An examination of child, family and professional factors that influence the use of assistive technology in early intervention [electronic resource] /
An Examination of Child, Family and Professional Factors That Influence the Use of Assistive
Technology in Early Intervention
Erin D. Hider
Technology is becoming more commonplace in our society. It is being used with young
children in every setting to improve quality of life and increase educational opportunities. Many
parents and service providers have not been adequately trained on how to use assistive
technology with young children. Camp Gizmo was set up as a forum for parents, professionals,
and college students to learn what assistive technology is available and how to use it to meet the
needs of children. The camp gave parents an opportunity to try different technologies with their
children. These children, their siblings and the children of camp organizers and attendees all had
fun participating in traditional camp activities while their parents attended classes.
Case studies were done with five families who attended camp. The families were
followed through the camp process and then afterwards for four to six months to see whether use
of assistive technology changed as a result of camp. This study also looked at the factors in the
daily lives of families that increased or impeded assistive technology use. Finally, the parents
were asked about their perception of the impact of assistive technology use on their families.
All five families increased their use of assistive technology. Factors in addition to camp
contributed to the increase, such as parents willingness to use technology and the support of
professionals involved. When technology did not get used, the main barriers were system-related
in terms of access to equipment. Lack of support from professionals was also a major barrier to
use. The families did not view assistive technology as having an effect on their families' routines
because they were able to incorporate its use into their daily routines.
Recommendations made regarding practice changes included: increasing preservice and
inservice training; providing comprehensive, team assessments; providing follow-up to
assessments; and increasing availability of assistive technology. Policy recommendations
included: streamlining the funding system, improving transition of equipment and helping
parents advocate for their rights.
School:West Virginia University
School Location:USA - West Virginia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:self help devices for people with disabilities children
Date of Publication: