Dissemination of Assistive Technology Devices for Children with Disabilities through Realabilities

Dissemination of Assistive Technology Devices for Children with Disabilities through Realabilities

Senada Arucevic (Long Island University – Brooklyn, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0034-6.ch052
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Abstract

Over the last decade, vast research has been conducted on assistive technology devices and the potential implementation of these devices in the daily lives of individuals with disabilities. Many devices are new to the public and may require further development, but it is important to disseminate information about these useful technologies, which often afford users more independence with their activities of daily living. Unfortunately individuals with disabilities often encounter stigma; research suggests that assistive technology devices may at times contribute to this ostracism. This chapter reviews a variety of technologies that have been used to improve the quality of life of individuals with varying disabilities. These devices are presented in the context of introducing a new children's television show, Realabilities, a pro-social and stop-bullying children's television program that seeks to enhance the social interaction and initiation of typical children towards children with disabilities. Directions for future research and implementation of these devices are also discussed.
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Legislation Supporting Assistive Technology Devices And Services

During the Civil Rights Movement of the early 1950s, it was mandated that assistive technology be provided to children with special needs. The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) stems from the decision made in the Brown vs. Board of Education case (1954) where separate education was declared not to be equal education under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution (Behrmann, 1998). With this legislation, a “free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment” for children with disabilities was to be established. This legislation implied that they may be placed in the same classrooms as their typical peers. Inclusion continues to be debated today, and although it is encouraged in many schools, it remains a controversial issue.

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