Review of Article on a Type II Assistive Technology Toolkit

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Nov 17, 2013 (3 years and 7 months ago)

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Lauren A. Havelka

April 28, 2011

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Review of Article on a Type II Assistive Technology Toolkit


Puckett, Kathleen. "An Assistive Technology Toolkit: Type II Applications for
Students with Mild Disabilities."
Computers in the Schools

22.3/4 (2005): 107
-
117.
Academic Search Premier
. EBSCO. Web. 28 Apr. 2011.



In “An Assistive Technology Toolkit: Type II Applications for Students with
Mild Disabilities”, author Kathleen Pucket
t

suggests the use of a toolkit of
Type II
software applicat
ions for general use in inclusive classrooms.
Puckett defines Type I
assistive technology
software
as a “closed system”, in which the student
does not
control the content; an example Puckett gives is “drill
-
and
-
practice program”, where
the student must giv
e a certain response, but can do so in different ways (i.e. touch
screen, voice command). Type II technology is defined an open system where
students control the content, such as a voice activated word processor.


As the process for referral for special e
ducation/disability services is often
long and drawn, many times only students with the greatest needs receive
technology assistance, with devices specific only to the individual student. Puckett
argues this does a disservice to students with mild disabili
ties, as their needs often
go unnoticed. To combat this, Puckett suggests and examines the use of a
generalized toolkit of software as a “proactive strategy” to aide teachers and
students.


An assistive technology toolkit could include a number of softw
are
applications to address various types of disabilities. Students with perceptual
disabilities who have troubling writing but can express themselves orally may use
voice

recognition software, such as Text Help Read and Write. Those with
difficulties writ
ing and understand numerals or remember algorithms can use
electronic worksheets, such as Math Pad, to do there work. Word prediction
software, like Intellitalk III, can help students with word retrieval problems or those
with difficulties using a keyboard
.
Puckett includes a table
listing nine potential
problem areas
teachers may encounter along with software solutions.
A benefit of
the solutions offered by the toolkit is that the software is, generally, content neutral,
allowing use in a number of context
s.


Puckett observed the use of these toolkits in several classrooms, both general
and special education, over the course of three years. From these observations,
Puckett noticed several things. First, most teachers have minimal knowledge of
what types of

assistive technologies are out, and needed instruction in many basic
procedures. Secondly, many of those teachers simply do not have access to this
technology, and the ability to learn of new applications is limited, making across the
board implementation

of assistive technology limited. Finally, Puckett noted that in
the beginning, many teachers used the Type II applications as if they were Type I
applications (that, as drill
-
and
-
practice programs), but with familiarity with the
abilities of the programs,

teachers were able to
maximize functions of the software,
and integrate the technology throughout the instruction in a universal design
framework.


In her conclusion, Puckett argues that the toolkit offers educators the
opportunity help students meet man
dated academic achievement goals (from NCLB
and state standards). Assistive technology, when used across board in the general
education, full inclusion classroom, benefits students at all levels. The ultimate goal
of universal design, creating curriculum f
or the advancement of all students, can be
more easily reached if and when assistive technology is completely integrate. The
Type II toolkit applications, Puckett suggests, will aide teachers in meeting this goal.