ERIC Number: ED481291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr-11
Cultural Dimensions of Assistive Technology: What We Know and What's Ahead.
Parette, Phil; Hourcade, Jack
This paper examines the cultural dimensions of assistive technology (AT) for families of students with disabilities. First, goals and potential outcomes when working with families across cultures are identified, including immediate benefits of AT, change in level of functioning, acceptance in the community, immediate and ongoing access to AT, being more like other children, and ability to use other devices. Guidelines for AT professionals working with families include recognizing universal, culturally specific, and individual principles and styles of learning and modifying educational approaches from child learning to adult learning strategies. The use of information and educational technologies in the family training process is addressed, noting uses of technologies such as the interactive CD-ROM, Web sites, or e-mails about implementation progress to supplement face-to-face training. The paper also stresses the importance of maximizing access through accessible instructional design. A four-step process is recommended: (1) identification of the cultural attitudes and values embedded in the professional's interpretation of the family and/or students' AT needs and services; (2) determining how the family's perceptions differ from that of the professional; (3) respecting any cultural differences identified and explaining the professional assumptions; and (4) determining the most effective way to adapt professional recommendations to the value system of the family. (Contains 27 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Council for Exceptional Children (Seattle, WA, April 9-12, 2003).