Description of Research Report: The Use of Assistive Technology by High School Students with Visual Impairments: A Second Look at the Current Problem
Even though a wide variety of assistive technology tools and devices are available in the marketplace, many students with visual impairments (that is, those who are blind or have low vision) have not yet benefitted from using this specialized technology (Abner & Lahm, 2002). An Illinois survey of the use of assistive technology by elementary and secondary students with visual impairments reported that students are not receiving the experiences with assistive technology that support successful participation in the curriculum (Kapperman, Sticken, & Heinze, 2002). The findings of that study pertained specifically to students with visual impairments who were academically oriented readers (that is, those who read braille or large print) and, therefore, could have been especially inclined to have benefitted from training in assistive technology. The study also indicated that “60% of the students who, in the authors' judgment, could benefit from the use of assistive technology were not given the opportunity to use it” (Kapperman et al., 2002, p. 107).