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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 barriers to advanced telecommunications use by students with disabilities greater in some schools than in others?

Public schools with higher concentrations of poor students, as measured by the proportion of students in the school eligible for the federally funded free or reduced-price lunch program, were generally more likely to report moderate or major barriers to the use of advanced telecommunications by students with disabilities (Table 2). For example, the proportion of regular public schools reporting insufficient training of special education teachers in the use of advanced telecommunications as a moderate or major barrier was 37 percent for schools with the fewest poor students compared to 58 percent of schools with the highest proportion of poor students. 2

School size, but not the percentage of students with disabilities (Table 2), was related to the likelihood of reporting some of the five factors as moderate or major barriers. Large schools (those with enrollments of 1,000 or more students) were more likely than small schools (enrollments under 300 students) to report lack of alternative input/ output devices and insufficient training in advanced telecommunications among special education teachers as moderate or major barriers to the use of the school's advanced telecommunications resources by students with disabilities.

2 This pattern was evident for four of the five barriers by the poverty measure. The exception was whether administrators saw advanced telecommunications as relevant for the instruction of disabled students.