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Special Education Technology. Assistive Technology. High Technical Society. Persuasive Technologies. John Castellani and Linda Tsantis Johns Hopkins University. COST. AVAILABILITY. GROWTH. Assumptions about Assistive Technology.

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Assistive Technology

High Technical Society

Persuasive Technologies

John Castellani and Linda Tsantis

Johns Hopkins University





assumptions about assistive technology
Assumptions about Assistive Technology
  • How many assistive technology devices exist for individuals with disabilities?
  • What is the relative cost for AT?
  • What is the rate of growth for AT devices?
assistive technology
Assistive Technology
  • 1981 to Present
    • “As technology develops, an increasing number of peripherals will come into the range of what is affordable by schools”…
    • “The problems of recognizing a continuous stream of speech are such that it is not possible to build machines able to do this, whatever the cost.”
    • “The main problem with (providing speech synthesis) has been one of intelligibility, or of limited vocabulary.
    • “The main power of the microcomputer lies in the way in which it can be programmed to produce an unlimited variety of situations to provide learning environments appropriate to the needs of many different groups of children”
abledata and closing the gap
ABLEDATA and Closing the Gap
  • http://www.abledata.com
  • http://www.closingthegap.com
  • **23,000 Software and Hardware devices for persons with disabilities
enhancing the future of at
Enhancing the Future of AT
  • Speech synthesis today costs:
    • Features available include,
  • Voice Recognition ($199 Version):
    • Features include:
    • 160 words per minute continuous speech recognition
    • 90% Accuracy
    • Vocabulary of 250,000 terms and more than 160,000 active words
    • Speech is transcribed immediately on the screen and in reports, letters, and e-mail messages, chat rooms, Instant Messaging windows and the Internet.
cost of assistive technology
Cost of Assistive Technology

(Koshakji, A. (1997). Focus on Technology for the Diverse Workforce. A report from the Technology for the Diverse Workforce Conference, Knoxville, TN.)

cost of assistive technology9
Cost of Assistive Technology
  • $5,500 to $9,000 per pupil (NCES, 1997)
  • Average Expenditure for AT = $15 per student
  • On the average, for every student about $3,665 was spent for instructional services, $1,996 for support services, and $262 for non-instructional purposes.
  • The ABLEDATA database of assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment contains information on more than 23,000 products for persons of all ages who have a physical, cognitive or sensory disability.
job accommodation network
Job Accommodation Network
  • National Organization of Disabilities cited average cost of accommodation to be $300
    • 48% of employers reported accommodations costing between $1 and $500
    • 20% reported no cost at all
    • Less than 10% reported costs of more than $1,000
  • For injured workers
    • 20% reported savings between $1 and $2,500
    • An additional 20% reported saving between $20,000 and $50,000
high tech society
High Tech Society





students using computers in school and at home for educational purposes
Students using computers in school and at home for educational purposes

Source: NCES (2000) http://www.nces.gov

enabling technologies
Enabling Technologies
  • Internet Banking and ATM Cards
  • Digital Libraries
  • E-commerce
  • Forecasting Technologies
  • Cell Phones and other Communication Devices
  • Palm Pilot Organizers
  • Telecommunications

Use of Telecommunications

in Higher Education

national organization on disabilities 1999 report
National Organization on Disabilities 1999 Report
  • 7 out of 10 (72%) age 18-64 who were not working preferred to work
  • 2 out of 3 (41%) say their disability has prevented them from getting a job
  • Less than half who work full-time were in a position where they could use their full potential
  • More adults (47%) with disabilities reported an inability to find a job that paid enough compared with 31% in 1995
  • One out of 3 (34%) lived in households with a total income on $15,000 or less
a changing technical society
A Changing Technical Society

Source: The Internet Society, http://www.isoc.org

the law of disruption
The Law of Disruption


  • Novelty
  • Technology Upgrade
  • Do something new with old or new technology


Source: Downes, L & Mui, C. (2000). Unleashing the killer app: Digital strategies for market dominance.

persuasive technologies
Persuasive Technologies

Attitudes and Beliefs


Questions of Community


Issues of Transparency and

Universal Accessibility



Source: Fogg, B.J. (1999). Persuasive Technologies: Now is your chance to decide what they will persuade us to do and how they will do it. Communications of the ACM, V42, N5.


Source: Fogg, B.J. (1999). Persuasive Technologies: Now is your chance to decide what they will persuade us to do and how they will do it. Communications of the ACM, V42, N5.

systems thinking and communities of learners
Systems Thinking and Communities of Learners
  • “One of the things that frightens me the most is when parents come into an IEP meeting with information found off the Internet that my teachers do not have any idea about even thought we are trying to keep up with technology on an ongoing basis”.
  • (Local School System: Director of Special Education)
june 12 2000 poll finds internet attracting news audience new york times sunday june 11 2000
June 12, 2000Poll Finds Internet Attracting News Audience – New York Times, Sunday, June 11, 2000
  • A third of the public now goes online for news at least once a week, compared to a fifth two years ago, according to the Pew poll. Fifteen percent get daily reports from the Internet, almost three times the number two years ago.
communities of learners
Communities of Learners
  • Learning is fundamentally social: A matter of changing “identity”, not just acquiring “knowledge”
  • Knowledge is integrated into the life of communities; sharing values, perspectives, and ways of doing things
  • Learning is an act of membership
  • Knowledge depends on engagement of practice
Learning is an individual process

Learning is separate from other work and life activities

Learning has a beginning and an end

Teachers are required because learners do not have anything substantial to contribute

Learning happens when people work together to solve problems

Learning happens as a natural part of work and life

Learning is continuous and ongoing

Teachers can facilitate learning and help learners create knowledge



Beer, Valorie (2000). The Web Learning Field-book: Using the WWW to build workplace learning environments.

on demand technical assistance
On Demand Technical Assistance
  • Imagine a Virtual Learning Community on the Web that provided:
    • The most up to date costs for Assistive Technology and AT vendors in your area
    • Mentors to scaffold learning to promote change agents in the school, work, and local community
    • The latest research on on-line resources to help individuals become technically adept at using AT in the classroom
    • A site where you entered your zip code that provided current information on local legislation
    • The latest best practices for using AT to get students on the Internet and resources in your area
    • A discussion board with real communities of experts guiding research to practice in your local area
    • The latest information on national legislation sent to your e-mail when policies evolve at the federal level
    • On demand training about legislation, instructional and assistive technologies, strategies for reading and writing, assessment practices, universal accessibility………………
universal accessibility
Universal Accessibility
  • Anchored change
    • Institutionalized, Legalized, and Automatic
  • Planning from the beginning
    • To re-tool is more expensive than to tool
    • General Educators
    • Universally Accessible
      • http://www.cast.org
      • http://www.cec.sped.org
opportunities for technical assistance
Opportunities for Technical Assistance
  • Connect individuals to the wealth of opportunities in a convincing and purposeful fashion on the Internet,
  • Use persuasive technologies that facilitate change through the use of emerging and available media,
  • Create new opportunities for synergy and momentum in communities of learners, and
  • Increase the use of assistive technology THROUGH technology that is systemic, institutionalized, and transparent