Date of Award

4-24-1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Mathews, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Nancy H. Vick, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Ruth L. Meese, Ph.D.

Abstract

Forty subjects were surveyed to determine their perceptions of selection, funding, use and maintenance of assistive technology. The subjects included physical therapists, occupational therapists, parents, and teachers of elementary students with autism . A self-developed questionnaire was used to collect data for this study. 43% of the questionnaires were returned.

Descriptive statistics and Chi-square (X2) were used to analyze data for this study. Results obtained from the descriptive statistics showed that professionals from various disciplines felt comfortable using and maintaining assistive technology but had not been formally trained to do so. The data also indicated that the respondents were unfamiliar with sources of funding for assistive technology. Chi-square ('X2) analysis was used to test the relationship among perceptions of physical therapists , occupational therapists, teachers and parents regarding assistive technology. No significant differences were found in the respondents' perceptions regarding consideration of the adaptability of the assistive technology when selecting appropriate technology. The Chi-square analysis showed a 'X2value of 13.34, df 6, and X 2CV 12.59.

The findings of this study may not be generalizable as the sample size was small and response rate was low (43%) . Therefore , it is the recommendation of this researcher to conduct this study on a larger scale. In addition, a different method of survey, such as a personal interview, may give a better representation of perceptions.

 
 

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