Identify and critically analyse several strategies that can be used to support children through loss or change. How can the concept of liminality help practitioners to support children’s experiences of transitions?



Change or loss is something that many children tend to experience and is likely to have lasting and profound effects on the well-being of these children. Despite the fact that these children tend to have a limited experience and understanding of the world, they experience overwhelming emotions as well as negative reactions after the loss or trauma. Children like stability, and this gives them comfort. They benefit from having the same routines such as routines of going to bed, the rituals on what is said and done. As such, they need to have the parameters of behavior and lifestyle, and the absence of this will cause poor self-control and inadequate social skills. In order to survive periods of grief, children normally depend on adults to reassure and support them, and to provide love, strength, and security. Change or transition may take the form of abuse, bullying, family breakdown or bereavement. One important concept that emerges in the study of these transitions is the concept of laminality. This refers to the state of ambiguity that exist in the middle stage of certain rituals or events, in the course of which the participating individual does not adhere to the pre-ritual status, but has not attained the status which it will hold the moment the ritual has been completed. It is more of the transitional phase or period of a rite of passage during which the participant follows prescribed forms of conduct, lacks social status or rank, etc. Transitions are dynamic processes that are said to follow some threefold sequential pattern, namely preliminal rites or rather rites of separation from the previous world, threshold or laminal rites (those that are performed during the transitional stage and the postliminal rites that mark the re-incorporation of an individual into the world with a new status.  The paper considers several strategies that can be used to support children through loss or change and how this concept of liminality can help practitioners to support children’s experiences of transitions.

Several strategies that can be used to support children through loss or change

One should try to be available during times of change or transition to offering the appropriate support to the child. For instance, if the child exhibited some hard time at the onset or end of school year or had difficulties to cope with life after losing a parent or guardian, it is critical to be more available during this time. Attempts should be put in place to simplify on our needs so that we can focus on the needs of the child. However, this will have to be done while at the same time inculcating some level of independence in the child. Practitioners have a challenge in striking a balance between the two; the extent to which they should be available and the level to which the child should be alone to reflect over the transition (Foley & Leverett, 2008, B, p.267). In a situation where children experience loss, it is important to talk about death or loss candidly. One has to talk about what will happen and what the change is likely to mean to all of you. Important facts about such events should be shared. This assists an individual to get a sense of what the children feel and think about the situation. It is important that a child should be invited to talk about how they feel regarding the event. As such, one will be guided by their reactions.

There is need to build secure emotional and physical base for children. This may not be easily attained if one fails to establish that emotional connection with the child. Responding to emotions with reassurance and comfort is highly called for after being emotionally connected with the child (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.268). One is supposed to notices if the child seems worried, upset or sad in other ways. One should let the child know that it takes time for one to feel better after the loss of a loved one. There may be a situation where the child has problems in concentrating or even sleeping. The child may also have worries or fears. In such a situation, counseling and support groups can assist the child who needs more support. The child has to be given enough time to recover or heal from the loss. People grieve or recover from a loss over time. As such, our roles will be to have ongoing conversations to monitor how the child is doing or feeling. In this case, the feeling will not necessarily mean forgetting about the person or the loved one. It may mean that we are remembering the person with love and allowing the loving memories to stir the good feelings which will support the child as he or she goes on to enjoy life. Acknowledging the fears and worries of the child is paramount. The child should be allowed to express his feelings by feelings by being allowed to feel sad, angry and confused during the times of change (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.268). Such feelings are normal, and the child should be allowed to express them. The child should be convinced that his or her concerns are taken very seriously. Therefore, it is important to help a child feel better in this case. This will be done by providing the comfort that is needed by the child, although there is need not to dwell on the sad feelings. After some time of listening and talking, there is need to shift to an activity or topic that will assist the child to feel a bit better. Activities such as cooking, making art, playing and going somewhere are very relevant in this context.

Courtesy of social storytelling, one can also share his or her thoughts and feelings regarding the same. However, one may not need to address their experiences directly. Children may be able to understand these experiences better and be able to change their responses to such situations. They are likely to act as if they have not heard anything that has been said especially when they are experiencing loss. One has to be prepared to repeat the same information because kids may not sometimes process the information when they are distressed. This calls for a lot of empathy and patience on the part of the practitioner or the intervening party (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.270). They have also to be reassured that the feelings of helplessness and sadness are normal. Imparting this kind of knowledge to the grieving children can be reassuring to them, and always provide hope that they will not always be feeling the way they do. Children are also likely to blame someone when they experience some loss or change. In many cases, these changes are not anyone’s fault. A parent can change a job and move to another city, a loved one can die, or parents may not necessarily be able to get along well and decide to separate. In these cases, it is easier for the adults to understand that there is no person to blame here. However, children are more likely to blame when they experience loss or some important change. They even go to the extent of blaming themselves irrespective of how unrealistic this may be. As such, it is important to tell the child that many children do this, although they are not to blame for the same.

In the case of loss or death, children should be fully involved in the rituals or funerals. Such involvement can help the children move through the grieving process. However, they should not be forced to go for such functions, especially if such functions are very overwhelming for them. It is important to be empathetic enough for these children and let them know that you feel sad the way they do. If possible, it is important also to make the child aware that change is a normal part of everyday life. Involving children in rituals gives them an opportunity to understand and in touch with death as a reality. Participating will also involve externalization of grief and is important to allow children to participate in them fully. Through these rituals, they can begin to find the expressions of the internal feelings of grief that they are experiencing (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.275). This also gives them an opportunity to experience the comforting presence of friends and other relatives and a chance to ask relevant questions about what they are feeling. They appreciate the process itself as something that is dictated by nature. Practitioners are therefore obliged to remind them of various changes that they have been able to encounter such as how they have been able to outgrow their clothes over time, or even ride a bicycle(as part and parcel of change). On the same note, the children ought to be told that some life changes are natural and everyone has to go through them. Just the same, way they will grow and perhaps join a tertiary institution; people go through various changes and stages of life, including adulthood, ageing, and even death. In making decisions about change, the child should be fully involved. Children under normal circumstances have very limited control over the changes taking place in their lives. Involving them will make them feel more in control of the changes in their lives. Having an active, small role will assist the child master and familiarize with an emotional situation by taking part in occasions such as memorial services. For example, a child can be invited to read a poem, display some photos, and pick a song to be played or engage in any activity. The children have to decide what they want to take part in and how they intend to do that.

Continuity of care should be in place after these interventions. It is important to ensure that both the home and school environments are engaging enough, to see the children through the healing process. There is a need for practical, emotional support from the teachers, peers and the family. The continuity of the caring family environment should be guaranteed by ensuring that there is always security, affection, trust, and that relationships are central. Continuity of care will take into consideration child protection and welfare services, psychological services, alternative care, family as well as locally based community supports, education welfare services, alternative services among others(Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.277).

How the concept of liminality can help practitioners to support children’s experiences of transitions

The concept of laminality entails studying of the life course, and this is important for the practitioners to identify and understand the impact of the various changes in the lives of these children. This implies that there is a lot of preparation for change that practitioners take into account. Since the concept focuses on different stages, the whole process of transitions is examined as opposed to the specific marker of events that are merely referred to everyday usage. As such, the practitioners are equipped with knowledge across the board, and the relevant support mechanisms that have to be applied to support a child during every stage of transition. The concept represents transitions as substantial times of change that are also turning point in the lives of these children and should be approached with a lot of care. In fact, the practitioners are in a better position to assess the readiness of the child to take on the new responsibilities in the next stage that more demanding. It may not necessarily be important that a very young child that is experiencing the rite of passage is unaware of the status change. The concept of laminality implicates the practitioners in recognizing the fact that these events are essentially about recognition, social participation and affirming the new and old relationships. The concept of laminality goes the whole way to unpack the processes of transitions to adulthood, and therefore more effective interventions can be taken thereof. They focus on the transitions as a process of becoming. Practitioners consider the transitions of these children by taking into account the context of the transitions. They take into consideration the specific life course transitions as well as the context (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.214). In fact, it has been established that the relationship is a causal one, always moving from the context itself to transition. The practitioners are therefore able to take into account the issue of context, and its probable effects on the transition experiences that is being experienced by these children. However, practitioners may be limited in taking into account the contextual factors for less commonly experienced transitions and also when it comes to considering the contextual factors (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.214).

The stages of the transitions provide some in-depth understanding of how the children are likely to go through the contextual stage, moving gradually from the preliminal or the rites of separation to the liminal stages or the rites of transition and eventually the postlaminal, or the rites of incorporation stages. As such, practitioners are in a better position to take into account the habituation through which children are more likely to adapt to different stages of schooling over periods that are likely to differ in intricacy and length. It makes them understand that some children can easily adopt, while others may take a longer time or requires more effort to adapt to their new school status. One very critical aspect during the transitional stages by the children is social relationships. It is important that such relationships are as supportive as possible. If the contrary is true, then the institutions in which these children are incorporated are likely to subject the children to discriminatory practices that will also impair the healing process (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.221). The practitioners emphasize the need for having interactions that are more focused on fairness, order, empathy band safety. For example, the classroom environment will be expected to be supportive, secure, and relaxed in social and intellectual learning. Practitioners are in a better position to ensure that the social development of children is age appropriate and acceptable irrespective of the transitions (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.221).

Building resilience is another critical aspect that has to be embraced by practitioners in supporting children through loss. This provides children with the tools they need to respond to the stress they encounter, and successfully navigate through this stress. Practitioners help children to develop strength and acquire the skills to cope with these times of difficult. Successful transition needs some resilience. This also has to do with going an extra mile to strengthen the behavior of the child (in case the child exhibits some problematic behavior). Practitioners also impart a feeling of competence to make children feel that they can handle a situation effectively by helping them focus on the individual strength at all times. The competencies of the children are individually recognized without having to make comparisons with other children. The major aspect that will give the practitioner hard time will be inculcating and developing trust with the child so as to nurture the required resilience (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.226).

As for preparation for change or loss, there is room for ensuring readiness for the transition of these children, by making it possible for the practitioners to evaluate the adequacy of personal, social, economic and the educational resources that are available to support the children move from one stage to another more successfully. Again, by understanding what the families and children from the diverse backgrounds view the transitions, practitioners have an opportunity to be adequately responsive to intervening for these children and being responsive to the construction of supportive systems that are paramount for support of the children throughout the transition periods. Practitioners try to ensure that there are adequate information sharing and communication between the parents and themselves in an attempt to see the children through successful transitions. They ensure that preparation for the transitions begins early enough and that all the stakeholders are brought on board (Foley & Leverett, 2008, A, p.209). The concept of laminality provides insight on how to go about this despite the fact that achieving the desirable level of buy-in in supporting the child has remained a challenge. All the stakeholders ought to be brought on board.


Children require critical support during change or loss, and continuity of the same even after the loss. There is need to build secure emotional and physical base for children and this entails responding to emotions with reassurance and comfort is highly called for and also noticing if the child seems worried, upset or sad in other ways. A strategy such as social storytelling will enable an individual to share his or her thoughts and feelings regarding the same, and assist the child through the healing process. Continuity of the intervention should also be upheld both at school and at home. The concept of laminality is also important in supporting children through transitions. For instance, the put practitioners in a better position to identify and understand the impact of the various changes in the lives of these children, taking contextual factors into account during the intervention process and also in preparing for change or loss among these children.


Reference list

Foley, P., & Leverett, S. 2008. Connecting with Children: Developing Working Relationships. Bristol, U.K: Policy.

Why some Teenagers use Social Networking Sites and the Problems of making Friends Online

The advent of social media coupled with the increased access to internet services globally has significantly contributed a greater use of social networking. Most importantly is the fact that internet use has grown immensely among the millennia who are fond of using social networking sites as the new way to creating friends and catching up with others. In one way or the other, while the increased utilization and reliance on social networking sites may be considered as having a positive effect, there are also the negative implications that the social networking sites create. Today, it is a rare occurrence to find youths who have not subscribed to social networking sites including and not limited to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Tumblr, Yik Yak among other just to mention a few  (Boyd, 2014).  The perception held by most teenagers is that social networking sites help them make new friends, interact more freely while at the same time getting to catch up with their former friends that they might have been long separated. However, there are several demerits which arise as a direct impact of relying on social media in making friends. Today, the use of the social media ranging from blogging to other forms of social networking forms a central part of teenagers’ lives. In this essay, I will discuss the reasons as to why some teenagers like using online social networking sites as well as the dangers associated with making new friends online.

Why Teenagers like to use Social Networking Sites

Man is by nature a social being bound to conversations and making connections. Most teens believe that using social networking sites as mediums for interaction especially in these times of high technological advancement is pivotal in ensuring that their communication networks are kept intact. Most importantly is the fact that teenagers are increasingly using the latest forms of technology as a means of enhancing their communication as well as expressing their feelings (Boyd, 2014). As such, the internet has evolved to be the greatest tool for communication leading to a change in the way people used to communicate in the past. Today, social media, as well as other networking sites, have enabled an instant interaction of people especially teenagers all over the world.

While the internet has made it possible to connect with loved ones, there is an increasing trend of individuals connecting and having conversations with strangers they have never met online at any time of the day or night so long as one has a device that is Internet-connected. In as much as traditional methods of communicating with loved ones and strangers like sending letters and making phone calls may be used today, utilization and over-reliance on the internet have gained prominence among the youths shaping the modes of communication in a steady pace (Boyd, 2014). Such a trend can be attributed to the explosive growth of social media websites earlier mentioned. While the internet remains a great tool for transmitting information, it equally can be used as a mode of building friendships especially in people who do not know each other and have never met. The everyday use of social networking sites has gained prominence and continues to be a significant role in each and every teenager’s life. As a result, the use of the internet has given birth to blogging; a phenomenon in which online social platforms as well as other digital materials have increasingly become popular among the growing teenage population.

The other main reason as to why most teenagers are fond of using the social networking sites is that most if not all of the sites offer instant messaging (IM) options as opposed to mobile phones. Instant messaging online has increasing gained prominence among teenagers with most arguing that it forms their primary way of communicating with their friends. Moreover, most teenagers are known to be risk takers who can easily engage in online dating activities especially through chatting online. Researchers conducted on the issue indicate that teenage boys are more likely than girls to form dating relationships online (Boyd, 2014). Most teenagers engaged in online dating argue that it is one of the easiest forms of relationships to manage in that everyone continues with their lives independently without having to meet with their partners most often. Moreover, they hold that emotions expression is easier online in that they find it easy to express their heartfelt feelings and emotions without faking anything.

Dangers of making New Friends Online

Is making friends online safe? The question that has lingered and remains mind-boggling to many researchers in the field of technology is how safe making new friends online can be. However, it remains an agreed phenomenon that there are dangers associated with the making of new relationships online (Bolton et al, 2013). Most importantly is the fact that while making friends online can be productive, it can as well be counterproductive and hurtful. Since they are not being seen, teenagers can choose to insult others especially with idealized perceptions of those they are in constant communication with. Moreover, the fact that physical contact with the person one is in constant communication with is not frequent, there is the likelihood of creating a barrier to effective communication.

Secondly, while communicating online, people can easily pretend to be what they are not. Sadly, there have been cases of child predators as well as rapists online who pose as nice out to seek real friendships. At the ends of such relationships, people have reported being date-rapped among other injuries. Such behaviors pose real threats to having friends online, people that you have not physically met (Bolton et al, 2013). Moreover, there is the danger of constantly keeping in touch with a person you for sure do not know until you meet in person. In a nutshell, there is a great risk in creating friendships online as compared to the positive impacts that online social networking creates.

















Boyd, D. (2014). It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens. Yale University Press.


Bolton, R. N., Parasuraman, A., Hoefnagels, A., Migchels, N., Kabadayi, S., Gruber, T., … &       Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding Generation Y and their use of social media: a review           and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), 245-267.



Student’s Name:

Professor’s Name:



Response to “The New Chavez? Oil Trumps Rain Forest in Ecuador Article”

The article shocked the world when it stated that the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa wanted the world to pay his country $3.6 billion so that I could forgo his plant of drilling oil in Yasuni National Park. The national park is one of the areas designated by the United Nations as World Biosphere Reserves. The article shows a very dangerous position taken by the Ecuadorian government especially at a time when the world is focused on clean, renewable energy sources to stop global warming and climate change. Drilling oil in such a rich rainforest is a blow to such efforts as the Ecuadorian government seemed to be focused on the money it will get from the project without realizing it will be destroying the environment.

My thought on this matter is that the environmental organizations should use all legal means to stop the government from destroying the forest. More and more news outlets should also focus their energies on announcing to the world the intentions of the government and seek for various ways of dealing with the issue. The Correa led government should not lie to the people that it seeks to drill oil to fund social changes. Rafael Correa seeks to use the oil money to pay for all his debts without understanding that the project will cause environmental damage while also displacing the indigenous people who have always lived in the area. The country’s citizens should not let the current president destroy the environment since it will come back to haunt them in the future. The government should learn from countries which have been affected by oil drilling in natural forests and indigenous settlements and stop the project.


From the Ecuadorian government

#Correction…..Yasuni National Park will not be affected by the project

#Media outlets should stop lying about the oil drilling in Yasuni National Park

#President Correa is the protector of Ecuadorian environment…..therefore he cannot destroy it

#Yasuni National Park oil drilling will be conducted after an environmental survey is conducted

#World countries should stop paying Ecuadorian media to lie to the public


From the Organization

#President Correa should come out clean to the Ecuadorian people and the world

#Ecuadorians should meet and protect the environment

#United Nations should stop the government from destroying the environment

#let’s all come together and save Yasuni National Park

#All Ecuadorians deserve a clean environment




Works Cited

Andrianova, Anna. “The new Chavez? Oil trumps rain forest in Ecuador.” CNBC (2013): np. .



Student’s Name:

Professor’s Name:



Response to “The New Chavez? Oil Trumps Rain Forest in Ecuador Article”

The Ecuadorian president seems to be focused on paying his debt to china than protecting the countries environment. With talks regarding the world paying the government to stop drilling oil in Yasuni national park collapsing, Ecuador seems to have changed its tune of conserving the environment to actively destroying it. Allowing oil drilling in the protected forest will release an estimated 400 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere thus increasing global warming. Environmentalists point out that the end of the talks marks the only chance the international community had of saving the rain forest from destruction.

My thought on this matter is that the environmental organizations and the international community should do more to revive the talks with the Ecuadorian government. The international community should help Ecuador pay its debt to China and help save the forest which is home to some of the world’s rare animal and plant species. The government should learn from countries which have been affected by oil drilling in natural forests and indigenous settlements and stop the project. The world is slowly implementing strategies to increase the use of clean and renewable energy sources and some efforts are threatened by continual drilling of fossil fuels in areas which need to be protected.




From the Ecuadorian government

#Correction…..Yasuni National Park will not be affected by the project

#Media outlets should stop lying about the oil drilling in Yasuni National Park

#President Correa is the protector of Ecuadorian environment…..therefore he cannot destroy it

#Yasuni National Park oil drilling will be conducted after an environmental survey is conducted

#World countries should stop paying Ecuadorian media to lie to the public


From the Organization

#President Correa should come out clean to the Ecuadorian people and the world

#Ecuadorians should meet and protect the environment

#United Nations should stop the government from destroying the environment

#let’s all come together and save Yasuni National Park

#All Ecuadorians deserve a clean environment




Works Cited

Andrianova, Anna. “The new Chavez? Oil trumps rain forest in Ecuador.” CNBC (2013): np. .



Table of Contents

Chapter I                                                                                                                                                                 4

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                    4

Introduction                                                                                                                                                                 4

Statement of the Problem                                                                                                                                     4

Statement of Purpose                                                                                                                                              6

Conceptual Framework                                                                                                                                           6

Research Question                                                                                                                                                     7



Assumptions of the Study                                                                                                                                       8

Limitations of the Study                                                                                                                                         8

Definition of Terms                                                                                                                                                   8

Summary                                                                                                                                                                       11

CHAPTER II                                                                                                                                                            12

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE                                                                                                 12

Introduction                                                                                                                                                              12

History of Least Restrictive Environment                                                                                                  13

History Associated with Assistive Technology                                                                                         15

The True Sense of the Assistive Technology                                                                                               17

Assistive Technology Laws                                                                                                                                  23

Changes in 2004                                                                                                                                                        25

Georgia’s Exceptionalities                                                                                                                                  26

Individualized Education Plan and Assistive Technology                                                                   26

Examples of Assistive Technologies and Their Purpose                                                                        27

The Effectiveness of the Assistive Technology                                                                                         29

Barriers and Benefits of Assistive Technology                                                                                         36

Perceptions of the Teachers                                                                                                                              37

Pedagogical Content Knowledge                                                                                                                     43

Summary                                                                                                                                                                       47

CHAPTER III                                                                                                                                                          48

METHODS                                                                                                                                                                48

Introduction                                                                                                                                                              48

Setting                                                                                                                                                                           51

Researcher Positionality                                                                                                                                    51

Participants                                                                                                                                                               52

Instrumentation                                                                                                                                                      52

Data Collection                                                                                                                                                       53

Data Analysis                                                                                                                                                            53

REFERENCES                                                                                                                                                             54

APPENDIX A                                                                                                                                                               65







In order to ensure that all school-aged children with special needs obtain a free appropriate public education (FAPE), needs are evaluated by a local school system committee.  If a student is deemed as requiring special services, an individualized education plan (IEP) is designed with goals and benchmarks to help guide teachers and evaluate student progress.  In the process of designing an IEP, a student is evaluated on whether or not he or she requires assistive technology to be successful in the classroom (Assistive Technology Act of 2004).

Traditional assistive technology devices (AT) vary from low-tech to high-tech technology.  Low-tech AT can consist of items such as pencil grips, highlighters, and flash cards.  High-tech AT can include an AlphaSmart so students can type their work, spell check, screen readers, speech-to-text, audio books and e-books.  In addition, the inventions of reading pens (i.e., Echo Smartpen), concept mapping software and websites have also been useful in the classroom.

Teachers need to have knowledge about assistive technologies and the skills and knowledge to use assistive technologies with their students who require them. This study will explore perceptions of regular education teachers regarding their use and knowledge of assistive technologies as they relate to special needs students in inclusive classrooms.

Statement of the Problem

Assistive technology has been included as one of the five special factors that all Individualized Education Programs (IEP) must consider when developing the IEP under both the Assistive Technology Act of 1988 (29 U.S.C. 3002) and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-446).  To determine a child’s appropriate educational services, school districts consider several factors including technological needs of the student.  As of 2004, the IDEA specifically states that every IEP committee should consider whether a child needs assistive technology (AT) services and devices, and further specifies that this factor must be included during the reviewing and revising of an IEP (IDEA, 2004a).

The use of AT for special needs students applies to any student with an active IEP who has been found to need such to be successful in school.  However, many barriers impact a student’s successful use of AT.  Research in the area of assistive technology and use of including and implementing such devices in the regular education classroom appears to be limited (Messmer, 2013).In Alkahtani’s (2013) study conducted on special education teachers,results showed that the teachers lack adequate knowledge and skills of using assistive technology.

The purpose of assistive technology is to help maintain or even increase a student’s independence (Bryant& Bryant, 1998).  In addition, the number of special needs students being educated in regular education classrooms has steadily increased over the past decade (Simpson, McBride, Spencer, Lowdermilk, & Lynch, 2009).  Unfortunately, many of the inclusive classroom teachers, the regular education teachers, are not trained on how to use these technologies to help the special needs’ students become successful in their classes (Bausch & Hasselbring, 2007).  With the appropriate assistive technology, however, students can show academic gains as well as gains in independence, self-worth, and productivity (Bryant & Bryant, 1998).

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of regular education teachers regarding their use and knowledge of assistive technologies as they relate to special needs students in inclusive classrooms.

Significance of the Problem

This study adds to the literature as it provides data on the use and implementation of AT services in a rural school district, data that may be useful to researchers and educators.  In order to comply with federal, state, and local mandates, every student being considered for special education services must also be evaluated for assistive technology needs during the IEP process.  However, studies show that, despite the legal mandate, AT is not always considered (Messmer, 2013).  According to a study of 1,000 special education teachers in Kentucky, only 22% of their students had documented AT consideration in their students’ IEPs (Alnahdi, 2014).

It is the responsibility of the local education agency (LEA) to implement state and federal laws.  When these laws are not followed, the students with disabilities receive the impact of being denied services mandated under the IDEA.

Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework for this study is based on pedagogical content knowledge and the knowledge of learners, as described byShulman (1987).Shulman (1987) introduced foundation for teaching reform based on pedagogical content knowledge.  The result was a framework broken into multi-faceted categories of the teacher knowledge base.  This framework focuses on critical features of teaching to include teacher mastery of the content being taught, the context in which it was being taught in the classroom, and both the physical and psychological characteristics of the students.

In Shulman’s search for a knowledge base that can be codified, he looked for categories to aggregate data on knowledge, skill, understanding, technology, and ethics of the categories of the knowledge base outlined in his study (i.e., content knowledge; general pedagogical knowledge; pedagogical knowledge; curriculum knowledge; pedagogical content knowledge; knowledge of educational contexts; knowledge of the learners; and knowledge of educational ends, purposes and values). The areas of pedagogical content knowledge and the knowledge of learners and their characteristics best fit this study as the conceptual framework.  Pedagogical content knowledge represents an amalgam of content and pedagogy where the educator can organize and adapt the content to meet the diverse needs of the learners and present the information for instruction.

In addition, Shulman presented four sources for the knowledge base of teaching, one of which is the materials needed for instruction.  These materials may consist of a matrix of elements including the curriculum, texts, school and social organizations, and the structure of the teaching profession from the local to the federal level of government.

Research Question

What are the perceptions of regular education teachers regarding their use and knowledge of assistive technologies as they relate to special needs students in the inclusive classroom?




Authors Leech and Onwuegbuzie (2011) have written several textbooks for psychologists to conduct qualitative research studies.  One method of qualitative research is the constant comparison analysis introduced by Glaser and Strauss in 1967.  However, conducting a qualitative analysis manually can be quite time-consuming and no longer considered practical considering the number of software programs in existence that are designed to assist the researcher in coding qualitative data.  One such program is NVivo.  This case study will incorporate the constant comparison analysis method to analyze the survey and interview questions in appendixes A and B.  Then, the program NVivo computer software will be used to find the underlying theories and relationships in the data (Leech &Onwuebuzie, 2011).

Assumptions of the Study

It is assumed that participants will respond to the survey and interviews in an honest and accurate manner.  It is also assumed that of those surveyed, the response rate to the survey will be adequate for the purposes of this study.

Limitations of the Study

Data will be collected from a small sample consisting of one rural school system in Georgia.  Therefore, generalizations cannot be made to a greater population.  The population and socio-economic also vary within the school system.  A second limitation lies with the rapidly evolving nature of assistive technology; so many existing studies may be outdated leaving little data available on current trends.  A final limitation is that access to specific IEP data may not be available due to the confidential nature of special education documentation.

Definition of Terms

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Public Law 101-336 [42 USC 12101]

The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications. The law has four sections, or “Titles.” Title I addresses employment, saying that any employer who has 15 or more employees must offer “equal opportunity” to employment-related activities. Title II applies to state and local governments, and insists that people with disabilities be given equal access to public education, employment, transportation, recreation, health care, and other areas under their control. Title III addresses public accommodations that may be provided by private companies, including private schools, restaurants, stores, hotels, doctors’ offices, etc. Title IV addresses assistive technology specifically, as it requires that telephone companies provide the necessary services to allow people who are deaf or hearing impaired to use telecommunications devices.

Assistive Technology Act of 1998

Public Law 105-394 [29 USC 2201]

The Assistive Technology Act, also known as the “Tech Act” provides funds to states to support three types of programs:

  • the establishment of assistive technology (AT) demonstration centers, information centers, equipment loan facilities, referral services, and other consumer-oriented programs;
  • protection and advocacy services to help people with disabilities and their families, as they attempt to access the services for which they are eligible;
  • Federal/state programs to provide low interest loans and other alternative financing options to help people with disabilities purchase needed assistive technology.

Assistive technology device

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2))

Assistive technology service

Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device (IDEA, 2004b).

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities. The IEP is the cornerstone of a quality education for each child with a disability (The National Center for Learning Disabilities, Inc., 2013).

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was initially passed in 1975 as P.L. 94-142. That law, known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, or the EHA, guaranteed that eligible children and youth with disabilities would have a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) available to them, designed to meet their unique educational needs.  P.L. 94-142 has been amended many times since passing in 1975, most recently in 2004.

Least Restrictive Environment

20 U.S. Code § 1412

To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

29 U.S.C. § 794d

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all electronic and information technologies developed and used by any Federal government agency must be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes websites, video and audiotapes, electronic books, televised programs, and other such media. Individuals with disabilities may still have to use special hardware and/or software to access the resources. Section 508 does not apply to the private sector or to organizations that receive Federal funds.


Chapter I of this dissertation provides the statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, the significance of the study, research question and conceptual framework.  Chapter II is the literature review which includes background information on the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the Assistive Technology (AT) Act, and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education – an educational right for children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) to provide a basis for the research questions.  Chapter III describes the methodology for the study, while Chapter IV describes the data analysis and Chapter V includes a discussion of the findings, implications, conclusions and future research.




The literature review includes background information on the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the Assistive Technology (AT) Act, and FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education – an educational right for children with disabilities in the United States that is guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act) to provide a basis for the research questions.  Changes in the Assistive Technology Act in 2004 are reviewed to provide a basis of research to show the required provision for AT to be considered during initial IEP planning and in reviewing an IEP.  A review of the concepts of mainstreaming and inclusion directly relate to the study on perceptions of regular education classroom teachers as it pertains to AT use and implementation due to the increased number of special needs students being served with non-disabled peers in a regular education classroom setting.  With inclusion and mainstreaming, more disabled students are being served in regular education classrooms.  Therefore, an assumption is made that regular education teachers have an increased number of students who use AT as an accommodation to better access the curriculum and to have a greater chance of success.

There are twelve categories of eligibility in the State of Georgia.  These categories will be listed along with examples of AT devices and their purposes.  This review will cover the steps in creating an IEP and where consideration of AT must be considered and documented.  Legal mandates are introduced in the review to provide a basis for legal compliance of assistive technology in schools.  A review of barriers and benefits to the use of assistive technology in the classroom is provided to support the evidence that there is a need for regular education teachers to be trained in implementing such devices in daily instruction.  Finally, recommendations are provided on how to bring knowledge of assistive technology to schools, how general education teachers can be provided with the necessary training to implement the use of such devices to meet these mandates and to provide for an equitable education for mainstreamed, disabled students.

History of Least Restrictive Environment

Prior to the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act of 1997, the U.S. Congress enacted the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (P.L. 94-142).  The purpose of this act was to provide specific regulations regarding disabled students, regulations that did not previously exist.  Although this law does not clearly define the least restrictive environment, there was a preference for mainstreaming students by offering segregated students opportunities to be educated with their nondisabled peers.

With the enactment of the IDEA in 1997, the concept of least restrictive environment (LRE) is introduced with no clear definition.  As a result, the terms LRE, inclusion, and mainstreaming became frequently used interchangeably though they are not synonymous.  Under the IDEA, the concept of LRE is written as,

“To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities … should be educated with children who are not disabled, and … special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment should occur only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5)(B).)

When statue law fails to adequately define a concept, the courts can then interpret the law as necessary.  It is in case law where LRE, inclusion, and mainstreaming are more clearly defined as individual concepts.  The concept of the LRE refers to the IDEA’s mandate that children with disabilities be educated “to the maximum extent appropriate with nondisabled peers” (Stanberry& Raskind, 2009).   However, the concept of inclusion is interpreted as disabled students having the right to be educated in a regular education classroom, a right that is absolute.  In contrast, the concept of mainstreaming allows for disabled children to be educated in a combination of segregated and non-segregated classes when appropriate.

The concepts of “inclusion” and “mainstreaming” are not specifically mentioned in the IDEA, but case law from 1983 to 1999 provides a continuum of placement options as defined in judge-made law.  In this continuum, earlier court cases such as Roncker v. Walter, 700 F .2D 1058 (6th Cir. 1983) and Daniel R. R. v. State Board of Education, 874 F .2D 1036 (5th Cir. 1989) interpret the LRE to be inclusive wherein the disabled student is “integrated” to the “maximum extent appropriate.”  In 1994 the Holland Test was created in Sacramento v. Rachel H. 14 F .3 1398 (9th Cir. 1994) that established a clear precedent for inclusion.  Subsequent cases, however, started considering exceptions to the rule in that, for some students, a general classroom may not be appropriate (Light v. Parkway, 1994).  Further, Clyde v. Puyallup (9th Cir. 1997) added that mainstreaming would not be appropriate for disruptive behavior that impairs the learning of others.  Finally, Doe v. Arlington County (ED. VA. 1999) found that a segregated setting with some mainstreaming would be appropriate if full-inclusion would not provide the student with meaningful educational benefits.

From these cases it is possible to see more clearly defined interpretations of the concepts of LRE, inclusion, and mainstreaming.  The courts appear to be moving away from the concept of LRE meaning full-inclusion as a right versus a privilege to the language originally used in the IDEA – a concept of mainstreaming students with disabilities with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate with the use of supplementary aids and services (Douvanis & Hulsey, 2002).

History Associated with Assistive Technology

A number of expert researchers and specialists have proposed that there are predominantly three eras associated with the development of the assistive technology in a sequential order (Alkahtani, 2013). These three eras are the Foundation era, the Establishment era, and the Empowerment era, which are consecutively interrelated and linked at a higher level (Bryant & Bryant, 2011). The first era started when human beings from the Stone Age started to use a stick as an instrument for support for those who suffered from a harmed or injured leg (Bryant &Bryant, 2011). In 1829, vision impaired individuals were taught to read and write using Braille.  In 1836, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph to help the hearing impaired to listen to recordings (Cook & Hussey, 1995).

The second period began at the dawn of the 20th century and continued until the late 20th century. This period has been portrayed, as a rule, as a period that experienced setting up laws, arrangements, and suits. Numerous creations and innovative steps were designed in this period. One of the most prominent signs of this period was the introduction and foundation of numerous associations with an extended aim to bolster people suffering from incapacities and their families (Alkahtani, 2013).  The third period, which began after 1972,became prominent when the Education for All Handicapped Children Act or the EAHCA (Public Law 94-142) was comprehensively introduced in 1974. This law later became the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The aspects of utilizing technological aspects while conforming to the IDEA were introduced and implemented when the Assistive Technology Act came into the existence in 1988. This specific regulatory was set up to monetarily bolster the execution associated with the assistive technology advances. Furthermore, the specific act named as the Assistive Technology Act or the ATA was later comprehensively introduced and implemented in 1998. This particular regulatory aspect proved to be critical to building as well as bridging the gap between accessibility and access to AT that relate closely with assistive technology innovations and administrations. Therefore, there is need for extensive expert information and responsible activities from a group that consists of a number of professionals from several disciplines (Assistive Technology Act, 2014). The demand and interest for assistive technology innovations has developed amid the above-mentioned specific era. IBM (1991) stated that in order to serve the interests of the vast majority, technological innovations make things simpler and in order to serve the interest as well as requirements of the people with inabilities, the technological innovations make several difficult aspects conceivable. The aspect of the affirmation provided by IBM mirrors the strengthening which the people with inabilities procured from utilizing assistive technological advancements.

The True Sense of the Assistive Technology

As indicated by the IDEA, assistive technology or assistive technological innovation alludes to “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off-the-shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (U. S. Department of Education, p. 1). If the aim is to help or assist learners with extraordinary needs and special kinds of requirements, AT might be utilized in order to have a comprehensive level of access to education (Jost&Mosley, 2011). Some prominent researchers like Blackhurst (2005) have gone on to recognize diverse advances or technologies, for example, technologies that enhance the aspect of profitability and those that are designed for data compiling.Instructional technology refers to those components that are utilized by all of learners in a class in order to improve learning (Parsons&Cobb, 2011).

Various general instances of instructional innovation incorporate PCs specially designed for the learning modules such as spell-check, audio books, e-books, and screen readers. The technology may not be helpful to a child without a third-party’sinput, in this case, the teacher. The input by the third party with improper and inadequate knowledge regarding assistive technology tends to affect the quality of education. The assistive technology instruments provide only platform for third party to convey and support education to learners. If the teacher as the conveyer of the education lack full disclosure and knowledge concerning the assistive technology would lead to low level of education quality provided. therefore, the assistive technology study programs requires high trained teachers to offer high quality education services to the learners using technological approach ( Stoner, Beck, Dennis & Parette, 2011).

The major contrasts among instructional and assistive innovations are the expectation, purpose, and target group ofpeopleassociated with the innovation, and the exact operative design for which it is utilized. It has been observed that a technological element might be an instructional innovation for a learner and at the same time, it might be viewed as an AT for those with disability (Jots&Mosely, 2011). In this case, electronically interactive whiteboards might be considered as appropriate. These whiteboards might be a valuable instructional innovation foran educator trying to provide lessons to all of the learners in an entire classroom, but at the same time, they might be viewed as forms of AT if they are utilized with a focus on learners who are faced with considerable struggles, or with a learner who has challenges associated with data organization or visual aspects. The quality of learning as well as academic abilities, are regularly focused on with the instructional technologies, however, this may not address challenges that the learners might encounter in the real world scenarios (Stanberry &Raskind, 2009). There are likewise events and situations when the technological innovation might be both instructional and assistive.  For instance, some researchers discussed a virtual reality framework aimed at learners affected with ASD so that those learners could access that framework as an element that may be both an instructional device and an assistive technology (Bryant et al., 2010).

The accessible learning modules under the class of the assistive technology help the individuals affected by physical, psychological, or physical disabilities to access the education (Borg, Larsson &Östergren, 2011).  Assistive technology experienced improves the life expectancy of handicapped person to progress in higher education level that was quite hard to achieve in a couple of decades earlier (Bryant et al., 2010). The AT permits learners with inabilities an opportunity to be included in settings generally considered to be a minimally prohibitive challenge for those learners (Loeding, 2002). Furthermore, the assistive technology assures greater level of certainty in the accuracy of teaching as well as a greater level of self-regard for the user (Scherer, 2005). Moreover, it also helps instructors in their quest to meet the specific objectives for the special needs learners(Netherton&Deal, 2006). Some researchers have expressed that learners some learners have challenges in using assistive technology. Developing the capacity to use the assistive technologies would help the learners to overcome the challenges that they be facing during their studies (Stanberry& Raskind, 2009). One of the most concrete and valued instances of AT would be the utilization of audio booksand better listening enhancersso that learners become able to sidestep a possible problem. The arrangements associated with the AT may potentially mean the distinction between the learner staying in a comprehensive setting or accessing an isolated custom curriculum framework (Bryant et al., 2010).

An absence of the availability of AT that might be needed to build as well as enhance the functional abilities of a person, might be depicted as a form of the ecological obstruction regarding the learners (Borg, Larsson&Östergren, 2011). If the context of the United States of America is considered, the minimum requirement is to consider the utilization of AT in the form of a major aspect of the IEP procedure regarding a particular learner who is qualified for a specialized curriculum arrangement. The price reduction of assistive technologies encourages buying the equipment (Bausch et al., 2005). Within the entire framework of the educational enterprise, AT ought to be availed to learners’ to improve their chance to achieve required  target for minimum prohibitive setting in order to execute the objectives set by IEP, or in order to obtain advantage through its implementation in the setting of a teaching and learning environment (Netherton &Deal, 2006). The aspect of gaining accessibility to educational modules as well as the abilities, which can be gained through the utilization of the AT, ought to be associated with those components, which will provide advantages to the learners regarding their present or upcoming likely setting.

According to Ganschow, Philips, and Schneider (2001), assistive technology can be divided into three classes, which can be named as low-tech, mid-tech, and high-tech. The low-tech AT can be normally considered as normally non-electronic and simple to use as they do not require any prior preparation (Evans, Williams & Metcalf, 2010). Such AT is broadly accessible with minimal effort and little if any upkeep. The mid tech AT are known to be easy to operate electronically as it require minimal training and basic maintenance. The innovative gadgets from the third and final group include complex hardware and as a rule that contain microcomputer parts (Bryant et al., 2010). Such innovative gadgets are costly and require continuous support and broad preparation in training. Some researchers have critically expressed that innovative technology solutions as the best and considered high-tech as it have rapid changes to low-tech the coming future. Furthermore, they recognized that as the aspect of the technological innovation that is constantly changing and hence encouraging the extension of the general and critical ideas for better approaches to classify and demonstrating the true sense of the assistive technology (Cook & Hussey, 2002).

At the point when deciding the choice of the AT to be used for the learners, various components ought to be necessarily assessed and analyzed. These include the cost, the accessibility, and capacity to redesign of the AT and the essentially needed support, the measure and the level of preparation that are essential needed by the learners. The assisting educators or staffs, the states of mind and the behavioral approach developed by the staff toward the aspect of the utilization of elements, and the real-world setting of the teaching and learning environment (Borg, Larsson & Östergren, 2011). The target is to maximize the adequacy of accessible assistive technology innovation and arranging the basic leadership associated with proper selection (King-Sears & Evmenova, 2007). Usually, it has been observed that single element that may influence the utilization of the AT for the learners affected by disabilities. Rather, assistive technology consists of connection of different components that eventually creates an impact. The choice of the fitting AT improves the learners’ capabilities and it ought to be considered and carefully exercised as a major aspect that is responsible to deal with the educational arrangement for the learners (Parette & Stoner, 2008). The lack of properly prepared staff to help with coordinating and acquiring AT for the individuals with unique requirements has been widely viewed as a societal obstruction because of the fact that the social settings do not provide much importance or significance to this particular aspect (Scherer, 2005). However, this is extremely significant and imperative that there are a large number of included individuals who are equipped with satisfactory preparations that are gained from appropriate training. The training are associated with specific aspect that are extremely knowledgeable and aware regarding the present, ongoing, and upcoming technological innovations that might be accessible at some point in time. Therefore, it requires having the instructional methods that is closely connected to technological innovations to improve assistive technology in achieving it educational mandate to learners.

The aspect of the pricing costs associated with the AT can be considered as one of the major obstacles for several learners as well as the educational institutions (Copley & Ziviani, 2004). This creates well fabricated the innovation and a generally limited business field for the various gadgets that are complex in nature. The price of the gadgets designed for the learners requires to be necessarily fixed after adjustments through the utilization of the accessibility of financing aids and assets that are available at the educational institutions. The AT is becoming progressively accessible through web suppliers who have the ability and permit to dispatch the gadgets globally. Some certain classes of assistive technologies are frequently found to be costly because of the consequence of the significant amount of expenses handled and experienced by the organizations.  These web suppliers have empowered clients to buy hardware gadgets, which might not be accessible in their home region, frequently priced at more aggressive costs for maintaining an upper hand in the competition rather than those provided by the particular providers, despite the fact that the availability of the help and overhauling of the gadgets might prove to be troublesome. Numerous providers of hardware gadgets can give a credit to offer to the schools in order to make the clients able to have a trial use of the gadget, to discover its usefulness for the determined objectives, and give it back to the providers if the gadget is found to be improper after the trial period (Novitatech, 2004). A few suppliers and several NGO offices likewise give bolster as on the web or individual contact in order to help the clients in their attempt of recognizing proper AT for the determined objectives. For the most part, the employees utilized by AT suppliers in order to help the clients with deciding the requirements of the learners with exceptional needs are equipped with profound experience as well as proper qualification regarding this particular field, and incorporate word related advisors or OTs, language teachers and the SETs in huge numbers. Numerous employees of the schools are not even aware of the accessibility of such experts or the level of help accessible for them in the process of deciding the suitable ATs. The AT element or gadget suppliers and their employees are by and large the most comprehensive wellspring of data related to the accessible advancements, technological innovation and would likewise instruct the buyers on the capacity regarding the AT to be updated or repaired when needed.


Assistive Technology Laws

The Assistive Technology Act (ATA) of 2004 (Public Law 108-361) amends the Assistive Technology Act of 1998 to support programs of grants to states to address the assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities.  According to this act, the Governor of a state shall designate a public agency as a lead agency to control and administer the funds made available through the grant awarded to the state.  In addition, an advisory council should also be established to provide advice to the state on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the activities carried out through the grant.  The Act requires states to support assistive technology programs by funding and financing assistive technology devices and services, providing training and technical assistance to various entities and individuals, and organizing public awareness activities.  Through H.R. 4278, the ATA also extends through fiscal year 2010 the authorization of appropriations under the ATA for state grants for assistive technology, and state grants for assistive technology related protection and advocacy services.

According to Derer, Polsgrove, and Rieth (1996), “assistive technology is widely regarded as holding potential for enhancing access, inclusion, productivity, and the quality of life of individuals with disabilities” (p. #).  As such, it has been included as one of the five special factors that all Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams must consider when developing the IEP (Sec. 300.324(a)(2)(i)-(v)) and a child’s instructional program since the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) Amendments of 1997.

An assistive technology device is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with disabilities” (§300.5).  A device may be low tech (e.g., a piece of tape on a pencil) to high tech (e.g., a talking computer). Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device (§300.6).  To ensure a student’s needs are addressed, school districts must evaluate the child’s technology needs, and in some cases, purchase, repair, and maintain the equipment.

Changes in 2004

In 2004, the revision of the IDEA brought about changes in the area of instructional technology for special education students when receiving or renewing IEPs.  The revision in section 300.324(a)(2)(v) specifically states now that every IEP should consider whether a child needs assistive technology (AT) services and devices, and further specifies that this special factor must be included during the reviewing and revising of an IEP as well.  The emphasis here is on the word needs versus requires.  This change in wording from the IDEA 1997 to the IDEA 2004 is a small, but potentially important change (Mittler, 2007).   This additional specification was added to include students who had already received an IEP prior to the 2004 amendment.

Therefore, since 2004, it has been an IDEA requirement that all students either initially receiving an IEP, or having an IEP reviewed or revised, should be considered for assistive technology devices (300.5) and services (300.6), and this consideration should be documented in the IEP.  There is very little research in this area post 2004 to confirm or deny that this process is taking place, but a review of the literature shows drastic budget cuts and the effects on education nationwide.  In 2012, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan reported that a $900 million cut to special education could affect as many as 6.6 million children with disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2012).  More research must be conductedto gain a clear picture on how the nation-wide budget cuts are specifically affecting the area of assistive technology and its consideration during the IEP process.

Georgia’s Exceptionalities

Georgia’s Department of Education specifies these twelve categories of eligibility for children aged 3 to 21:

  1. Autism spectrum disorder
  2. Deaf / blind
  3. Deaf / hard of hearing
  4. Emotional and behavioral disorder
  5. Intellectual disability (mild, moderate, severe, profound)
  6. Orthopedic impairment
  7. Other health impairment
  8. Significant developmental delay
  9. Specific learning disability
  10. Speech-language impairment
  11. Traumatic brain injury
  12. Visual impairment.

Individualized Education Plan and Assistive Technology

According to the Georgia Department of Education’s Quick Guide to the Model IEP (July, 2007), the starting point of evaluating a student for special services begins with a complete description of the child’s present or current academic performance.  Special factors such as behavior and language needs due to limited English proficiency are also to be considered.  Other considerations include vision and hearing needs, materials in an alternate format, and finally, assistive technology needs.  Consideration for assistive technology must be documented for every student (Lahm, 2003).

The Georgia Project for Assistive Technology (GPAT) developed a consideration process guide as a companion document to help IEP team members when considering whether a student with disabilities may need assistive technology.  The GPAT checklist considers the student’s present level of performance and includes four areas for the IEP team to consider: (a) area and instructional task(s), (b) standard classroom materials, (c) accommodations, modifications, and strategies, and (d) assistive technology solutions (Georgia Project for Assistive Technology, 2014).

Examples of Assistive Technologies and Their Purpose

In my first doctoral class, the professor asked the students to name one item that was our favorite technology.  We sounded off a variety of items, all of which required batteries or cords.  The professor, however, stated that her favorite invention was the toothbrush.  This was a demonstration to show us that technology is any invention that aids or assists us.  The same is true for assistive technology.  By very definition AT is “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (29 U.S.C. Sec 2202(2)).

There are three periods of assistive technology development: the foundation period, the establishment period, and the empowerment period as indicated by Bryant and Bryant,.  The foundation period goes back to the Stone Age with the invention of the wheel and the use of a stick as a cane (Alkahtani, 2013).  We start to see assistive technology emerge in 1829 when Braille was introduced to assist the visually impaired with reading through touch rather than sight.  In 1836, Edison invented the phonograph to help his mother with hearing loss to listen to recordings (Cook & Hussey, 2002).

The establishment period introduced laws, policies, and litigation to help individuals with disabilities.  These include the Soldier Rehabilitation Act of 1918 and the development of organizations such as the Council for Exceptional Children in 1922 and the Learning Disabilities Association in 1963.  During this period, X-frame-folding wheelchair was invented in 1937 followed by the Hoover Cane in 1947.

The Empowerment period began in 1973 with the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) followed with its evolution into the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – IDEA.  The first assistive technology act, The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act, was introduced in 1988 as a means to help financially support the implementation of assistive technologies.  This act evolved into the Assistive Technology Acts of 1998 and 2004.

There is a continuum of AT devices from low-cost, low-tech items such as a pencil grip to high-cost, high-tech devices such as a power wheelchair operated by tongue-touch (Netherton& Deal, 2006).  Current assistive technology devices can range from a digital voice recorder, a word processor, graph paper or a calculator to concept mapping software, touch screens, customized keyboards, and text-to-speech software (Simpson, McBride, Spencer, Lowdermilk, & Lynch, 2009).  In the 1970s fewer than 100 AT devices were available (Poel, 2007).  By 2009 more than 29,000 AT devices were available for those with disabilities.

The Effectiveness of the Assistive Technology

The utilization of assistive technology has uplifted positive and continuous learning making the AT to become an viable tool that help learners to have a wider view in education (Dugan, Campbell, & Wilcox, 2006). The researchers have proposed different approaches of different instructors in utilization of the AT within the setting of the classroom.  Inappropriate approaches through which the AT was acquainted with the learning environment in some circumstances shows absence of advisory processes as support reduce the part of the educators or instructors (Copley & Ziviani, 2004). The convictions associated with the aptitudes that the learners ought to have before getting to the utilization of the ATs may have an effect on the factor to decide effectiveness of the technology to disabled individuals. There are various kinds of convictions that might be held incorporate the aspects that the access to the ATs requires a great deal of exertion or AT is improper for the age of the kid. The learner might not potentially have a chance to acquire some particular assistive technologies that are restrictive and expensive to acquire and finance (Dugan, Campbell, and Wilcox, 2006). Several experts have comprehensively proposed that the dispositions nourished by an individual are flamed in connection with his/ her qualities, philosophies and, social and religious convictions. This is essential in deciding variables that may influence the choice of the decision regarding whether AT would achieve in any kind of providing accessible environments (Goode, 2006).

            At the point when the learners affected by various kinds of disabilities are found to be incapable of meeting scholastic objectives or academic targets, it indicates that instructors do not meet the assistive technology performance requirement or they do not meet the requirement needed to handle disabled learners (Parette & McMahan, 2002). Focusing on the learners results after using assistive technology, the IEP tend to portray that educational or academic requirements and objectives are determined through the targets for those learners and gives an outline to the available administrative proceedings (Bausch & Ault, 2008). One of the most well-known and highly popular services is the assistive technology or the AT. At the point when the responsible IEP groups incorporate the AT within the context of meeting the objectives and targets. The education objective tend to be the reference to the assistive technology performance in education process and hence giving the reasons for innovation to help the learners to achieve the academic goals (Lee & Templeton, 2008). The AT expands the expected outcome for people who are affected by an extensive variety of psychological and physical handicaps so that they can become more autonomous and able to comprehensively connect in the social or academic settings (Williamson-Henriques & Friend, 2012). Education is considered to be the one particular zone or field within which the practically useful AT can bolster the learners affected by specific inabilities. As indicated by Hasselbring and Bausch (2006).The AT eliminate possible challenges that influences or prevents complete level of education through two different courses. The first method is the utilization of the AT as a supporting means for the activities related to reading. The second way is the utilization of the AT as an intercessional or intervening means regarding the activities related to reading. This aspect implies that the AT helps the learners to fortify as well as enhance their general aptitudes associated with reading on a entire level. For example, there is numerous learners in the secondary schools who encounter various kinds of trouble in the aspect related to reading in light of the fact that large portions of the techniques intended for the lower basic evaluations seem to be inaccessible (Vaughn et al., 2010). For instance, the LD can meddle with the foundational abilities of the learners regarding the phonemic mindfulness translating, and comprehensive understanding or appreciation. The PC programs have been designed and produced with the aim to bolster the securing of foundational reading aptitudes (Pearman, 2008).

The essential concentration amid math guidelines is to help the learners to see how to control numbers utilizing particular operations, giving directions to the learners in basic education, and developing critical thinking. The troubles faced in the academic genre of mathematics are basic among the learners who are affected by the learning incapacities. Such kind of math troubles can go from the informative awareness of fundamental certainties, reading a clock, taking care of word issues, polynomial math, or conditions associated with the aspect of cash (Edyburn, 2003). As indicated by Woodward and Rieth (1997), learners affected by challenges in understanding may positive changes in learning through the utilization of various devices that range from hand-held gadgets to PC programs. This gadget permits the learners to take care of more elevated standard in mathematics and other scientific related issues. On contrarily, most educators refuse to give appropriate help to the learners excluding the basic elements like survey worksheets, cheat sheets, and many other fundamentally general exercises (Alper & Raharinirina, 2006). The utilization of the PC programming, graphical materials or numeric’s, and versatile adding machines have the ability to furnish the boost the learners who are affected by incapacities to undertake required education that can be obtained through numerical aptitudes (Edyburn, 2003a). The utilization of AT in instructive situations or academic settings can prove to be vital to the fulfillment of the education for the learners affected by learning handicaps. The aspect of the AT utilization is viewed as compensatory in fact that the gadgets can be used with the specific technologies to improve the capacity of an learners (Bryant et al., 2010). As a result, using the proper AT within the context of the regular academic settings can support the entire system to keep these special learners interested in the academic process.

It is possible to find out the numerous constructive results connected with the utilization of the AT specifically to disabled individuals. Some of the advantages incorporate the advancement of practical abilities associated with real-time functions. These functions includes the common contexts, enhanced physical wellness, improved social correspondence or interaction, higher levels of time administration, more noteworthy assignment fulfillment, elevated esteem regarding the own self, and enhanced results linked to academically recognized performances (Brodin, 2010). The AT application can be compared to other technologies such as PCs as they aim in improving capabilities of learners on basic critical thinking (Brodwin, 2004). The implementation and the utilization of the AT enhances the education development through improving on quality, critical thinking and reading capabilities (Bryant et al., 2010).

Barriers and Benefits of Assistive Technology

Several factors can lead to a disabled student being served in a general education classroom with non-disabled peers.  Since 1975, the concepts in inclusion, mainstreaming, and collaborative instruction based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) introduced the objective of seeking to provide students equal access to information.  While inclusion and mainstreaming refer to disabled students being granted access to an education with non-disabled peers in a general education classroom, UDL focuses on the format of the products to provide an equitable access to the curriculum through alternative formats or modes of communication (Rose & Meyer, 2002).

Alkhatani (2013) indicated that general education teachers lack adequate knowledge and skills regarding the use and implementation of assistive technology for disabled students.  A case for inclusion with assistive technology presented by Alkahtani is based Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).  Alkatahni argues that assistive technology grants physically challenged students increased accessibility to the curriculum and a higher quality of learning experience, and the work of Vygotsky provides the theoretical groundwork for the case of implementing assistive technology.  Vygotsky’s research promotes social learning environments, and assistive technology provides children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in social learning with non-disabled peers.  Such devices can also assist teachers in increasing student participation in learning activities by improving the students’ functional capabilities (Scherer, 2004).

Today Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development may more commonly be referred to as cooperative learning, a popular instructional arrangement to promote both social and academic success for all students.  With the addition of assistive technology, disabled students can more readily adapt to cooperative learning (Bryant & Bryant, 1998).  Such devices can be used to promote academic skills, independence, self-worth, and productivity.  AT devices are also shown to benefit students in reading, writing, and study skills.  Through the use of AT, learning disabled students can potentially access instructional activities, such as cooperative learning, to the same degree as their peers.

However, the benefits of AT adaptations can only be realized when AT is adapted into the curriculum and classroom instruction.  For AT to be successfully implemented in the classroom, teachers must select, monitor, and evaluate the use of a device to determine whether there is an educational benefit (need author and date).

Perceptions of the Teachers

The application of assistive technology supplement the education techniques used to connect with customary education with the aim of connecting learners effectively (Edyburn, 2006). ATs permit learners affected by LD to interface more effectively inside social and scholastic settings. It is noted that innovation and technology utilization has helped in improving the performance of instructors as they are equipped and supported to offer high quality education to learners in need of assistive technology results (Ertmer & Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2010). Concerning assistive technology, it is critical to comprehend the instructors understanding on how technologies and specifically PCs and LD influence the learners’ performance in education. The instructors are supposed to be well informed more on technology application, how it influences learners’ behaviors as well as being in proper state of mind in providing good direction to learners (Damore & Murray, 2009). The perceptions of the instructors are developed toward the inclusive consideration of assistive technology connection to regular education settings. The assistive technology has enabled the instructors to acknowledge and accept physically challenged students to undertake their learning in normal educational setting and similar curriculum with other students (Cook, Tankersley, Cook, & Landrum, 2002). Several experts have called attention to three components, which have the ability to affect educator observations regarding learners affected by LD.  In the first place, experts have developed generalizations about the sorts of the learners are affected by disabilities or inabilities, and almost every single of the generalization of outcomes. Significant number of the above-mentioned generalizations continues to exist in educational institutions (Dupoux, Wolman, & Estrada, 2005).The aspect of incorporation or inclusion is more than simply having a learner affected by the inabilities in the educational settings. This aspect of consideration concentrates on the best way to rebuild the educational programs to address and moving toward educating all the learners (Damore and Murray, 2009). According to Albeit, the regular educators are equipped variety of capacities and aptitudes to address necessities of all the learners in education setting that may be approved through testing assignment (Brown-Chidsey, 2007). most of the regular education instructors understand that they are in charge of  ensuring the guideline for the learners affected by LD guarantee their achievement within the regular academic environments.

According to DeSimone and Parmar(2006), some of the instructors showed that they unhappy on the aspect of adjusting direction to address the issues of the learners affected by LD. Moreover, another research work indicated that educator’ demeanors relating to incorporation of the learners have affected regular or general academic settings (Leyser and Tappendorf, 2001). The educator’ demeanors such as instructor experience, sexual orientation, and involvement with physically challenged student relates to demonstrated curriculum that is being conceived as deciding elements for accomplishing positive results for the learners affected by LD. On the other hand, numerous general instructors see custom curriculum learners or the SE learners as improperly set within the regular educational settings (Carter, Prater, and Dyches, 2009). The comprehensive instruction added to the scholarly accomplishment is influenced by LD as it assistive technology (Bunch and Finnegan, 2000).

A few interviewees indicated that learners affected by LD could influence others who have not encountered with LD in the comprehensive educational setting. The impacts incorporated the requirement for additional time duration for the learners with exceptional requirements, the dread experienced by the learners amid upheavals by a learner with uncommon expectations. The diversion brought about by the instructor partner engages the same setting as the researchers reported a few obstacles to compelling comprehensive practices in education (Schulte, Osborne, and Erchul, 1998). The impediments incorporate shortages of regular instructors’ with aptitude standards and accessible to execute individualized focus in implementing assistive technology to physically challenged students. In spite of the fact that the learners affected by LD have hidden scholastic and social shortages, they are regularly incorporated in an indistinguishable educational modules and gauges from their normal companions. Justifiably, this can appear to be a staggering errand regarding the regular educators (MacLean, 2008).

            The points developed by the educators on utilization of the technological measures for educating the learners is affecting the recurrence conforming the educators intention of the AT (Pierce and Ball, 2009). The proceeding by the worldwide group of an industrialized manufacturing plant that designs data and now to a participatory are dependent to society, the technological aspects and the educational system (Marino, 2009). The aspect of technological innovation is entwined in the public of the current era and has obtained imperative benefits and financial flourishing and technological innovation pioneer in the educational settings seems to be very basic (Rohaan, Taconis, and Jochems, 2009). The discernments of the educators and the employments of advancements are focal in the process of reducing the learning hole between the learners affected by LD and the normal companions to the minimal extent (Buehl and Fives, 2009). Moreover, research expresses end goal for the instructors in utilization of technological innovation and specifically the AT, should accomplish and elevated standards education quality. Furthermore, the utilization of the AT would elevate the standard and objectives of educators through ensuring they have adequate access to appropriate equipment to improve the education quality for physically challenged students.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Shulman (1987) describes a teacher knowledge base that distinguishes content and pedagogical content knowledge.  Shulman proposes three distinct knowledge bases: subject matter content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and curricular knowledge.  Content knowledge is defined as the organization of knowledge in the mind of the teacher.  Bloom’s taxonomy and Gagné’s varieties of learning are examples of knowledge structure.  Pedagogical content knowledge represents the ways in which the subject matter is represented to make it comprehensible to others.  Finally, curricular knowledge consists of programs and instructional materials designed for teaching particular subjects.

However, in 1987, instructional materials did not include the digital educational technology available today, and is therefore not represented in Shulman’s knowledge base for teachers.  Pencils, microscopes, and chalkboards were the “technologies” of that time.  Therefore, Koehler and Mishra (2009) proposed an addition to Shulman’s knowledge base that included technological pedagogical content knowledge, a framework known as TPACK.  Teachers who earned degrees prior to the introduction of instructional technology struggle to integrate new digital technologies in their teaching.  The concept of TPACK tells us that integration efforts should be structured for particular subject matter ideas in specific classroom contexts (p. 62).

The TPACK framework slightly modifies Shulman’s original framework for the knowledge base of teaching.  The following definitions clarify Shulman’s framework.  Content knowledge (CK) refers to knowledge of the subject matter.  Pedagogical knowledge (PK) combines the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning.  Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is pedagogy as it applies to a specific content.  The TPACK framework offers additional knowledge components to include technology knowledge, technological content knowledge, and technological pedagogical knowledge.  Technology knowledge (TK) is the evolving interaction with technology.  Technological content knowledge (TCK) represents fields in which further development in that field is dependent on the development of new technologies, and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) represents how teaching and learning change when particular technologies are used in particular ways.  TPK looks beyond common uses for technologies and looks for ways to use it in instruction.  In summary, TPACK is an understanding that emerges from interactions among content, pedagogy, and technology knowledge.

TPACK should be considered as a rapidly developing type of informative knowledge that consists of the key senses associated with content, pedagogy, and technology but has a collective broader sense than those individual aspects. TPCK or the technological pedagogical content knowledge has been widely considered as an understanding that rises up out of associations among the base of knowledge associated with the three significant aspects mentioned earlier. Emphasizing the aspect of practical and viable mode of educating with the help from technological innovation, TPACK is not quite the same as the base of the knowledge associated with those three aspects on the individual level. Rather, TPACK presents itself in the form of the premise of powerful educating with technological innovation. It exclusively needs a comprehensive and demonstration of the ideas associated with the utilization of the technology, educational systems or the pedagogical strategies. This is to utilize the technological resources through the mode of useful approaches with an aim to demonstrate the content; knowledge associated with the issues. Furthermore, this relates to the process through which technological resources can review a portion of the issues confronted by the learners. The extensive base of the knowledge associated with the informative knowledge acquired by the learners and the theoretical frameworks related to the aspect of epistemology forms the exclusive wellspring of the knowledge. The process of the technological resources can be utilized fully to expand on the current base of knowledge so that the utilization may help to grow new epistemologies or reinforce those from the past. Through the collective procedure of coordinating information associated with the aspects of technology, pedagogy, and content, the specialized educators bring TPACK to the high standards of execution.  Every single circumstance exhibited to the educators is considered an exceptional mix of these significant variables.

The critical aspect of utilizing technological resource for purposes of education compels the instructors to face essential issues associated with the field of education.  The specific notion reverses the customary or traditional viewpoint on the academic objectives and technological innovations are the parts of the segment marked as the content. Furthermore, complex technological advances get to be introduced fro-comprehensive utilization. The TPACK structure recommends the fact the aspects of technology, pedagogy, content, and informative knowledge with regards to the educational setting that play different major roles both individually and collectively. 


A review of the literature provides broad and vast information regarding the use of assistive technology within the context of the least restrictive environment.  It also provides some significant data about the real sense and usefulness of the utilization of assistive technology. The legal implications associated with the aspect of assistive technology are discussed along with a demonstration of the perceptions developed by general education teachers.  The literature review comprehensively elaborates the effectiveness as well as the barriers that restrict assistive technology from being effective, and it critically discusses all the major points associated with the topic being studied, laying the foundation of the entire research work.





The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of regular education teachers regarding the knowledge and use of assistive technology devices as they relate to special needs students in the inclusive classroom.  A qualitative case study will be used to collect, analyze, and share data.

Shulman’s conceptual framework of the knowledge base of teaching (1987) is combined with Koehler and Mishra’s (2009) framework on technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) to represent the knowledge base of a classroom teacher.  This knowledge represents a baseline for regular education teachers regarding their content, pedagogy, and technology knowledge.  Participants will be surveyed on their knowledge and use of assistive technology in the classroom in order to implement a student’s individualized education plan and reach annual goals.  Participants who agree to participate in interviews will be interviewed to gain further information.

This is a qualitative method; the surveys administered provide a trend that gives a clear and accurate result of the reality. It comprises methodology that assesses settings inside which human encounters happening.  The methodology does provide speculation that should be verified yet it is with a concentration of analyst disclosure and adoption of inductive strategy for the process of information investigation. The analysis of the collected data and the results of the research work are not expansive speculations; rather, they are the relevant discoveries. A number of experts emphasize on the fact that while the subjective or qualitative type of study is not given to numerical deliberations, it should be considered as methodical on the way to deal with information accumulation and examination. The amid process of breaking down information produced are configured with characterization of classes. The gathered reactions and connections between classifications are obtained from the collected information through the procedure of inductive thinking.

The comparative approach includes separating the information into either the diversely characterized occurrences (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) or the measured segments and coding them to classes (Lincoln &Guba, 1985). The formulated classifications emerging from this strategy take a couple of structures. The traditions and dialects structure utilized remake the classes utilized by subjects to conceptualize their own particular encounters and perspective (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). The second structure consists of analyst distinguishing the concentration of request regarding the venture that helps the scientist informing hypothetical bits of knowledge into the society associated procedures agent in the site under concentrated. Therefore, along these lines, the procedure associate with the current method fortifies the believed perceptions, which prompts to both distinct as well as logical classes (Lincoln and Guba, 1985). Within the consistent near technique or the constant comparative approach, the analyst comprehensively codes and investigates the information keeping in mind the end goal to creating ideas.  Through the process of ceaselessly looking at particular occurrences within the gathered information, the specialist refines the ideas, recognizes the features and investigates the connections between each idea as they incorporates the analyzed information into an intelligible logical design (Taylor and Bogdan, 1984). Therefore, study will utilize the constant comparative approach to generate viable and feasible results.


The setting for this study is a rural school district in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.  The district has 29 schools, approximately 1,422 teachers and 22,691 students.  Of those, approximately 2,241 students have an IEP.

Researcher Positionality

The two broad categories in research are random error and systematic error.  Systematic error, also known as systematic bias, can be a concern in qualitative research.  According to Malone, Nicholl, and Tracy (2014), systematic bias can create a spurious association or mask an association between two variables, and can lead to incorrect conclusions.  The three most common types of systematic bias are selection bias, confounding variable bias, and information bias. I am qualified to conduct the study, as I understand the need of assistive technology in education of physically challenged student. I have the knowledge regarding education sector and hence best suited to understand the results of the survey outcome and its interpretation.

In an effort to avoid random error and selection bias, the sample population should small and manageable as it would be enough to represent the population to which the findings will be applied.  All employees in the study system have a school system issued email account.  Therefore, recruitment by email should not create selection bias, and the results should have generalizability based on the random sample from the population.

Measurement bias can occur from non-responses to the survey, inadequate follow-up, and from a non-appropriate tool.  To control measurement bias, the survey will contain items from a variety of existing, published studies.

An open-ended survey will be used to determine the target population.  The first question will be, “Do you have or have you recently had a special needs student in your classroom who requires assistive technology?”  Those who respond “no” will exit the survey at that time.  Those who respond “yes” will proceed to a few general open-ended questions. In order to improve on the quality and accuracy of the results, 10 of the participating teachers will be asked if they could participate in a random interview session afterwards.

To control conformity bias, the researcher will attempt to remain impartial in all stages of the study including the literature review and the data used from the information collected.  A constant comparative analysis will be used to analyze data.


The participants of the study will consist of 40 teachers, 10 teaching high schools, 10 middle schools and the last 20 elementary school, the sample of certified educators working within the regular education. According to the National Center for Education Statistics the teacher population as of 2014 is approximately 1,422 not including central office personnel.


A survey will be developed based on a review of the literature and customized to the concepts and characteristics of this study.  Based on an instrument developed by Seok and Dacosta (2014), the survey (see appendix A) will include demographic information of the participants and items relating to specific factors underlying AT practices.  Additionally, Appendix B contains research-based open-ended questions to address the strengths and barriers of AT services

Data Collection

The survey will be administered through email by the school district and will be sent to the selected personnel in the county. The respondent would be provided with questionnaire through email address whereby after filling, the feedback would be email back. The interview would take about 30 to 40 minutes whereby the interviewee would respond to specific questions as well as providing their observations. The venue for interview would depend with the agreement between the interviewee and interviewer.

Data Analysis

Constant Comparative Analysis will be used for analysis of the data collected from the surveys.  In the process of taking notes and commenting on data, categories and themes will emerge to answer the initial research question.  Merriam (2009) considers the beginning stages of qualitative research as “organizing and refining rather than beginning data analysis” (p. 171).  Data will be coded and entered into the computer software program designed for qualitative research (i.e., NVivo, atlas.ti. or other software).





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Stoner, J.,  Beck, A., Dennis, M. & Parette, H. (2011). The use ofinstructional technology in direct vocabulary instruction. Journal of SpecialEducation Technology, 26(3), 35-46.

Taylor, S.& Bogdan, R. (1984). Introduction to qualitative research methods: The search for meanings (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons.

Van Daal, V., & Reitsma, P. (2000). Computer-assisted learning to read and spell: results from two pilot studies. Journal of Research in Reading, 23(2), 181–193.

Voltz, D., & Collins, L. (2010). Preparing special education administrators for inclusion in diverse, standards-based contexts: Beyond the council for exceptional children and the interstate school leaders licensure consortium. Teacher Education and Special Education, 33(1), 70–82.

Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameo, R., & Levine, P. (2005). Changes over time in the early postschool outcomes of youth with disabilities. A report of findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Available at

Westwood, P. (2010). Commonsense methods for children with special needs (6th

ed). London: Routledge Falmer.

Williamson-Henriques, K., & Friend, M. (2012). Assistive technology in special education. In J. A. Banks (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Zhao, Y., & Frank, K. (2003). Factors affecting technology uses in schools: An ecological perspective. American Educational Research Journal, 40(4), 807–840.





Survey Questions for Teachers’ Knowledge and Use of Assistive Technology


Part I: Demographic information

Please complete the information about yourself.


  1. What is your age?
    1. Less than 30 years old
    2. 30 – 40
    3. 41 – 50
    4. 51 – 60
    5. More than 60 years old


  1. What is your gender?
    1. Male
    2. Female


  1. What is the highest level of education you have completed?
    1. Bachelor degree
    2. Master degree
    3. Specialist degree
    4. Doctorate degree
    5. Other (please specify)


  1. What is your job position?
    1. General education teacher
    2. Special education teacher
    3. Special education consultant
    4. School psychologist
    5. Assistive technology specialist/consultant
    6. Other (please specify)


  1. Which of the following best describes the location of the school in which you teach?
    1. Rural
    2. Suburban
    3. Urban


  1. How many years of experience do you have in education?
    1. Less than one year
    2. 1 – 2 years
    3. 3 – 5 years
    4. 6 – 10 years
    5. More than 11 years


Part II: Use and Knowledge of Assistive Technology


Please note that this questionnaire is based upon the IDEA 2004 definition of assistive technology, which includes high-tech devices (i.e., alternative communication devices), and also includes items that may not typically be considered “technology” (i.e., pencil grips, magnifier for reading, etc.).


  1. Have you ever used or requested an assistive technology evaluation for a student?
    1. Yes
    2. No


  1. Are assistive technology needs considered (documented) by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team in your school?
    1. Yes
    2. No


  1. Do students at your school have access to assistive technology?
    1. Yes
    2. No


  1. Which types of assistive technology are available at your school (choose all that apply)?
    1. Low-tech devices (handheld magnifiers, specialized pen, pencil grips, large print text).
    2. Mid-tech devices (audio books, manual wheelchairs, alternate mouse or keyboard for computer use, amplifiers).
    3. High-tech devices (power wheelchairs, digital hearing aids, speech-to-text software or computer app, digital headsets, Bluetooth integration).


  1. Are you prepared to provide assistive technology services to your students?
    1. Not at all prepared
    2. Poorly prepared
    3. Somewhat prepared
    4. Adequately prepared
    5. Extremely well prepared


  1. Estimate your knowledge about assistive technology.
    1. No knowledge
    2. Little knowledge
    3. Some knowledge
    4. Good knowledge
    5. Extensive knowledge




  1. Estimate the number of college or graduate level courses you have taken in which assistive technology was covered in detail (i.e., more than one class session).
    1. None
    2. 1 – 2
    3. 3 – 4
    4. 5 or more


  1. Estimate the number of workshops or in-services training pertaining specifically to assistive technology that you have attended in your career?
    1. None
    2. 1 – 2
    3. 3 – 4
    4. 5 or more


  1. Are you interested in receiving training and professional development in the area of assistive technology?
    1. Yes, I am very interested.
    2. I do not know. I will think about it.
    3. No, I am not interested at all.


  1. Thinking about your own learning style and needs, please indicate your preferred method for learning about assistive technology (choose all that apply).
    1. One-on-one individualized instruction
    2. Hands-on instruction in a group setting
    3. Attending workshops or conference sessions
    4. Formalized courses (i.e., for university credit)
    5. Other (please specify)


  1. Do you agree that students need to learn to function without assistive technology as their use of it would negatively affect their skill development?
    1. Strongly disagree
    2. Disagree
    3. Neutral
    4. Agree
    5. Strongly agree


  1. Do you agree that assistive technology enables students to be able to access the curriculum?
    1. Strongly disagree
    2. Disagree
    3. Neutral
    4. Agree
    5. Strongly agree




  1. Do you agree that using assistive technology requires so much extra time and slows the pace of learning for the class?
    1. Strongly disagree
    2. Disagree
    3. Neutral
    4. Agree
    5. Strongly agree


  1. Would you like to participate in an additional interview about assistive technology?
    1. Yes
    2. No


If “yes,” please enter your email address in the box below so that you may be contacted.


Copyright Disclaimer

Copyright reserved by the author, Keetam D. F. Alkatahni, Department of Special Education, King Saud University.


This survey can be found in an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (





Interview questions






by Name Here


















Business Mathematics

Student No.:

Question 1






We can infer by visual inspection from the bar graphs that the disparity between the qualifications held by men and women for almost all levels is not that different from each other. While there are more females under the no qualification level, the unknown levels were seen to be dominated by males. Still, these differences are not considered to be economically significant. More importantly, the known levels from 1 through 5 were found to be almost equal.

Question 2






The data from Fig. 3 alone shows a “seasonal” trend for the sales of bread wherein a given week is subject to various fluctuations and yet these fluctuations are seen to occur in a pattern that is consistent in all three weeks of analysis. For instance, the lowest sales usually occur on Tuesdays and then the trend would slowly creep up until reaching its peak on Saturdays. It was also consistent that the biggest decline happens from Saturday heading to Sunday.

The behavior of the 7-day moving average gives a much stable report on the daily sales of the bakery. From the moving average line, the average sales lie at around 40 to 50 loaves. The trendline also suggest a slight rise in sales throughout the period.

Question 4



The correlation coefficient was computed to be .


The regression equation for predicting the time to pay  given a price value  is


From the results obtained, the correlation coefficient represents the direction and the strength of the relationship between the expected time to pay given a certain value. For the gas company, the high value of  suggests that higher values of amount due result in longer payment time while lower values require shorter period, and this relationship is extremely consistent.

The gradient or slope, which is equal to 0.0404 means that for every pound increase of amount to be paid, there is a 0.0404-day increase in time to wait for a complete payment. Another way of looking at this value is that an expected 1-day increase in waiting period is due to a 24.77-pound increase in the amount owed. The intercept of 11.129 represents a correcting offset for the entire regression itself. This value should be cautiously used and should not be misinterpreted that if there no money to be paid, then the gas has to wait 11.129 days. This is where the limitation of the equation should be considered given that the analysis was done with at least £100 as a data point.


The coefficient of determination or  is 0.792. This means that the regression equation mentioned above explains 79% of the variance of the response. This value can be considered to be high which therefore says that the regression model is accurate in describing the variance of the number of days to payment.


If the amount to be paid is £125, the expected days to pay is 16.17 days while for a £1000 owe, the time is 51.49 days. An obvious reservation that can be taken for this prediction is the fact that no one from the sample data points owed higher than £480. For an amount that is extremely out of the usual range, predicting the number of days should be taken with caution.

Question 4


Table 1. Frequency table for item weights (g) produced by machine.
Weight (g) Frequency




Using Excel, the descriptive statistics including the 95% confidence interval of the mean was computed and are summarized in Table 2 below.

Table 2. Weight (g) descriptive statistics summary.
Mean 27.2375
Standard Error 0.295484878
Median 27.4
Mode 30
Standard Deviation 2.642897097
Sample Variance 6.984905063
Kurtosis -0.381752838
Skewness -0.458029005
Range 11
Minimum 20.4
Maximum 31.4
Sum 2179
Count 80
Confidence Level(95.0%) 0.588147938


The computed average value of weight output was at 27.24 g. Based on the generated histogram as well as the skewness, the distribution is negatively skewed which means more data tend to cluster at the higher end while very few is on the lower side. The negative kurtosis suggests that the distribution is relatively flat, which means no particular value is exceedingly more frequently appearing than the others. Also, the data has a wide range from 20.4 to 31.4 but the computed confidence interval for the mean was narrow at ±0.588. In other words, should the sampling be repeated, 95% of the time, the true mean will lie in those confidence intervals, which for this particular sample is at 26.65 to 27.82. This is a strong evidence to support the claim that the mean output of the machine is greater than 26 grams.











Cox, D. R. & Hinkley, D. V., 1974. Theoretical Statistics, s.l.: Chapman & Hall.

Frost, J., 2013. Regression Analysis: How Do I Interpret R-squared and Assess the Goodness-of-Fit?. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 9 December 2016].

Frost, J., 2013. Regression Analysis: How to Interpret the Constant (Y Intercept). [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 5 December 2016].

Groebner, D. F., Shannon, P. W., Fry, P. C. & Smith, K. D., 2005. Business Statistics: A Decision-Making Approach. 6th ed. s.l.:Peason Education, Inc..












Westminster International College


Module Title:Intro to Accounting

Programme:Degree Foundation


Academic Year Period:June 2016 – September 2016

Lecturer:Gobu Nachiappan

Date of Completion and Submission:16th August 2016

Submission Method:Online via Turn It In with one hard copy to the Examinations Department

Assessment Type:Individual assignment










My business is located in Singapore, the capital city of Singapore. With the beautiful scenery presented by the island, tourist attraction are a likely aspect that makes restaurant operations a successful venture in Singapore. My business, Marionette Restaurant, operates in the hotel industry and deals in offering quality foods and services. I started the operation at the main center, a strategic place, where sales are likely to boom. This due to expansive beaches that are near the center and contain tourists who would always want to quench their hunger. The major business suppliers are those dealing in fresh farm produce such as French beans, chickens and fruits.

I initiated the Marionnete Restaurant with a starting capital of $250000. The major products that I offer include egg meals, hot drinks, French fries, corporate merchandise, meeting area, Italian drinks, sodas and foreign cuisines. This business is considered a boom because most tourists prefer to taste foreign cuisines as part of their venture.

This Shop is named as “Marionette Restaurant”

The targeted customers are mainly the tourists, middle class citizens working along the beach, and college going students.

Suppliers:   Nestle (Credit Supplier)

Region Food ( Credit Supplier)

Ayamas ( Cash Supplier)

Customers: Jomalina(Credit Customer)

Simplot (Credit Customer)

UBF (Cash Customers)

Competitors:  KFC






Simulation of transactions

1/3/2016 Started a restaurant business “.Marionette Rest.”Deposited $2500000 to bank account opened forMarionette Rest’. $250,000
2/3/2016 Rented a space in TRM mall and paid $4000 by banker’s cheque to cater for one month of rental deposit and the rest for the month of March. $4000
3/3/2016 Issued a cheque of worth $600 to Kengen Bit as a fee for installing water and electric meters. $600
3/3/2016 Purchased a walk-in refrigerators, worth $400, from Jamaji shop by cheque $400
4/3/2016 Issued a cheque of $600 to Faruq designers for designing the restrooms $600
5/3/2016 Bought restaurant chairs by issuing a cheque of $4000 to Keen Comforters $4000
6/3/2016 Issued a cheque of $400 to Faruq designers for fitting the chairs in the dining rooms $400
7/3/2016 Issued a cheque of worth $200 to buy office equipments $200
9/3/2016  Gave out a cheque of $9000 for printing flyers to Owiti Printers. $9000
11/3/2016 Bought 20 fruit blender Ayamason credit each costing $45 $900
12/3/2016 Sold 120 Italian fries to Simplot on credit at the selling price of $60 $7200
16/3/2016 Received a cheque of $50000 from Jomalima $50,000
19/3/2016 Received a return inwards from Jomalima worth 11,000 $11,000


22/3/2016 Sold to Outward catering, 50 units, for a credit at the selling price of $600 $30000
25/3/2016 Bought a car Costing $20000 using Bank loan $20000
26/3/2016 Paid Insurance by Cheque $700 $700
28/3/2016 Paid Salary by cheque $2000 $2000
29/3/2016 Received Commission by Cash $400 from Simplot $400
30/3/2016 Settled the water and electrical bills by $1000 in form of cheque $1000






Cash Book
Date     Description Cash  Bank Date       Description Cash Bank
1/3/2016 Capital   250,000 2/3/2016 Rental deposit   5000
10/3/2016 Sales   37200 2/3/2016 Rent   2000
16/3/2016 Jomalima   50,000 3/3/2016 Installation   600
23/3/2016 Simplot   80,000 4/3/2016 Restrooms   600
27/3/2016 Jomalina   29,000 5/3/2016 Restaurant chairs   4000
29/3/2016 Commission 400   6/3/2016 Stationery   500
        7/3/2016 Office Equipment   300
        9/3/2016 Bill   9000
        26/3/2016 Insurance   700
        28/3/2016 Salary   2000
        30/3/2016 Bills   1000






Date Description RM Date Description RM
      1/3/2016 Bank 350,000





Rental deposit
Date Description RM Date Description RM
2/3/2016 Bank 5000      
Date Description RM Date Description RM
2/3/2016 Bank 2000      



Date Description RM Date Description RM
3/3/2016 Bank 600      


Date Description RM Date Description RM
4/3/2016 Bank 700      


Restaurant chairs
Date Description RM Date Description RM
5/3/2016 Bank 4000      




Office Equipment
Date Description RM Date Description RM
6/3/2016 Bank 200      


Date Description RM Date Description RM
9/3/2016 Bank 9000      








Date Description RM Date Description RM
8/3/2016 Bank 90,000 18/3/2016 Drawings 450
11/3/2016 Ayamas 9000      








Date Description RM Date Description RM
      10/3/2016 Bank 60,000
      12/3/2016 Jomalima 72,000








Jomalima Companies
Date Description RM Date Description RM
12/3/2016 Sales 72,000 16/3/2016 Bank 50,000
      19/3/2016 Returns Inward 11,000
      23/3/2016 Bank 80,000






Returns Inward
Date Description RM Date Description RM
19/3/2016 Jomalima 11,000      


Date Description RM Date Description RM
25/3/2016 Loan 20,000      



Date Description RM Date Description RM
26/3/2016 Bank 700      








Bank Loan
Date Description RM Date Description RM
      25/3/2016 Car 20,000







Date Description RM Date Description RM
28/3/2016 Bank 2000      


Date Description RM Date Description RM
29/3/2016 Cash 400      


Date Description RM Date Description RM
30/3/2016 Bank 1000      




Qualitative characteristics

The usefulness of the financial information presented for the business was enhanced through the use of various characteristics of accounting which include: timely, understandable, verifiable and comparable. The first characteristic is comparability. The information provided above enables comparisons to be made across entities and within the same business. When made within the same entity, the information provided is compared from one period of accounting to another. The second qualitative characteristic of the information provided is verifiability (Needles, 2013, 32). This is because it helps to assure the different users of the information provided. The data presented is supported by evidence and can be audited at any moment. I realized that verifiability represents faithfully what it is supposed to represent.

The third qualitative characteristic that was considered is timeliness. This is because the data was provided in good time for the purposes of influencing the decision maker’s decision. The last qualitative characteristic that was employed is understandability. The financial information is provided in a concise and clear manner. Generally, financial information should be comprehensible and understandable to various users with reasonable knowledge of economic and business activities (Horngret et al, 2006, 4). However, I did not exclude any complex items for the purposes of making the report understandable and easy.

Accounting concepts

Based on the rules of accounting, I followed keenly five fundamental concepts in the preparation of the accounting information. The first concept used is the accounting period concept. This is because, only data pertaining to a particular period was considered in the preparation of accounts for that period (Lung, 2009). To ascertain the financial position of the business, the balance sheets and the profit & loss accounts were prepared on regular interval of times. The main purpose of having the specific accounting period is for me to take corrective measures keeping in view the past performances of the business with the intention of nullifying the effects of different seasonal changes. The second accounting concept that was employed in the preparation of the above accounting information is the going concern. This means that this particular entity is in good condition and will still continue to be in operations in the projected future.

The third accounting concept is the cost basis. This means that the value of the business’s assets with which I recorded are the actual costs that were paid. Therefore, the assets recording were not based on their market value. Business entity concept is another concept used in the preparation of the financial reports. This means that the business and the owner are two separate entities (Larbardin & Marc, 149, 2009). This means that the accounting records tend to reflect the financial activities of the business and not of the employees or owner. The last concept that was used is objectivity. This means the financial statements are based on verifiable evidence specifically an audit trail.

Usefulness to external users

The financial information provided above has several benefits to the external users who include: investors, creditors, suppliers and the government. The first advantage is that the information provided tells the external users of how much the business is making. For example, the government would be able to identify the amount of tax that would be paid by the business based on the income statements. Secondly, the financial information reveals about the retained earnings (Oler & Christopher, 2010, 635). This means that it is able to tell the external users about the amount of net income revealed in the financial statement is re invested back into the business. The third benefit is that it tells the external users about the exact accounts that the business has, and the exact amount that it has in each account. This information is particularly useful to creditors who will know the amount of cash the business has, and where it qualifies for a loan or not. Another benefit is that the statement of cash flows tends to tell the external users about which activities brought in revenues and which activities expensed out revenues. This would help them make relevant and useful decisions (Droms & Wright), 2010, 18). This is particularly important for investors who gave up some of their personal money to invest in the business. For this reason, they are keenly interested in knowing about the activities that tend to generate income.









Needles B.E (2013) “Principles of financial accounting” Financial Accounting Series (12 ed)     Cengage learning

Lung H (2009) “Fundamentals of financial accounting” Elsevier

Labardin, P & Marc N (2009) “Accounting and the words to tell it: A historical perspecrive”     Accounting business and financial history 19(2): 149-166

Droms W.G &Wright J.O (2010) “Finance and Accounting for nonfinancial managers: All the   basics you need to know” Basic Books

Oler D.K, Mitchel J.O & Chistopher J.S (2010) “Characterizing Accounting Research”   Accounting Horizons 24(4):635-670

Coyne J.G, Scott L.S Brady W. & David.W (2010) “Accounting Program Research Rankings by          Topical Area and Methodology” Issues in Accounting Education 25 (4): 631-654

Horngren C.T; Datar S.M; Foster G (2006) “Cost Accounting: A managerial Emphasis” 12 ed   New Jersy: Pearson Prentice Hall



























Business description

Marionette Company operates in consumer goods industry and has been in existence since 2014, when it first ventured into the market. Some of the products produced by this company include microwave oven and bicycles. It operates across the United States with 5 branches with more of its sales being generated from New York. It operates in a highly competitive industry, consumer goods. Among the major competitors are Nestle SA and Unilever PLC. The following is a narration of the company’s transaction s occurring during the month of March.

Preparation of financial statements

Here is the company’s status of account as at 1st of March. It shows all the balances that the company had in the account.

    01 Mar 2016
Account Number Description  Trial Balance: Opening Balance
DS-100 Fixed Assets                 9,445.00
DS-150 Accumulated Depreciation                          –
DS-200 Investments                 6,000.00
DS-300 Cash – Other                          –
DS-400 Debtors – Other                 1,000.00
DS-500 Creditors – Other                          –
DS-600 Creditors – Other                (1,160.00)
DS-700 Loan-long term liabilities              (16,200.00)
DS-800 Share Capital                   (100.00)



From this, several transactions occurred as follows:

3/1/2016 purchased a fixed asset @ 11403.51 which was financed by a loan.

3/2/2016 the company purchased product from two suppliers on credit one costing $1160 and $600 from another supplier

3/3/2016 the company paid the debtor a cheque worth 10000 to partly settle the previous balance

3/31/2016 the accumulated depreciation for the asset for the month was $5730

From this transaction, the following are the ledger accounts that are duly balanced:

dr Fixed ASSET cr
Bal b/d        9,445.00 bal c/d      15,118.51
Loan    11,403.51 Accumulated dep    (5,730.00)
   20,848.51    20,848.51
Bal b/d      15,118.51      



    bal b/d ds600      1,160.00
    purchases ds 500          600.00
    purchases ds600      2,003.37
bal c.d      3,763.37        3,763.37






Bal b/d 1000 bank    10,000.00
Bal b/d    23,000.00    
sales   bal c.d    14,000.00
bal c.d    24,000.00      24,000.00













From this, the trial balance was extracted and the following are the details:

    01 Mar 2016   01 Mar 2016   31 Mar 2016
Account Number Description  Template: Opening Balance  Trial Balance: Opening Balances  Account Movement  Trial Balance: Closing Balances
DS-100 Fixed Assets                 9,445.00                9,445.00         11,403.51            20,848.51
DS-150 Accumulated Depreciation                          –                         –          (5,730.00)             (5,730.00)
DS-200 Investments                 6,000.00                6,000.00           3,750.00              9,750.00
DS-300 Cash – Other                          –                         –                    –                       –
DS-400 Debtors – Other                 1,000.00                1,000.00                    –              1,000.00
DS-500 Creditors – Other                          –                         –            (600.00)                (600.00)
DS-600 Creditors – Other                (1,160.00)               (1,160.00)          (2,003.37)             (3,163.37)
DS-700 Loan-long term liabilities              (16,200.00)             (16,200.00)          (2,360.00)           (18,560.00)
DS-800 Share Capital                   (100.00)                  (100.00)                    –                (100.00)








The following is the income statement:

Marionette Income Statement
For the Years Ending [Mar1, 2016 and Mar31, 2016]
Revenue Mar,1,2016 31/3/2016
  Income from services                                  20,193                                                  20,193
  (Less sales returns and allowances)    
  Service revenue                                359,295                                                359,295
  Interest revenue    
  Other revenue    
Total Revenues                             379,488                                             379,488
  Bank charges                                    1,184                                                    1,184
  Interest expense                                    1,200                                                    1,200
  Commissions                                    6,532                                                    6,532
  computer expenses                                      966                                                       966
  Depreciation                                    5,730                                                    5,730
  office expense                                    1,004                                                    1,004
  Office Rent                                  67,368                                                  67,368
Total Expenses                               83,985                                               83,985
  Net Income Before Taxes                                295,502                                                295,502
  Income tax expense                                    6,300                                                    6,300
Income from Continuing Operations                             289,202                                             289,202
  {42} [42]
Net Income                             289,202                                             289,202



Balance sheet:

Account Description Mar-2016 Mar-2016
BS-100 Property, Plant & Equipment            9,445.00     15,118.51
BS-200 Investments            6,000.00       9,750.00
BS-DEBTORS Trade Debtors          23,000.00     12,000.00
BS-400 Other Debtors            1,000.00       1,000.00
BS-BANK Bank            4,400.00     20,446.27
BS-PCASH Petty Cash              200.00          201.00
BS-300 Other Cash Accounts                     –                –
  Total Assets          44,045.00     58,515.78
  Equity & Liabilities  
BS-800 Share Capital              100.00          100.00
BS-RETAINED Retained Earnings          21,485.00     21,485.00
DS-Drawing drawing                     –     13,139.41
BS-900 Reserves                     –                –
BS-700 Long Term Liabilities          15,200.00     17,560.00
BS-CREDITORS Trade Creditors            5,100.00       1,468.00
BS-500 Other Creditors            1,000.00       1,600.00
BS-600 Sales Tax Control            1,160.00       3,163.37
  Total Equity & Liabilities          44,045.00     58,515.78



Qualitative characteristics

The usefulness of the financial information presented for the business was enhanced through the use of various characteristics of accounting which include: timely, understandable, verifiable and comparable. The first characteristic is comparability. The information provided above enables comparisons to be made across entities and within the same business. When made within the same entity, the information provided is compared from one period of accounting to another. The second qualitative characteristic of the information provided is verifiability (Needles, 2013, 32). This is because it helps to assure the different users of the information provided. The data presented is supported by evidence and can be audited at any moment. I realized that verifiability represents faithfully what it is supposed to represent.

The third qualitative characteristic that was considered is timeliness. This is because the data was provided in good time for the purposes of influencing the decision maker’s decision. The last qualitative characteristic that was employed is understandability. The financial information is provided in a concise and clear manner. Generally, financial information should be comprehensible and understandable to various users with reasonable knowledge of economic and business activities (Horngret et al, 2006, 4). However, I did not exclude any complex items for the purposes of making the report understandable and easy.

Accounting concepts

Based on the rules of accounting, I followed keenly five fundamental concepts in the preparation of the accounting information. The first concept used is the accounting period concept. This is because, only data pertaining to a particular period was considered in the preparation of accounts for that period (Lung, 2009). To ascertain the financial position of the business, the balance sheets and the profit & loss accounts were prepared on regular interval of times. The main purpose of having the specific accounting period is for me to take corrective measures keeping in view the past performances of the business with the intention of nullifying the effects of different seasonal changes. The second accounting concept that was employed in the preparation of the above accounting information is the going concern. This means that this particular entity is in good condition and will still continue to be in operations in the projected future.

The third accounting concept is the cost basis. This means that the value of the business’s assets with which I recorded are the actual costs that were paid. Therefore, the assets recording were not based on their market value. Business entity concept is another concept used in the preparation of the financial reports. This means that the business and the owner are two separate entities (Larbardin & Marc, 149, 2009). This means that the accounting records tend to reflect the financial activities of the business and not of the employees or owner. The last concept that was used is objectivity. This means the financial statements are based on verifiable evidence specifically an audit trail.

Usefulness to external users

The financial information provided above has several benefits to the external users who include: investors, creditors, suppliers and the government. The first advantage is that the information provided tells the external users of how much the business is making. For example, the government would be able to identify the amount of tax that would be paid by the business based on the income statements. Secondly, the financial information reveals about the retained earnings (Oler & Christopher, 2010, 635). This means that it is able to tell the external users about the amount of net income revealed in the financial statement is re invested back into the business. The third benefit is that it tells the external users about the exact accounts that the business has, and the exact amount that it has in each account. This information is particularly useful to creditors who will know the amount of cash the business has, and where it qualifies for a loan or not. Another benefit is that the statement of cash flows tends to tell the external users about which activities brought in revenues and which activities expensed out revenues. This would help them make relevant and useful decisions (Droms & Wright), 2010, 18). This is particularly important for investors who gave up some of their personal money to invest in the business. For this reason, they are keenly interested in knowing about the activities that tend to generate income.









Needles B.E (2013) “Principles of financial accounting” Financial Accounting Series (12 ed)     Cengage learning

Lung H (2009) “Fundamentals of financial accounting” Elsevier

Labardin, P & Marc N (2009) “Accounting and the words to tell it: A historical perspecrive”     Accounting business and financial history 19(2): 149-166

Droms W.G &Wright J.O (2010) “Finance and Accounting for nonfinancial managers: All the   basics you need to know” Basic Books

Oler D.K, Mitchel J.O & Chistopher J.S (2010) “Characterizing Accounting Research”   Accounting Horizons 24(4):635-670

Coyne J.G, Scott L.S Brady W. & David.W (2010) “Accounting Program Research Rankings by          Topical Area and Methodology” Issues in Accounting Education 25 (4): 631-654

Horngren C.T; Datar S.M; Foster G (2006) “Cost Accounting: A managerial Emphasis” 12 ed   New Jersy: Pearson Prentice Hall



























Theories of Deviance: Interview Analysis


Theories of Deviance





Theories of Deviance


We all live in a society where there are particular rules and regulations that govern the code of conduct of individuals (Downes, Rock & McLaughlin, 2016). We have to abide and live in accordance to the norms and ethical standards that are acceptable but in some cases, there are those individuals who deviate from the norms and act contrary to society expectations.  Deviance describes the actions and behaviors that that violates the social norms (Franzese, 2015). The objective of this paper is to explore the various reasons that lead to deviance in the modern society. In order to understand in deeper details, two interviews will be conducted and theories of deviance will be used to explain the reasons given by the respondents.

Set of questions for the interviews

  1. What do you understand from the term deviance?
  2. Why do people break the rules?
  3. Does breaking rules means committing crime?, if not so, what the difference between deviance and crime
  4. What are some of the effective ways that would prevent people from breaking the rules set by the society

Respondent 1-Winnie

Winnie was the alias name given to the first respondent. She works at a coffee shop nearby. She approximately 22 years old, Winnie is a friend of mine that I have known for so many years since our childhood. The interview was conducted at her work place on a Friday afternoon. According to Winnie, deviance means the act of failing to observe the laws governing the people, she said people break the rules for various reasons, some do it just because they are seeking attention, others are not aware the laws while some break the laws because they are forced by circumstances. Winnie believes there is a difference between deviance and committing crime. She defines crime as violation of laws that can cause harm to the society. The most effective ways of preventing people from breaking the laws are education on the consequences of violation of laws and implementing tough punishment procedures

Respondent 2-Chrispers

Chrispers is also an alias for the second respondent, he is a 55 years old man and a retired banker. I have no personal relationship with the Chrispers and just met him on a shopping mall. He defined deviance as the inability to observe the stipulated guidelines set by the society. According to him, people break the rules mostly because they are forced by circumstances and only in a few instances, normal human beings violate the rules. Chrispers says there is no difference between deviance and committing crime because, in either way, there are consequences for breaking the rules. The best way of deviance prevention is through imposing of strict measures of dealing with the people who break the rules, he cited imprisonment as one of the best ways.

Application of theories

According to Winnie, there are various reasons why people break the rules, and in all of the instances, the people have the ability to make choices but due to their own desires or other compelling reasons, they choose to break the rules. The conflict theory of deviance is the suitable theory applicable in explaining the ideas and reasons given by Winnie as the first respondent.  The conflict theory states that, in a society setting, each individual or a group functions in such a way that, the individual or the groups struggles to maximize their benefits and in the process contributing to societal changes and revolutions (Clinard, 2016). Depending on how an individual interprets and understands the changes, he or she may end up breaking the rules when trying to maximize their benefits. The conflict theory also states that, the fundamental forces of crime are economic, social forces and to some extent, the political forces that operates within the society context (Andersen & Taylor, 2008).

The structural-functional theories will be applied in explaining the issues raised by the second respondent, MR. Chrispers, deviance is the inability to observe the societal norms and guidelines. The structural-functional theories on the other hands states that, when the structural norms are clearly defined and consistent with the structure and the society status, the rates of deviances will be low because many people are aligned in accordance with the society structure (Johnson, 2008). Individuals will be less concerned about deviance because they are part of the society and are the principle functional units. Therefore, the people breaking rules will be going against the functions and structure of the society and hence committing crime (Goode, 2015).


Both respondents agrees that, deviance is an act that reflects negativity to the society and at all costs, people should be discouraged from engaging in deviance activities. Strict and tough punishment emerged as the best mitigation procedure for preventing people from committing crimes and breaking the rules. In support of the arguments and sentiments raised by the respondents, deviance is an act committed by people with ill motives. We all know what is right and what is wrong, there is no justification that can be given to someone who breaks the rules and regulations. The functionality of the society depends on how well the people observes the norms and cultures that have been existence for decades.


Franzese, R. J. (2015). The sociology of deviance: Differences, tradition, and stigma. Springfield, Illinois Charles C Thomas Publisher Ltd

Clinard, M. B. (2016). Sociology of deviant behavior. Boston, MA, USA : Cengage learning

Andersen, M. L., & Taylor, H. F. (2008). Sociology: Understanding a diverse society. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Johnson, D. P. (2008). Contemporary sociological theory: An integrated multi-level approach. New York: Springer.

Downes, D., Rock, P., & McLaughlin, E. (2016). Understanding deviance: a guide to the sociology of crime and rule-breaking. Oxford University Press.

Goode, E. (2015). Ethical issues in the qualitative study of deviance and crime. The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology, 49.





Getting Beyond Counting




The central theme of the paper is to address the management of decision-making systems in finance. The article starts by focusing more on why CPAs usually hate being referred to as bean counters. However, the most critical aspect that is found existing in the journal is to address the points of historical counting, comparing, recording and reporting of financial information. The journal in many of instances tries to focus on how data can be used in making various valid business decisions. The role of the article is to come up with the theme those accountants in business and other industries can have the capability of revitalizing themselves by making sure they offer the necessary information in a suitable manner to the right people. Besides that, the collection of CPA data on how such data can be presented to useful management and investors, banks and internal revenue services. Further, the  article seems to assist managers so that they can run their respective businesses and get more profitable returns(William and Michaelle,1996).


From the analysis of the journal, it can be outlined that the role of the article on GBC is to make sure that all “getting beyond counting” models  tends to focus more on the articulation of a vision of accounting as information to relevant professionals. On recommendations regarding GBC, it is said that GBC should ensure that data is well presented to different accountants to make it easy for managers to handle the data in a suitable manner. For an organization to make more profits as a result of adopting GBC, it becomes necessary to make sure data is presented in a manner that it can be understood by investors and other financial institutions. The use of reporting in GBC should be based on ensuring that necessary decision-making methods are used in analyzing financial statements and making it easy for representation of different data across the entire business units. In conclusion, it can be argued out that GBC is one of the means that can be used to ensure financial data is well designed(William and Michaelle,1996).To ensure GBC is effective, financial data should always be correct and be acceptable by different decision-making platforms. When coming up with GBC issues, accuracy is another aspect that should be considered. For accuracy to be met, decision-making systems should be optimal and deliver the necessary accounting information to relevant departments.




Getting beyond Counting by Reeb, William L.; Cameron, Michaelle Year of publication 1996












There are multiple scientific definitions used about Dementia. The term ‘dementia’ is applied to a collection of signs and symptoms such as loss of control of physical functionality, changes in behavior and mood, challenges in planning and organizing one’s daily activities, challenges in communication and memory lapses. These indicators, taken together, indicate possible physical brain damage, owing to an acute progressive deterioration of nerve cells. This progressive brain damage can come because of a combination of various ailments: whereas Alzheimer’s is the best-known and most common cause of Dementia, there are other, similarly known causes, for instance, prion ailments, alcohol-associated dementia frontal, temporal dementia, as well as vascular dementia. For this research, the term ‘dementia’ will refer to a combination of all these factors that result in brain damage.

Incidence of Dementia

Estimations of the rate of incidence of Dementia vary widely across the different averaged age sets. The rate of occurrence among individuals aged over 85 years, for instance, has a higher rate of occurrence that estimations of individuals aged from 65 years and above. Laures-Gore (2012) notes that one in every five individuals aged over 80 years has some form of dementia (Ishi et al., 2016). Furthermore, data relating to the rate of prevalence is frequently classified more narrowly or more widely than ‘dementia.’ The CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), for instance, cites data for prevalence rates for certain specific causative factors for dementia, usually Alzheimer’s disease, whereas the NIH (National Institute of Health) incorporates dementia within the serious mental disease category.

Information relating to the spread of Alzheimer’s shows an increasing rate of occurrence. Beginning at the age of 65 years, chances of contracting the disease increases twofold every five years (Laures-Gore, 2012). At the time one is hitting 85 years, between 25% and nearly 50% of the individuals will have started exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer’s illness. The CDC estimates that nearly 5.3 million US citizens have Alzheimer’s and other related ailments. Estimations further indicate that by the year 2050, that number is anticipated to be twice as much, owing to aging of the baby boomers generation. Scholars have singled Alzheimer’s disease as the sixth largest cause of death in the US (Beckett, 2015). The disease has further been singled out by Heron et al. (2009) as the leading cause of death among senior citizens aged 65 years and above.

It is important to note that, in spite its strong link with old age, the disease is not specifically a reserve of the old persons. It is estimated that 900,000 individuals under the age of 65 years living in North America have dementia. Similarly, in the UK, it is estimated that 18,050 people below 65 years have dementia. These numbers represent slightly fewer than 2.5% of both the United States and the UK populations of individuals living with dementia. Individuals living with Down syndrome (Prasher, 2014) are at a higher risk of suffering from dementia at an early age, with a projected incidence rate of approximately 9% of the individuals aged between 40 and 49 years, as well as 36% of individuals aged between 50 years and 59 years (Heron et al., 2009).

Risk Factors

Medical research analysts have discovered various significant risk factors that are closely associated with dementia. These comprise genetics and age, but also lifestyle choices and medical conditions. An individual’s risk of developing dementia is dependent on a blend of all these risk elements. Some risk factors, for instance, genetics, which is passed on from one generation to the other and age are beyond our control (Beckett, 2015). The other risk factors include controllable elements, for instance, certain life’s choices such as smoking, which increases the risk of developing dementia.

Different dementia risk elements additionally appear to be significant at various stages in a human being’s life. For instance, multiple studies indicate that remaining in education past the age of 17 years appears to lessen risk factors in old age. A majority of the most common and avoidable risk factors for the disease, which include type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, seem to initially appear between the ages of 40 years and 65 years (mid-life). Researchers have claimed that changes in the chemical composition of the brain, which begins in mid ages may be directly associated with the high rates of occurrence. The following are some notable risk factors for dementia.


Of all known risk factors for dementia, age is the strongest risk factor. Whereas there is a possibility of developing the disease at an early age, the probability of developing dementia increases largely as people grow older. After reaching 65 years, an individual’s likelihood of contracting the disease becomes twice as high every five years (Beckett, 2015). Such a high prevalence rate is attributed to factors such as immune system changes; the natural flagging of the body’s natural healing and repair systems; loss of sex-related hormones after experiencing changes in mid-life; changes to cell structure, DNA, and nerve cells; increased risk of cardiovascular conditions, for instance, stroke and heart disease; and high blood pressure.


Research indicates that women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s as opposed to men. The rates for women victims are significantly higher, despite their age at death being significantly higher than that of men. It is not yet clear why women have higher incidence rates. Scholars have many times suggested that Alzheimer’s disease among women is associated with lack of estrogen – the female sex hormone especially after reaching menopause. There are, however, no medical tests to support this argument. For a majority of dementias that is not specifically associated with Alzheimer’s, women and men have similar levels of risk (Mayo et al., 2013). In cases involving vascular dementia, the prevalence rates for men are higher than for women. It is the reason why cases of heart disease and stroke in men are higher than in women.


Some evidence shows that individuals from various ethnic communities have a higher likelihood. For instance, people living in South Asia – countries such as Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh have higher rates of developing vascular dementia than natives from western countries. South Asians are known to have extremely high occurrence rates of diabetes, coronary ailments and stroke, which scholars argue explains the higher rates of dementia. Equally, individuals of African origin have higher rates of occurrence of dementia. Africans are more susceptible to stroke and diabetes (Beckett, 2015). These effects can be traced down to a blend of variances in genes, exercise, smoking, and diet.


Medical researchers have known for a long time that genes handed over from one generation to the other can affect people’s levels of susceptibility to certain ailments. There is insufficient evidence highlighting the importance of genes lineages about the illness. Nonetheless, significant strides have been made in the world of science in the recent past. Researchers have discovered about 21 genes that enhance the risk factors associated with dementia (Prasher, 2014). For instance, APOE (Apolipoprotein) increases individuals’ chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, there are high chances of developing the disease if one or multiple immediate family members have the disease.

Diseases and Medical Conditions

Cardiovascular Factors. There are strong indications that ailments or conditions that affect blood circulation, arteries, and the heart have an effect on an individual’s probability of developing the condition. The primary cardiovascular risk factors for dementia include obesity – in mid-life, high blood cholesterol levels, high BP (Blood Pressure) and type 2 diabetes. These risk factors are avoidable for cardiovascular ailments (heart disease and stroke, for instance, abnormal heart movements) and dementia.

Depression. Individuals that have suffered from depression whether early or in later years additionally have higher rates of developing dementia. There is no medical evidence linking depression to dementia directly. There is some evidence, nonetheless, which indicates that dementia developed between ages 45 and 60 results in higher risks of dementia in old age (Beckett, 2015). Contrastingly, instances, where individuals suffer depression later in life, may be early signs and symptoms of possibilities of developing dementia as opposed to being a risk factor.

Lifestyle Factors

Medical researchers have established that lifestyle choices have an effect on risks of developing dementia, particularly concerning risks touching on cardiovascular wellbeing. Large group studies indicate that risk of developing dementia is moderate in individuals who have reasonable healthy behaviors between ages of 40 and 60. These behaviors, scholars argue, include maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, moderate alcohol consumption, not smoking, and practicing a regular body toning or physical exercise regime. Practicing the above-listed routines reduces dementia-related risks.

Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia symptoms can vary based on the stage of the disease and diagnosis. Even though late-stage symptoms and signs may be the same across etiologies, distinguishing early signs and symptoms can differ significantly. For instance, people with Huntington’s disease and Frontotemporal dementia experience depression and behavior changes. On the other hand, individuals with primary progressive aphasia endure a continued loss of dialectal functionality; and people suffering from Binswanger’s disease, which is a different vascular dementia experience dysphagia and dysarthria – two conditions linked to neurological challenges (Pendlebury et al., 2010). Beliefs, opinions regarding the aging process and cultural values about the decline of cognitive abilities may affect an individual’s or family’s decision regarding salutary services. In addition, it may sometimes delay or inhibit individuals from seeking assistance until signs are evidently above the mild or early stages.

People with dementia report a continued loss of memory. As the illnesses aggravate, early signs intensify, and in the end, affects the individual’s capacity to function independently and communicate effectively. The following are the common symptoms and signs of dementia.


People with dementia are attention deficient. Common characteristics include among other things being distracted easily; challenges in giving attention, save for simplifications and restrictions; process information at a reduced speed – processing takes longer than expected.

Memory and Learning

Common memory and learning insufficiencies include challenges in remembering and acquiring new data (information), for instance, new routines, events, or appointments (Blackburn, 2014); working/short-term memory loss – Acute forgetfulness of information recently acquired or seen; and periodic memory lapses, including challenges in recollecting specific experiences, situations or autobiographical events.

Executive Functioning and Reasoning

Executive functioning and common reasoning deficits comprise mental capacity deficits; lack of inhibition (Ronnald et al., 2015). Others include challenges in correcting personal errors, self-monitoring, and reacting to feedback; challenges in handling intricate tasks and multi-tasking; impaired reasoning and poor judgment; challenges in making sound decisions concerning safety; challenges in planning, and setting objectives, including dependence on other individuals to make decisions or plan activities.

Social Behavior and Cognition

Common cognition and social behavior deficits include delusions and paranoia of persecution (Ronnald et al., 2015). Others include loss of motivation/initiative; strange or erratic behavior; obsessive or compulsive conduct; negative response to questioning; depression; restlessness; fluctuation of mood, including crying and agitation; loss of empathy; and reduced capacity of reading facial expressions.

Types of Dementia

Currently, there are more than 100 dementia categories the most prevalent being Alzheimer’s disease. The CDC reports indicate that Alzheimer’s has the most number of victims of all cases of reported dementia, averaged at 62%. Others categories include Parkinson’s disease (2%), frontotemporal dementia (2%), Lewy bodies dementia (4%), and vascular dementia (16.9%) (Yamin et al., 2016). There are other less prevalent causes of dementia, which include; syphilis, prion illnesses, alcohol-based dementias, and the Huntington’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease

For the duration of the disease, abnormally folded, as well as excessive bodily proteins, which accumulate in the human brain, bring about the growth and formation of elements commonly referred to as protein ‘plaques’ around “tangles” and neurons, which leads to the suffocation of the brain cells, and in particular in the area mandated for keeping memory. The level of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) are additionally affected, a situation which results in the disruption of brain communication (Yamin et al., 2016). A blend of these factors, including diet, environmental factors, genetic inheritance, and age compound the challenges further, enhancing the disease progression.

Vascular Dementia

Vascular dementia is a series of many strokes that results in the damaging of the blood vessels network – also commonly referred to as the human body vascular network, which is responsible for transporting blood within the human brain network. The resultant interruptions in oxygen supply – which is usually transported in the form of hemoglobin often results in the death of the human brain cells. Dead cells in the brain subsequently lead to vascular dementia, characterized by death of brain cells. Vascular dementia risk factors include diabetes, high level of cholesterol, heart challenges, and high blood pressure. Vascular dementia is also caused by Binswanger’s disease, also commonly known as ‘sub-cortical VD (Vascular Dementia).’

PDD (Parkinson’s Disease Dementia) and (DLB) Lewy Bodies Dementia

Lewy bodies are round protein elements that accumulate in brain cells, interrupt the chemical composition of the brain, and unsettle the regular operational processes of the brain cells. The same protein deposits are found in victims of the Parkinson’s. Research indicates that many victims of Parkinson’s develop dementia later on in life. The correlation between PDD and DLB is intricate at the very least. Researchers argue that while the two disorders constitute part of the same band, they result in varied symptoms and signs owing to the differences in the manner in which the Lewy bodies are distributed in the brain.

Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD)

FTD (Frontotemporal dementia) is one of the most intermittent types of dementia. The term – Frontotemporal – covers an extensive range of conditions including dementia related to motor neuron ailment, front lobe degeneration, and Pick’s disease. FTD is caused by extensive damage to the temporal lobe or frontal lobe of the brain (Revesz et al., 2011). Nearly 50% of all the diagnosed cases report a family history of the disease in the familial lineage. Even though symptoms differ between different people, damage typically is seen in the front part of the brain, at first affecting behavior and mood more than the individual’s memory.

Treatment Options

Presently, the currently available treatment options for dementia are not able to reverse the causal degeneration of a human’s brain cells, even though they might provisionally delay or improve cognitive functionality (Paranji et al., 2016).


For dementia treatment, Cholinesterase inhibitors can be applied to people showing moderate signs and experts should administer the treatment for such people. An individual’s past cognitive capacities – whether low or high – should be considered when evaluating their ailment as moderate. Memantine should only be administered to individuals with moderately acute Alzheimer’s (Harrison Dening et al., 2016).

Cholinesterase Inhibitors for Alzheimer’s Disease. A majority of individuals would put into consideration rivastigmine, galantamine, and donepezil, which form part of cholinergic medication for the ailment. These three drugs have varied pharmacological properties, although they operate through the inhibition of the breaking down of acetylcholine, a significant neurotransmission agent linked with memory through obstructing acetylcholinesterase (Harrison Dening et al., 2016).

Memory Training Programs

Memory training programs concentrate on retraining or improving memory skills through methods such as didactic approaches, vanishing cues, procedural memory stimulation, errorless learning, and spaced retrieval (Peavy et al., 2000).

Reality Orientation

RO (reality orientation) comprises a method for improving quality and reducing confusion of life of persons diagnosed with dementia through the provision of orientation information (person, place or time) to further enhance the awareness and understanding of the environment (Lewis et al., 2015). All throughout the day, information is repeated at unvarying intervals.


Nutrition involves changes to one’s diet. Dietary changes comprise changing the taste, temperature, texture, and viscosity of liquid or food to facilitate ease of swallowing and safety. Characteristic changes may incorporate pureeing solid foods, chopping, softening, or thickening liquids, for instance, juice, coffee, or water. Temperature or taste of food may be changed to give extra additional sensory matter for eating, and preferences of the person are put into consideration to the farthest extent (Kwok, 2007). The medical safety of the treatments and nutritional needs are additionally put into consideration before changing the diet.













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