2006 Conference General Sessions




Margaret Bausch
of Kentucky
229 Taylor Education Building
Lexington KY 40506-0001
Day Phone: 659—257—8810
Fax: 859—257—1324
Email: meb@uky.edu

Presenter #2
John Lowdermilk
University of Kentucky
220 Taylor Education Building
Lexington KY 40506—0001
Day Phone: 859—257-4269
Fax: 859—247—1325
Email: jlowdermilk@uky.edu

The National Assistive Technology Research Institute is a cooperative agreement, funded by the Office of Special Education Programs in 2000. We have conducted 5 years of research on the factors related to the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of AT services in schools. We will present our “top ten list” of research findings in multiple areas related to assistive technology service delivery.

At the end of this session, participants will describe the goals of the National Assistive Technology Research Institute, as well as list 10 findings of the institute that have implications for the field.

The National Assistive Technology Research Institute was funded by the U.S. Department of Education with two main goals. The first goal was to examine the factors related to the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of AT services in schools. The second goal was to disseminate the findings in ways that will assist school personnel to improve practices for students with disabilities. Case study research methodology was used, and both quantitative and qualitative data were collected on a comprehensive list of topics related to AT service delivery in the schools. Data were collected from 323 students in 41 school districts across 10 states in the nation. Information will be presented from data collected from (a) a review of state policy and procedure documents, (b) online surveys reporting critical incidents, c) online surveys of school administrators, c) demographic information gathered from over 300 students and 200 teachers using and working with assistive technology, d) audio taped interviews of 700 parents, students, and teachers using assistive technology, e) environmental assessments of technology present and being used in classrooms, and (f) field note classroom observations of over 300 students using assistive technology.

As a result of our analysis of these data, we will present our “top ten list” of findings following 5 years of data collection. We will present a minimum of 10 important findings from our research on a wide array of assistive technology topics. The findings have direct implications for school districts and professionals providing assistive technology services to students, as well as for parents and students receiving assistive technology services. Topics to be covered will include assistive technology policy and procedures, personnel issues, teacher training, assistive technology implementation, use of assistive technology implementation plans, decision—making about assistive technology issues in the IEP, consideration of assistive technology, status of assistive technology use in the nation, home—school collaboration, assistive technology assessment, funding, access to the general education curriculum, collaboration among professionals providing assistive technology services, evaluation of assistive technology program service delivery, measurement of student progress, and expertise ratings of professionals working in school districts. Recommendations will be made relating to the “top ten list” for improving assistive technology service delivery in schools. Practical suggestions will be offered and sample products will be disseminated. Participants will be encouraged to discuss assistive technology service delivery in their local areas.

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