An Assistive Computer Technology Implementation Program for Students with Cerebral Palsy

Authors

  • Gerusa Ferreira Lourenço Departamento de Tareapia Ocupacional, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7550-4858
  • Enicéia Mendes Departamento de Psicologia, Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3673-0681

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.25749/sis.27543

Keywords:

special education, assistive technology, education professionals’ preparation

Abstract

Assistive technology devices can help students with cerebral palsy to perform everyday tasks in school more efficiently and independently. However, the implementation of such a system is a complex process and an essential element of its successful application is the involvement of a skilled and experienced team of professionals. The aim of this study was to implement and evaluate the effects of an in-service assistive technology training program for school professionals—which was developed to facilitate the learning process of students with cerebral palsy in a special school in a city located within São Paulo State (Brazil)—using a collaborative research approach. Data were collected from open-ended response questionnaires, focus groups, videotapes, and field notes. The results indicated that such a collaborative program can effectively enable teachers, school staff members and students to use these types of assistive technology devices, and additionally, that the collaborative nature of the project was of overriding importance.

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Author Biographies

Gerusa Ferreira Lourenço, Departamento de Tareapia Ocupacional, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil

Professor at the Department of Occupational Therapy and the Postgraduate Program in Special Education at the Universidade Federal de São Carlos - Brazil. Occupational therapist with a doctorate in Special Education, she has focused on investigating the use of assistive devices and augmentative and alternative communication for children and young people with disabilities in their multiple life contexts, with an emphasis on encouraging participation in school spaces.

Enicéia Mendes, Departamento de Psicologia, Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil

Full professor of the Department of Psychology, of the Postgraduate Program in Special Education at the Federal University of São Carlos (SP-Brazil). Graduated in Psychology, Master in Special Education and PhD in Psychology. Postdoctoral Stage at Université Paris V-Sorbonne and University of Salamanca. Research Productivity Scholarship 1B from National Council for Scientific and Technological Development. Develops studies on policy and professional development in the field of Special Education with a focus on the philosophy of school inclusion.

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Published

2022-10-31