Assistive technology and the self-esteem of students with learning disabilities
Master of Education
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This thesis explored the relationship between using assistive technology (AT), and the self-esteem of students with learning disabilities (LD). A case study was created for each of two participants and were compared in a cross case analysis. Each case study considered the participants' backgrounds as learners, and investigated their educational experiences prior to and during their participation in an assistive technology program. Although the standardized test scores of the two students did not confirm that there had been an appreciable improvement in academic performance, the in-depth interviews with the students, their parents, and teachers, indicated a perception of improvement. Further, these interviews and the use of a questionnaire that measured levels of self-esteem indicated that AT improved the individual students' self esteem, made them more willing participants in school activities, improved their status among their peers and made them optimistic about their future academic achievements. These results support the use of AT whether or not it improves standardized test scores.