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What are the Barriers to the Use of Advanced Telecommunications for Students with Disabilities in Public Schools?
NCES: 2000042
January 2000

Are there barriers to the use of advanced telecommunications by students with disabilities?

Public schools were asked about five possible barriers to the use of their advanced telecommunications resources by students with disabilities. The factor schools were most likely to cite as a moderate or major barrier (47 percent) was special education teachers not being sufficiently trained in using advanced telecommunications 1(Table 2). Fewer public schools cited not having enough computers available to students with disabilities (34 percent), not having enough computers with alternative input/ output devices for students with disabilities (38 percent), and inadequate evaluation and support services to meet the special technology needs of students with disabilities (39 percent).

1 A survey in 1995 found that 61 percent of schools reported lack of or inadequately trained staff as a major or moderate barrier to using advanced telecommunications in all schools (U.S. Department of Education 1996), and a 1998 survey found that 20 percent of regular classroom teachers in public schools reported feeling "very well prepared" to integrate technology into classroom instruction (U.S. Department of Education 1999b).