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Stakeholders' views of the introduction of assistive technology in the classroom: How family-centred is Australian practice for students with cerebral palsy?

P. Karlsson, C. Johnston, K. Barker,

Academic Literature

2017

Background: With family-centred care widely recognized as a cornerstone for effective assistive technology service provision, the current study was undertaken to investigate to what extent such approaches were used by schools when assistive technology assessments and implementation occurred in the classroom. Method: In this cross-sectional study, we compare survey results from parents (n = 76), school staff (n = 33) and allied health professionals (n = 65) with experience in the use of high-tech assistive technology. Demographic characteristics and the stakeholders' perceived helpfulness and frequency attending assessment and set-up sessions were captured. To evaluate how family-centred the assistive technology services were perceived to be, the parents filled out the Measure of Processes of Care for Caregivers, and the professionals completed the Measure of Processes of Care for Service Providers. Descriptive statistics and one-way analysis of variance were used to conduct the data analysis. Results: Findings show that parents are more involved during the assessment stage than during the implementation and that classroom teachers are often not involved in the initial stage. Speech pathologists in particular are seen to be to a great extent helpful when implementing assistive technology in the classroom. This study found that family-centred service is not yet fully achieved in schools despite being endorsed in early intervention and disability services for over 20 years. No statistically significant differences were found with respect to school staff and allied health professionals' roles, their years of experience working with students with cerebral palsy and the scales in the Measure of Processes of Care for Service Providers. Conclusion: To enhance the way technology is matched to the student and successfully implemented, classroom teachers need to be fully involved in the whole assistive technology process. The findings also point to the significance of parents' involvement, with the support of allied health professionals, in the process of selecting and implementing assistive technology in the classroom. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Child: Care, Health and Development

Domain/s: Transport and communication

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