Title page for ETD etd-04162006-184823

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Gustafson, Glenna Scarborough
Author's Email Address gsgustaf@vt.edu
URN etd-04162006-184823
Title The Assistive Technology Skills, Knowledge, and Professional Development Needs of Special Educators in Southwestern Virginia
Degree Doctor of Education
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Asselin, Susan B. Committee Chair
Cennamo, Katherine S. Committee Member
Doolittle, Peter E. Committee Member
Williams, Thomas O. Jr. Committee Member
  • disabilities
  • technology standards
  • IDEIA of 2004
  • adult learning
Date of Defense 2006-04-05
Availability unrestricted
Assistive technologies can aid in removing many of the barriers that students with disabilities face in today’s classroom. This study addressed special educators’ perceptions of the facilitators for the successful implementation of assistive technology devices, skills and knowledge, and need for professional development. A self reporting questionnaire was designed to collect data. The questionnaire was mailed to 1164 special educators in southwestern Virginia. Educators reported that funding, time, technical assistance, assistive technology awareness and knowledge, professional development opportunities, and administrative support were highly important facilitators to the successful implementation of assistive technology. Special educators revealed an average level of skills and knowledge and need for professional development on 25 out of 27 assistive technology competencies. Furthermore, educators reported a preference for professional development opportunities in group settings that involved hands-on learning experiences.
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