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“The Case Against AT” – Web Video Challenges Educators and Resistance to AT

Don Johnston, software developer and advocate for children with special needs, released a video “The Case Against Assistive Technology.” The video addresses the history of resistance to assistive technology in schools and compels school leaders to consider AT accommodations not just for students with disabilities in a resource room, but to seamlessly integrate technology accommodations in everyday classrooms to benefit students who need more structured learning supports.

Ben Johnston, (the founder’s son) developed the four-minute video as a presentation resource to help practitioners build a case for ‘why’ assistive technology tools should be used throughout the learning day. Only a few percent of students with disabilities ever get to use technology beyond a simple word processor. This video comes at a time when administrators are looking for new ways to create 21st century digital learning environments.

“It’s hard to imagine not using technology every day in the real world,” said Ben Johnston, for the family-owned special education company now celebrating 30 years. “Being tech-savvy in business is considered a strength, yet in some schools assistive technologies are perceived as tools that give an unfair advantage to students. It’s disheartening when non-verbal students struggle to communicate despite the advances in augmentative devices. For students with dysgraphia, a writing disorder, a simple word prediction writing tool can make all the difference to demonstrate what they know. I hope my video plays at least a minor role to help people think differently about the uses and benefits of these tools.”

The Johnston family encourages educators, parents and AT advocates to share the video with colleagues and to consider alternative instruction methods to increase student achievement. Viewers can write a video review online and join a blog discussion to share public opinion. In the coming weeks, guest bloggers and national AT experts will also write responses to “The Case Against Assistive Technology.”

For the video, see: The Case Against AT

For the entire article, see: Video Challenges Educators

To join in on the AT blog discussion, see: Don’s Blog


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