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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


Students with disabilities were as likely to be enrolled in schools where students have Internet access as were those without disabilities (51 percent of both groups) in fall 1996. Insufficiently trained special education teachers was the most frequently cited moderate or major barrier (47 percent) to the use of advanced telecommunications by students with disabilities. But this factor was less of a barrier in schools where training in advanced telecommunications was available for all teachers and where incentives were provided to all teachers to participate in such training. About one-third of public schools reported the following factors were moderate or major barriers to the use of advanced telecommunications by students with disabilities: too few computers available to students with disabilities, too few computers with alternative input/ output devices for students with disabilities, and insufficient evaluation and support services to meet the special technology needs of students with disabilities. Generally, barriers to such use by disabled students were more frequently cited in schools with higher proportions of poor students and in larger schools.