Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Teaching and Learning

Committee Chair

Bauder, Debra K.

Author's Keywords

Assistive technology; Visual impairments; Blindness


Children with visual disabilities--Services for--Kentucky; Children with visual disabilities--Education--Kentucky; Self-help devices for people with disabilities--Kentucky; Students with disabilities--Services for--Kentucky


Assistive technology (AT) helps make the curriculum accessible to students with visual impairments. Studies have shown that half of these students are using assistive technologies. The purpose of this study was to seek a better understanding of the various factors related to assistive technology use by students with visual impairments in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Through the use of the online survey provider, Survey Monkey™, an invitation to participate in the Assistive Technology Use by Students with Visual Impairments (ATSVI) survey was sent to a list of all TVIs teaching in Kentucky. Of 117 invited participants, 71% responded and 62% of the questionnaires met the criteria of inclusion. Demographic data were gathered on the TVIs, including years of experience, degrees obtained, caseload size, size and type of employing district (residential or non-residential) and the extent and areas of AT training. Teachers also provided data about their student AT use, including the extent of low and high-tech use according to the student's primary learning media. Additionally, TVIs provided AT funding source data. Significant correlation was not found between the size of employing district, years of teaching experience, level of education, specific areas of AT training and the extent of assistive technology use. Significant negative correlation was found between TVI caseload size and the extent of AT use. Significant positive correlation was found between the amount of overall AT training and the extent of AT use. Several conclusions were made from the study's results. To increase assistive technology use by students with visual impairments, 1) TVIs should be encouraged to seek more AT training and AT providers should consider developing more on-line training, 2) training should be developed in specific AT areas according to TVIs surveyed needs, 3) TVI caseload sizes need to be smaller, and 4) TVIs need to be familiar with the large array of funding sources available for AT.