Supports for and Barriers to Implementing Assistive Technology in Schools

Supports for and Barriers to Implementing Assistive Technology in Schools

Susanne Croasdaile (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Sharon Jones (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Kelly Ligon (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA), Linda Oggel (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA) and Mona Pruett (Virginia Commonwealth University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4422-9.ch058
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Abstract

This study examines practitioners’ perceptions of the factors impacting the implementation of assistive technology (AT) for students with disabilities in five public school divisions. Participants were five members of division-wide AT facilitation teams. Interview data indicated barriers including lack of stakeholder buy-in with a focus on administrative support. Important supports included the development and maintenance of relationships with instructional staff and technology coordinators. The ongoing need to build stakeholder awareness of and skill in implementing assistive technology was a common theme. Participants perceived that, if empowered to do so, an AT facilitation team can overcome existing barriers to implementation.
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Analysis

We analyzed our interview data as we collected it, transcribing and analyzing each one as it was completed. We used the constant comparative method of data analysis to take information from each interview and compare it to our emerging categories. Categories were created related to events, happenings, and instances; those categories were saturated with information from the interviews (Creswell, 1998). Through the use of open coding, we made preliminary categories related to barriers to and supports for the acquisition and implementation of assistive technology in schools. As categories emerged, we expanded or collapsed the category to best reflect the information collected. We examined each category to determine what, if any, subcategories should be identified and expanded upon with additional information. These categories are addressed in the remainder of the paper.

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