Saturday, April 19, 2008

Journal # 10

Disabled Bodies, Able Minds: Giving Voice, Movement and Independence to the Physically Challenged. By Diane Curtis. 2/2/2005

This article discusses some of the technological equipment that is available to handicapped students to enable them to learn, communicate and participate in outside activities at school. It profiles students using technology including computers, cell phones, joysticks etc. and how these new technologies allow the students to participate more fully in their educational experiences and gain independence both in schools and in their daily lives.
There are many efforts out there to assist with acquiring and technologies for students with disabilities including the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Interworking and Technology,) who work to make sure that all students are actively engaged in their education and giving them more independence in life.

1. Who foots the bill for these new technologies?
It is important that there are organizations like DO-IT who can help provide some of these computers and other technological devices, otherwise it seems likely that schools and districts will allow this to move to the back-burner especially in the wake of the economy and the school budget crisis. I am also pretty certain that for parents who do not have students who need assistive technologies, there is little incentive to push school districts into acquiring the necessary tools.

2. What happens when students who have access to these technological tools through the school systems graduate?
Are there any measures in place for these students once they age out of the standard educational system? It seems unfair that a student who has been able to communicate through software provided by the school system will suddenly have no way of communicating because he can’t afford the technology on his own.