New Online Issue of the Journal of Special Education Technology

February 23, 2004

The latest issue of the Journal of Special Education Technology is devoted to papers presented at the Technology Capacity Building Institute: Empowering Students with Disabilities as They Transition to College and Careers, which was held in Seattle on April 7 and 8, 2003. This event was sponsored by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports (NCSPES), and Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT).

http://jset.unlv.edu/18.4/issuemenu.html

Guest Editors
Sheryl Burgstahler, University of Washington
Peg Lamb, Holt Public Schools

Featured Articles


Introduction to the Special Thematic Issue

This issue of JSET is devoted to papers presented at the Technology Capacity Building Institute, Empowering Students with Disabilities as They Transition to College and Careers, which was held in Seattle on April 7 and 8, 2003. The event was sponsored by the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports (NCSPES), and Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology (DO-IT). The purpose of the Institute was to discuss how stakeholders students with disabilities and their families, K-12 educators, college disabilities support staff, vocational rehabilitation counselors, local, state, and federal policy makers, textbook and technology publishers, and employers can assure that:

  1. all individuals with disabilities have access to technology that promotes positive academic and career outcomes.
  2. all people with disabilities use technology in ways that contribute to positive postsecondary academic and career outcomes and self-determined lives.
  3. there is a seamless transition of availability of technology for all people with disabilities as they move from K-12 to postsecondary to career environments.

Guest speakers were invited based on their expertise regarding technology, postsecondary education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. Presentations and discussion topics included the value and the role of technology in preparing students with disabilities for postsecondary education and employment, steps to ensure that technology is accessible to everyone, the impact of a universally designed curricula, the role of the rehabilitation counselor in procuring technology, and the employers' perspective on technology-access and other accommodations in the workplace. After each presentation, participants met in stakeholder groups to discuss issues presented by the speaker and summarized barriers and solutions regarding technology access, from the perspective of the stakeholder groups they represented. The Technology Capacity Building Institute proceedings, including a summary of participant findings, can be found at http://www.ncset.hawaii.edu/institutes. This special issue of JSET includes the series of papers presented at the Institute. Together, they discuss key topics regarding technology's role in empowering people with disabilities to become full participants in postsecondary education, the workplace of the 21st Century, and their communities.

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, in the Role of Technology in Preparing Youth with Disabilities for Postsecondary Education and Employment, sets the stage for other papers by providing an overview of the issues that must be addressed in order for electronic and information technology to reach its promise to level the playing field in education and employment. Mr. Terry Thompson, in Spokes in the Wheel: The Critical Role of all Players in Making Technology Accessible, follows up by enumerating the roles and interrelationships of individuals and organizations that must be involved in order to make computer access a reality for everyone.

In Findings from the Study of Transition, Technology and Postsecondary Supports for Youth with Disabilities: Implications for Secondary School Educators, Drs. Robert Stodden and Megan Conway describe research findings that highlight the current status of postsecondary access, discuss the barriers to successful transition to postsecondary education, and explore implications of these findings for secondary school preparation. Chuck Hitchcock, in AT, UD, UDL and Improved Learning Opportunities, addresses the benefits that are likely to derive from shifting our focus to developing and implementing a universally designed curriculum regarding goals for learning, learning materials, instructional methods, and assessments.

In The Role of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Procuring Technology to Facilitate Success in Postsecondary Education for Youth with Disabilities, Dr. Peg Lamb discusses findings from a study in which counselors and college graduates with disabilities describe the role of the counselor and the technology and other supports/services that are most critical in completing college programs and obtaining employment. Dr. Richard Leucking, in Employer Perspectives on Hiring and Accommodating Youth in Transition, examines effective workplace supports and accommodations including technology and relates them to employer perspectives of bringing youth with disabilities into the workplace.

As guest editors of this journal we are both excited and honored to present this series of articles that focus on issues related to the role of technology in promoting academic and career success for individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler
Director, DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology)
University of Washington

Dr. Peg Lamb
Director, NSF Bridges Transition Project
Holt Public Schools, Holt, MI