Technology Applications in Special Education
Instructor: Dr. Linda Mechling Office: King Ed. 102-B
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 962-7736 (O)
Meeting Dates: Tuesday KI 202
Office Hours: M:; T: ; W:
This course is designed to provide teachers of children with disabilities the skills to integrate technology, including assistive devices, into classroom instruction. The technology examined will focus on devices used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of students with disabilities.
The Watson School of Education strives to implement quality teacher education programs which emphasize the learner as decision-maker and reflective practitioner. SED 557, Technology Applications in Special Education, is supported by this framework. Students will reflect on their experiences as well as consult current research and best practices as they develop and write plans for integrating assistive technology into their classrooms. Decision-making is emphasized as students select assistive technology interventions that support students.
The purpose of this course is to develop skills in the selection and use of technology to enhance instructional effectiveness, inclusion, communication, mobility, and environmental control for persons who have disabilities. Specialized hardware focusing on a variety of adaptive and assistive devices, special education instructional software, and issues related to each area will be emphasized.
Bryant, D. P. & Bryant,
B. R. (2003). Assistive
Technology for People with Disabilities.
MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Langone, J., Shade, J., Clees, T. J., & Day, T. (1999). Effects of multimedia instruction on
teaching functional discrimination skills to students with moderate/severe intellectual
disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 46, 493-
Montgomery, D. J., Karlan, G. R., & Coutinho, M. (2001). The effectiveness of word processor
spell checker programs to produce target words for misspellings generated by students
with learning disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 16, 27-42.
Stanford, P., & Siders, J. A. (2001). E-pal writing. Teaching Exceptional Children, 34(2), 21-
Wissick, C. A., Gardner, J. E., & Langone, J. (1999). Video-based simulations: Considerations
for teaching students with developmental disabilities. Career Development for
Exceptional Individuals, 22, 233-249.
Upon successful completion of this course, students as reflective practitioners, will learn to make decisions regarding appropriate practices for integrating technology when teaching students with disabilities including the ability to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of legislations and regulation and regulations related to
assistive technology and their implications for special education.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of characteristics of exceptional learners that influence the use of assistive technology.
3. Identify appropriate augmentative communication processes and devices for persons with disabilities based on individual needs.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the funding initiative in support of assistive technology acquisition in the classroom, school, and community.
5. Identify common assistive devices for persons with disabilities and describe how these adaptive devices can be used to aid persons with cognitive, sensory, communication, and/or motor disabilities.
6. Integrate multi-media technologies in support of instruction and communication (including scanning, digital photography, audio, video, and CD ROM).
7. Identify resources which may be utilized to select, implement, and evaluate assistive technology for students with disabilities.
8. Demonstrate the ability to identify critical features of commercially produced software for use with persons with disabilities.
9. Demonstrate an understanding of IEP regulations. Write instructional goals incorporating the use of assistive technology.
10. Demonstrate the ability to integrate Internet technologies into special education classrooms for instructional applications.
11. Describe strategies for adapting play materials for young children with disabilities.
12. Demonstrate the ability to develop a plan for effectively integrating technology into the curriculum.
13. Identify how persons with disabilities can integrate assistive technology in the home and community.
14. Analyze research-based literature for integration of assistive technologies into the curriculum for students with disabilities.
Course Requirements Point Value
1. Assistive Technology Support Plan
a) Case Study 10
b) Lesson Plan 20
2. Augmentative Communication
a) Self-Program 30
b) Student Program 30
3. Research Article Critiques 20
4. Software Selection 25
5. Assistive Technology Device 35
6. Multi-media lesson 50
7. Final Exam 100
7. Attendance and Participation 20
Total Possible 340
A = 90-100%
B = 80-89%
C = 70-79%
D = 60-69%
SCHEDULE OF TOPICS
(The instructor reserves the right to modify this schedule based upon the needs of the class)
DAY/DATE TOPICS READINGS DUE ASSIGNMENTS DUE
T 1/13 Course Overview
Person First Language
Overview of Disabilities
T 1/20 Legislation and AT Ch. 1
W 1/22 Assessments
IEP and AT
Funding Ch. 2 & 3
T 2/3 Augmentative Communication Ch. 5 Case Study Present
T 2/10 Augmentative Communication cont.
Board Maker Software Program
T 2/17 Access: Keyboard Adaptations, Ch. 6
Sensory Disabilities, Toys/Switches
T 2/24 continued
T 3/2 AAC Self-Program Dinner
T 3/9 Spring Break
T 3/16 Academic Instruction cont. Ch. 7 AAC Student Program Montgomery et al.
Stanford & Siders
T 3/23 Multi-media: Power Point, Ch. 8
Hyperstudio Langone et al.
Wissick et al.
T 3/30 Work in classs on multi-media
program Software Present
T4/6 Mobility, Seating and Positioning, Ch. 4 & 9
T 4/13 At in the Schools
T 4/20 Presentations Lesson Plans
T 4/27 Final Exam
Descriptions of Assignments
1. Case Study. The first part of the plan is to write a description of the student you will be supporting. Describe the nature of the disability, strengths, and needs of the student. The student can be one you are working with or one within your school.
2. Lesson Plan. Drawing upon the information in the case study and the IEP or 504 plan, students will create a lesson plan for the student which incorporates the use of AT. The lesson plan will incorporate resources and technology learned in class. Plans should include:
a) student description
b) subject matter to be taught
c) related materials
d) assistive technology
e) hardware, software requirements
f) implementation procedures, specific strategies and activities
g) special considerations
h) evaluation procedures
1. Self-program. Students will self –program an augmentative communication device provided by the course instructor. Devices will be programmed for use in a community-based restaurant.
2. Student program. Students will program a second augmentative communication device for the student in their case study.
Assistive Technology Research Article Critique
Two articles, one to two pages double spaced per article reviewed. Students will inform the course instructor as to which topics will be reviewed. Presentations will be made the evening that the topic is covered in lecture. Review will include:
a) citation in APA style (see journal articles listed in syllabus)
b) content report (what the article is about)
c) personal thoughts (what you think of the concepts and their application)
d) include a copy of the article
Based on the student selected for the case study, select two appropriate software programs
using the software evaluation forms that will be provided. Select programs which would
be appropriate for the student and his/her disability and educational needs.
Assistive Technology Device
Students will make a ‘low-tech” AT device which supports instruction of the student
From the case study.
Each student will present a specific lesson using multi-media tools (HyperStudio or
Power Point). The lesson will again be based on the student described in the case study.
The lesson must include a minimum of:
a) five (5) slides or cards
b) three (3) elements of clip art
c) one (1) sound effect
d) one (1) digital or scanned photograph
During class time of April 20, students will be required to visually demonstrate and present their lesson plans, AT device, and multi-media program. Throughout the semester students will be required to demonstrate additional products.
Students will demonstrate competencies in the use of each of the assistive technologies
discussed in class and explored through lab assignments.
The expectation of this course is that you will be an active participant in every class.
Attendance and punctuality will be monitored at the beginning of class each day. To earn
the 20 points for attendance and participation, only one class may be missed. If you are
absent, please obtain lecture notes from a classmate.
Organization, clarity, punctuation, spelling, grammar, and neatness are very important in any type of professional writing, and adequate performance in all of these areas is expected in the written products required for this course.
All written assignments should be word processed and stapled.
All identifying names and information should be omitted from written work and
All readings should be completed by the date listed on the schedule. Assignments are due on the indicated date at the beginning of class, and those submitted late (after the start of class on the due date) will be penalized 10% per day. Absolutely no papers will be accepted after the last day of class.
Undergraduate Academic Honor Code
Students are expected to adhere to the Honor Code as described in the UNCW Student Handbook and Code of Student Life. Violation of the Honor Code may result in a failing grade in the course.
If you are a person with a disability and anticipate needing accommodations of any type in order to participate in this class, you must notify Disability Services (962-3746), provide the necessary documentation of the disability, and arrange for the
appropriate authorized accommodations. Once these accommodations are approved,
please identify yourself to me so that I can implement these accommodations.