randomly into two groups. Each group practiced assessing ORF either with classmates acting as student readers or by accessing a Web page containing audio clips of stories read by an adult acting as a student reader. Two weeks after the practice session, participants were evaluated on their accuracy. Results indicated that pre-service teachers in the technology-enhanced practice condition reduced their scoring errors to the same degree as teachers did in the traditional practice format. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
 
Article
CLASS.LD2, a computer-based expert system designed to provide second-opinion advice on the appropriateness of a learning disabilities classification, was combined with strategies of effective concept instruction to create an instructional package entitled LD.Trainer. LD.Trainer was used to train preservice and inservice regular and special educators to more accurately identify students qualifying for special education under the classification of learning disabilities. The effectiveness of LD.Trainer was compared with exposure to the original CLASS.LD2 system. Ninety-seven volunteer university students were randomly assigned to the LD.Trainer or CLASS.LD2 treatment groups. Subjects who completed the LD.Trainer materials scored statistically and educationally higher on the posttest than those who used the original CLASS.LD2 system. Recommendations for future study and incorporation of effective concept instruction strategies in preparation of special educators are addressed.
 
Article
Distance education in the form of Interactive Television (ITV) and videotape currently is being discussed as a method to provide instruction to students enrolled in education courses. In this study, the effect of traditional, ITV, and videotape lectures on student achievement and attendance was investigated. Student satisfaction with the course and student evaluations of the instructor were also analyzed. Sixty-seven preservice special education students were randomly assigned to one of three instructional methods. One group received instruction with the instructor present, one group received instruction via ITV and the third group received instruction by means of a videotape lecture. Results indicated that (a) students achieved equally well on quizzes and tests regardless of the instructional method, (b) students who received instruction in the traditional setting were satisfied with the instruction they received, (c) students who received instruction via ITV were satisfied with the instruction they received, (d) students who received instruction by means of videotape were not satisfied with the instruction they received, (e) students attended class regularly regardless of the instructional method, and (f) students who received instruction via ITV and videotape did not perceive the instructor as taking an active role in the course.
 
Article
This study investigated the effects of four different goal structures on mathematics achievement among students assigned to work with partners on a computer-assisted instruction (CAI) arithmetic task. Forty-six mildly handicapped junior high school students were paired and assigned to cooperative, competitive, individualistic, and no goal control conditions. Dyads worked ten minutes per day, three days per week, over a four-week period on a mathematics game designed to increase single-digit computation fluency. Students practiced with their partners, recorded and graphed daily computer scores, and received points for backup reinforcers according to the goal condition under which they worked. Two-way analyses of variance for repeated measures on paper-and-pencil and computer-based achievement scores indicated that students improved their rates of correct responding over time, regardless of goal condition. A discussion of findings and implications for future research are included.
 
Article
The meta-analysis investigated the effects on achievement of type of graphing paper employed in displaying student performance data collected over time based on 15 controlled studies with 16 effect sizes. No significant differences in student achievement were found between studies using six-cycle and studies using equal interval paper graphing methods. (Author/DB)
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of video-based, anchored instruction and applied problems on the ability of 11 low-achieving (LA) and 26 average-achieving (AA) students to solve computation and word problems. A repeated-measures design with staggered baselines was used to compare the performance of two groups of LA students and one group of AA students across three instructional conditions: (a) baseline instruction, (b) anchored instruction, and (c) instruction with applied problems. The performance of all three groups was higher during anchored instruction than during the baseline condition, but no differences were found between instruction with applied problems and the baseline condition. Qualitative analyses revealed that some LA students made fewer errors on computation and word problems during the anchored condition, whereas other students continued to make the same procedural mistakes. The findings suggest that some LA students can improve their procedural math skills as they work on solving engaging problems but other students need more explicit instruction to improve their computation skills and basic math understanding.
 
Article
It is often stated that pairing of verbal stimuli and gestures may facilitate the acquisition of verbal responses. This hypothesis was tested with three severely developmentally retarded individuals. It was found that verbal training only and verbal training plus gestures both resulted in the acquisition of noun-verb labeling responses. So, the procedures did not differentially influence the percentage of correct verbal labeling responses. The finding that gestural responses, although never explicitely followed by reinforcement, were shown across all conditions was discussed in terms of their potential role in maintaining verbal reponses.
 
Article
All citizens are expected to participate in the processes of democratic decision making in the postschool years, and the goals of social studies education have long included the preparation of an informed citizenry. However, surveys show that social studies instruction is often not provided for students with disabilities, and those that receive instruction do poorly compared to their nondisabled peers. Students' poor performance is exacerbated by the reliance on “inconsiderate” textbooks that are often poorly organized, lacking in content, and devoid of important background information. Project-based instruction is an alternative to the exclusive reliance on textbook-based instruction in the social studies. Students investigate a problem or question and develop artifacts based on these investigations. In this study, students with learning disabilities, working under two different conditions, developed projects about factors that precipitated the American Revolutionary War. Students in both conditions worked cooperatively to learn about some aspect of the Revolutionary War, and they then contributed to the construction and presentation of a group report about the topic. However, students in one group had access to word processing tools, and the other had access to word processing and multimedia presentation tools in developing their projects. Analyses of students' knowledge revealed a substantial improvement in both conditions after the completion of the projects.
 
Article
One principle of applied research is to design intervention programs targeted to teach useful skills to the participants (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968), while structuring the program to promote generalization of the skills to the natural environment (Stokes & Baer, 1977). Proficiency in community skills (e.g., community navigation and shopping skills) allows a person more opportunity to interact independently in his/her environment. For students with significant disabilities, community-based instruction has become a curricular focal point. The use of technology may be the answer to providing an effective and efficient strategy to teach students with disabilities functional skills, such as grocery shopping, when extensive community-based instruction is not available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a CAI program to increase the percentage of correctly selected grocery store items by the four participants with moderate to severe disabilities to assess their ability to generalize to the natural setting. The dependent variables measured included the percent of correctly selected items, the duration to select each item, and generalization from the CAI to the natural environment.
 
Article
The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of learning and maintaining vocational chain tasks using video self-modeling and video adult modeling instruction. Four adolescents with autism spectrum disorders were taught vocational and prevocational skills. Although both video modeling conditions were effective for acquiring and maintaining vocational skills, one participant performed more effectively during video self-modeling instruction. Two participants acquired skills more efficiently during video self-modeling instruction and the fourth participant showed no functional preference for self-modeling or adult modeling conditions. In addition, the classroom teacher indicated that video modeling methods were socially acceptable for school settings and would recommend them to other teachers.
 
Article
With the increasing complexity of schools and society, there is great need for expanded understanding of the many dimensions of diversity within the field of assistive technology (AT). The question that lies before us is how has diversity been examined in AT research and literature? Following a research synthesis method similar to Summers (1985) and Edyburn (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) the purpose of this study was threefold: (a) first, to conduct a literature review of scholarly publications in the area of AT that focused on the diversity dimensions of family, rural, culture, race, or gender between the years of 2000 and 2004, (b) second, to identify to what extent literature scatter was present or absent in this literature review, and (c) third, to answer the question "What have we learned?" Using study criteria, 19 articles scattered across 12 peer-reviewed journals were identified and classified under five categories: family, rural, culture, race, and gender. Implications for practitioners and the field of AT are discussed. (Contains 3 tables.)
 
Article
Adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other externalizing disorders are at risk for academic and behavioral problems as a result, in part, of their lack of social competence. One aspect of this population's difficulty in social situations may be attributed to an impaired ability to analyze the social situations of which they are a part, recognize the multiple perspectives or interpretations that individuals may take away from a social situation, and act in a situationally appropriate manner. This study examines a computer game that supports the development of learners' social problem-solving skills. The game package consists of an immersive environment, integrated digital videos of social situations, and embedded questions and instruction. In a controlled, three-group, pre-post experimental design, the prototype performed significantly better than an attention-placebo control and comparably to a therapist-directed group on a transfer measure of problem solving and on one of two engagement measures. No significant differences were found on the Gresham and Elliott Social Skills Rating Scales (SSRS). These results, together with the findings from formative evaluation of the product, led to several recommendations for future work.
 
Article
Finding effective ways to increase the academic skills of incarcerated adults is often cited as a key factor in reducing recidivism. The purpose of the research was to study a method of instruction using video-based problems to help incarcerated adults with emotional and learning disabilities to improve their procedural and problem solving skills. An interpretive framework provided a means of comparing anticipated learning trajectories with actual learning trajectories. Prior to instruction, learning goals were predicted for each individual based on their instructional histories and living experiences prior to and during incarceration. A theoretical model for teaching mathematics guided instruction toward each individual's anticipated goals, and a combination of tests, interviews, and field notes documented their actual learning trajectories. Results of the study showed that the individuals learned to compute fractions and solve a multi-step, video-based problem. Follow-up measures showed their skills were maintained six weeks following instruction.
 
Article
Progress in providing coordinated and appropriate services for moderately and severely handicapped individuals is greatly facilitated by the use of functional assessment tools. These tools, which document living, working, and leisure skill levels, can facilitate communication between educational and rehabilitation service providers. The use of computer technology can improve the assessment process by providing instruments which are more accurate, less time-consuming, and more flexible than conventional print assessment instruments. In addition, computerized assessment tools, with their networking capabilities, can facilitate the development of data bases for specific groups of disabled individuals, and this, in turn, can enhance systematic programming on a statewide or regional basis. This paper details the advantages of computerized assessments and examines one such instrument, the Functional Skills Screening Inventory.
 
Article
This study investigated the learning and response differentiation of a variety of voice commands that served to control environmental devices by a person who is severely mentally retarded and severely physically impaired. The contingencies between vocalization and device activation were created by a computer system with voice recognition and environmental control capabilities. Using a multiple-baseline-across-behaviors experimental design, the study shows that the subject (a) learned the cause-and-effect relationship between her voice and the resultant environmental action, (b) differentiated various vocalizations for different environmental actions, and (c) experienced positive affect when she was in control. This application represents the first time in the subject's life that she exerted independent control over her environment.
 
Article
Research on children with normal hearing shows that the word-processed narratives they produce are better than their hand-written narratives. Hearing children come to school with prior experience in narrating stories, and in school they learn to transfer this to written narrative form. However, children who are deaf and hard of hearing have less experience with storytelling than their same-age hearing peers, and putting stories into written form is a challenge. The purpose of this study was to compare the handwritten narratives of students who are deaf or hard of hearing with their word-processed narratives to see if the benefits experienced by hearing students hold true for students who are deaf. Twenty middle-school age students were asked to provide a narrative using cartoons as stimuli for obtaining written and word-processed samples. Results were compared for length of t-unit, narrative level, and story grammar. For the subjects in this study, the word-processed samples received higher scores for length of t-unit than did the handwritten products, indicating that word-processing encourages more complete products than handwriting. Implications are discussed. (Contains 6 tables.)
 
Article
The use of computer-based technology in teaching reading with students with disabilities is outlined in this article. Research from the last 10 years is presented and discussed using the metaphors of Tutor, Tool, and Agent as categories of instructional purpose. Although the new multimedia technologies now dominate much of the discussion and investigation concerning technology and reading instruction, drill and practice and tutorial computer assisted instructional programs are the most thoroughly researched area of computer use in reading and provide most of the substantive data that is supportive of computer use for students in special education.
 
Article
This single-subject study examined the effects of a technological prompting device for assisting a student with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly inattentive type, to initiate and complete daily tasks. The subject, a fourth-grade male, and his family were provided with computer software and a paging device with word prompting capabilities. The family, in collaboration with the child's teacher, selected particular behaviors to target for use with the intervention. A reversal design across settings with a third return to baseline and intervention was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the prompting device in assisting the student in remembering daily tasks. Study results demonstrated that the intervention was effective in promoting the occurrence of target behaviors but did not affect overall ADHD symptomatology. In addition, the devise appeared to be more useful in the student's structured school environment than his less-structured home environment. Parent and teacher reported a high degree of consumer satisfaction with the device. Overall, the results suggest that the use of a prompting device may be an effective technological intervention for addressing some of the memory-associated symptoms of ADHD.
 
Article
A discussion of augmentative communication aids for non-reading severely physically handicapped children is presented. Three specific topics are discussed: factors in movement to electronic communication aids, basic components of electronic aids, criteria for selection of aids, and specific training suggestions. The importance of maintaining flexibility is stressed. Augmentative communication aids for this population should reflect a dynamic rather than static philosophy. They must meet the needs and abilities of the student in present and future environments.
 
Article
The article describes application for visually impaired persons of widely used Electronic Travel Aids--the Lindsay Russell Pathsounder, the Mowat Sensor, the Sonicguide, and the C-5 Laser Cane. In addition, a research review provides insight into the issues affecting future use of the devices. (Author/CL)
 
Article
The increase in students with disabilities from Asian backgrounds who receive special education and related services places greater responsibility on professionals providing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) services to children and families. Numerous values that are deeply embedded in Asian American families may influence the success of family involvement in team decision-making processes as well as subsequent AAC interventions. Contrasting Euro-American and Asian values are examined with particular emphasis on differences exhibited by these families with regard to (a) perspectives on disability, health care, family life, and education/intervention; (b) communication styles; and (c) reactions to AAC. Specific suggestions are offered to practitioners who may be working with this growing minority population in contemporary society.
 
Article
This article explores how use or nonuse of augmentative and alternative communication can be affected by the ongoing development and interaction of a child's identity through various cultural milieu. It examines the student's role in the selection and use of devices and the effects of family, school, and community. (Contains references.) (CR)
 
Article
Five different levels of instructional videodisc and microcomputer configurations are described and discussed in relation to needs and resources of the special education program. Principles of effective instruction should be applied to the development and utilization of videodisc technology.(Author/DB)
 
Article
This preliminary study explores and describes the effects of a multimedia based anchored instruction intervention on student/teacher interactions in an eighth grade social studies classroom. Nineteen students enrolled in a general education 8th grade social studies class participated in the year long study, including ten general education students and nine students with mild disabilities. Overall, instruction became more interactive as observational and interview data indicated a twofold increase in the number of daily student/teacher interactions after the intervention was implemented. Concurrently, the quality of the interactions, as indicated by the number of interpretive questions asked by teachers, was found to be substantially higher than those occurring during the baseline phase of this study. Results show that, during the intervention period, less class time was spent in addressing management problems and task/direction issues.
 
Article
The effects of a traditional instruction format and an anchored instruction format on the immediate and long-term acquisition of knowledge of 100 university general education majors was examined. Participants were administered multiple-choice and essay format pre-tests, post-tests, and follow-up tests. Results revealed somewhat different within group patterns as well as important between group patterns. Both groups performed better on the post-test and follow-up test than on the pre-test. No differences between the two groups on the post-test were recorded. The anchored instruction group outperformed the traditional instruction group on the multiple-choice follow-up test and the traditional instruction group outperformed the anchored instruction group on the essay follow-up test. Implications for future research are discussed.
 
Article
A computerized audiovisual communications system requires only a touch response by young difficult-to-test hearing impaired children. The system focuses on single word reading comprehension and sensory perception and interference. (CL)
 
Article
In this study, the pervasive influence of television (video) and the use of behavioral techniques are combined to demonstrate the viability of video therapy as a primary means of therapeutic intervention. Specially edited videotapes were designed to shape the correct grammatical and contextual use of language in a mentally retarded/schizophrenic, adolescent girl. Techniques used were self-modeling, structured rehearsal, projective rehearsal, and systematic positive reinforcement. Results from this study demonstrate the efficacy of this treatment modality.
 
Top-cited authors
Sean Smith
  • University of Kansas
David F Cihak
  • University of Tennessee
Daniel K Davies
  • AbleLink Smart Living Technologies
Linda Mechling
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Emily C Bouck
  • Michigan State University