September 2011 Issue  Volume 12  Number 9

AccessWorld News

Assistive Technology Competencies Possessed by Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments in the United States: A Survey Announcement

Dear certified teacher of students with visual impairments:

It is our pleasure to invite you to join our research called "Assistive Technology Competencies Possessed by Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVIs) in the United States." (If you are a TVI from Texas please do not take part in this survey; Texans completed it last year.)

Assistive technology (AT) refers to assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities. Students with visual impairments increasingly rely on AT to compensate for their vision loss and subsequent challenges. However, recent research has found that many TVIs are not confident in supporting students with the use of AT. A lack of AT knowledge and skills is often reported by these teachers.

In an effort to address this issue, we would like to know the level of AT expertise currently possessed by TVIs in the United States. Findings of this research will help us design and deliver more effective and efficient in-service services to support the work of TVIs. We believe this is a great opportunity for current TVIs to have their voices heard.

As a certified teacher of the visually impaired in the United States, you are sincerely needed to participate in this research. If you agree to participate, please go to the website to complete an online survey. In the survey you will be asked to provide basic demographic information such as age and gender and your perception about AT competencies. This survey is completely anonymous. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete and you can quit at any time you want during the survey without any penalty. The results of this research will only be used for educational purposes and there is no potential harm posed by your participation. To show our appreciation for your participation, upon the completion of the online survey, you will be offered an opportunity to take part in a random drawing with prizes ranging from $100 to a variety of assistive technologies. Please note that winners would need to provide private information for tax reporting.

Please complete this survey by October 31st, 2011.

For further information about this research, please contact any of the investigators listed below. For information about the rights of research participants, you may also contact the Texas Tech University Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects (Office of Research Services, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA, 79409).


Nora Griffin-Shirley, Ph.D.
Texas Tech University
Phone: 806-742-1997, ext. 247

Paul M. Ajuwon, Ph.D.
Missouri State University
Phone: 417-836-5397

Derrick W. Smith, Ed.D., COMS
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Phone: 256-824-3048

Amy T. Parker, Ed.D.
Texas Tech University
Phone: 806-742-1997 ext. 248

Li Zhou
Texas Tech University
Phone: 806-742-1997 ext. 233

Phoebe Okungu
Texas Tech University
Phone: 806-742-1997 ext. 233

Rajesh Singh
Texas Tech University

Big Button Phone Now Available from Bierley

The BM-01 is a big button mobile phone with specific features especially suitable for seniors or people with low vision.

Features include:

  • Large keys for easier use
  • No contract
  • Magnification of text messages
  • Unlocked phone
  • Ability to use a SIM card from any service provider
  • GSM phone works anywhere in the United States where there is cellular coverage
  • Designed specifically for seniors or anyone with vision impairment
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Can be used on AT&T network for as low as $8.00 per month

For Further information, call 800-985-0535 Ext. 801, or visit the Bierley website.

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