The development of an assistive technology toolkit for early literacy instruction

Ruby Natale, Christina Sudduth, Monica Dowling, Sarah Messiah, Christina Nunez, Michelle Schladant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite evidence supporting the use of assistive technology (AT) to improve early literacy outcomes, only a small percentage of preschool age children with disabilities utilize such devices and services. The goal of the Step Up AT to Promote Early Literacy Project is to develop an evidence-based training program to increase teacher and parent knowledge, confidence, and use of AT practices to promote inclusion and improve early literacy skills for this population. During years 1 and 2, a 6-month in-person and online training program was developed and implemented across 3 childcare centers serving children 3 to 5 years of age (n = 56), their primary caregivers (n = 56), and teachers and teacher aides (n = 36). This paper discusses how the program evolved over a period of two years to: a) better address the needs of children from Spanish-speaking and low-income families, b) incorporate a range of “low-tech” to “high-tech” AT options to serve a diverse population with various abilities, and c) enhance the utility of the toolkit for parents and teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-51
Number of pages16
JournalAssistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits
Volume14
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Assistive technology
  • Early childhood
  • Early literacy
  • Professional development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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