Student Performance Profile and Isolating the Impact of Interventions


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires assistive technology (AT) be considered at the yearly individualized education program (IEP) meeting of every student in special education. IDEA also directs that AT be implemented on the basis of peer-reviewed literature despite a paucity of research on AT’s effectiveness in the public schools. This repeated-measures quasi-experimental study explored AT’s effect in a public school special education setting. Participants (N = 13) were a heterogeneous group of students in 1 school system who had newly provided AT to address academic and communication goals in one school year. Results suggest that relative to other interventions, AT provided by a multidisciplinary team may have a significant effect on IEP goal improvement (t[12] = 5.54, p = .00) for students in special education (F[2] = 9.35, p = .00), which may support AT’s use in special education by occupational therapists as directed by IDEA. 

Watson, A. H., Ito, M., Smith, R. O., & Andersen, L. T. (2010). Effect of assistive technology in a public school setting. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy: Official Publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association, 64(1), 18–29.