Ok, M. W. (2018). Use of iPads as Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities. TechTrends, 62(1), 95–102. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-017-0199-8
Ok’s article discusses the evolvement of assistive technology (AT) in recent years in order to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Specifically, the article details the recent use of iPads as AT devices for students with disabilities. It also outlines advantages of iPads such as their portability, built-in accessibility features, screen size, potential for personalization and customizing, and the fact that they are socially acceptable. The author summarizes recent literature on the use of iPads as AT devices and also shares some specific examples of AT apps that can be utilized. For example, the author discusses the use of iPads as augmentative and alternative communication devices using apps such as Proloquo2Go and Tap to Talk. Ok shares built-in accessibility features and apps that can be used to assist students with disabilities in various areas such as Siri, dictation, and Zoom for students with visual impairments. Overall, this article demonstrates the potential benefits of iPads as AT and suggests that multiple factors need to be considered to determine if an iPad would be an appropriate form of AT for each individual student.
Ok conducted a thorough search for articles pertaining to the approaches and effects of using iPads as AT for students with disabilities. After using databases with specific search keywords like “mobile device”, “iPad”, “disability”, and “technology”, Ok came up with 477 articles that matched the search keywords. Then, the author read the abstracts of the 477 articles and decided to include or exclude articles for the purpose of the current review of literature that this article shares. Ok also utilized a previously published reference list on the topic of iPads as AT to discover other possible studies that should be included within the current literature review. From all of these steps to search, review, include, and exclude, Ok came up with 20 studies that best fit the purpose of this literature review. These steps, although likely time-consuming, helped to refine the research that was included in order to specifically focus on iPads as recent AT tool via apps or built-in-features.
This article connects to my current research interests because it discusses the use of modern assistive technology, specifically iPads and apps, for students with disabilities. I especially appreciate the attention on the built-in-accessibility features of iPads that are discussed here and that they are categorized by the type of challenges they can help to overcome. I think iPads are a promising AT option not only for students with disabilities but also to encourage and facilitate Universal Design for Learning within classrooms through the use of built-in features.
Other articles read that pertain to current research interests:
Atanga, C., Jones, B., Krueger, L., & Lu, S. (2019). Teachers of Students With Learning Disabilities: Assistive Technology Knowledge, Perceptions, Interests, and Barriers. Journal of Special Education Technology, 016264341986485.
Bryant, B.R. & Rao, Kavita & Ok, M.W.. (2014). Universal design for learning and assistive technology: Promising developments. 10.4018/978-1-4666-5015-2.ch002.
Kirkpatrick, L., Brown, H., Searle, M., Sauder, A., & Smiley, E. (2017). The Impact of a School Board’s One-To-One iPad Initiative on Equity and Inclusion. Exceptionality Education International, 27(2), 26-53.
Young, Gabrielle. (2013). Assistive technology for students with learning disabilities: Perceptions of students and their parents. The Morning Watch. 41. 1-7.