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    The impact of assistive technology use for students with disabilities in higher education: a systematic review.


    McNicholl, Aoife and Casey, Hannah and Desmond, Deirdre and Gallagher, Pamela (2019) The impact of assistive technology use for students with disabilities in higher education: a systematic review. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. ISSN 1748-3107

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    Abstract

    Purpose: This systematic review examines the impact of assistive technology (AT) on educational and psychosocial outcomes for students with disabilities (SWDs) in higher education. Materials and methods: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed method studies were identified through systematic searches of five databases: PsycINFO, PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC and Web of Science (Social Science Citation Index). The search was conducted in January 2018. Thematic synthesis was carried out to collate findings across papers and the methodological quality of included papers was assessed using a Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). Results: Twenty-six papers were included for analysis. Four analytic themes were identified; “AT as an enabler of academic engagement”; “barriers to effective AT use can hinder academic engagement”; “the transformative possibilities of AT from a psychological perspective”; and “AT as an enabler of participation”. Conclusions: This systematic review identifies that AT can promote educational, psychological and social benefits for SWD. However, AT users and AT officers must be aware of certain factors, such as inadequate AT training, inadequacies of devices, availability of external support and the challenge of negotiating multiple information sources, can hinder effective AT use and thus restrict engagement in the higher education environment. Future AT practices should focus on harnessing the potential of mainstream devices as AT for all students, thus facilitating inclusion and reducing stigma. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Students with disabilities face academic, psychological and social challenges within the higher education environment. Assistive technology (AT) use can enable academic engagement and social participation and be transformative from a psychological perspective. Disability support staff in higher education should ensure that the AT needs of students with disabilities are met in order to enhance the educational experience. Harnessing the potential of mainstream devices as AT for all students will facilitate inclusion and reduce stigma.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Aoife McNicholl, Hannah Casey, Deirdre Desmond & Pamela Gallagher (2019) The impact of assistive technology use for students with disabilities in higher education: a systematic review, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2019.1642395
    Keywords: Assistive technology; education; psychosocial; students; disability;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 13596
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/17483107.2019.1642395
    Depositing User: Dr. Deirdre Desmond
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2020 15:38
    Journal or Publication Title: Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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