Perspectives of Special Educators about Assistive Technology Services for Persons with Disabilities
As per the 2011 census of India, there are around 2.68 Crore persons are with several disability conditions, which is 2.21% of the total population. Among them nearly 70% of the population lives in rural areas of India. Assistive technology means any products, instruments, equipment or technology adapted or specially designed for improving the functioning of a person with a disability (ICF, n.d.). It is mainly used for enhancing the functional ability of individuals, and improves their participatory level in their society. The role of the service providers is being a determining factor for attaining full benefits of using assistive devices. The characteristics of professionals like attitude, professional knowledge, and their level of involvement in providing services make an impact on assistive technology services. Due to various factors, nearly 30% of assistive devices are rejected by persons with disabilities. Some research studies tried to explore these factors by collecting perspectives of teachers but still, the data are not sufficient to conclude the factors. In order to support these sort of initiations and improve assistive technology services in our society, it was decided to conduct a study to explore commonest adaptive devices used in our community for persons with disabilities, to explore the need of conducting a training program for service providers, explore in need of new assistive devices and difficulties in using assistive devices.
Keywords- Assistive Technology Services, Rehabilitation Professionals Perspectives, Commonest Devices.