Managing Portable Technologies for Special Education

Managing Portable Technologies for Special Education

Lesley S. J. Farmer (California State University, Long Beach, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1049-9.ch068
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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the management aspects of portable technologies for special education. Public education has a responsibility to insure that all students learn to the fullest feasible extent. Several pieces of legislation specifically address the academic needs of students with special needs. Part of that legal picture focuses on the role of technology. Increasingly, portable technologies provide multiple ways for students with special needs to have physical and intellectual access to information. Librarians are well positioned to manage those resources, and optimize their use by these student populations. Managers need to coordinate with stakeholders to ensure that collection development, instruction and other services support special education and align with policies at site, local, state and federal levels. Managers also need to ensure that library staff have the training to carry out these policies to optimize the impact of portable technologies for special education.
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Background

Individuals with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 defines a person with a disability as one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act specific lists thirteen disabilities that enable youth to receive associated services: autism, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 also defines special education. This specially designed education includes services such as speech-language pathology services, travel training, and vocational education. Instruction can occur in a variety of settings. Instruction should be adapted to the needs of the child resulting from the disability, and should ensure that the child has access to the general curriculum.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Assistive Technology: Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Alternative methods used to help people with disabilities communicate.

Portable Technology: A stand-alone digital device that may be carried easily in one hand.

Universal Design for Learning: An educational framework for creating flexible learning environments that can accommodate individual learning differences.

Universal Design: Designing resources and activities that can be accessed and used by all individuals.

APP: Short for application; usually a small self-contained program designed to perform a specific function.

Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

Special Education: Specifically designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.

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