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Psychology (PSYC) 576

Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs (Revision 2)

Delivery Mode:Individualized-Study or Grouped study depending on Professor's schedule. Contact MAIS Office for particulars.


Precluded Course:PSYC 576 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for Athabasca University's PSYC 476.

Note: One of the large assignments in PSYC 576 is a review of an Assistive Technology (AT) tool. The Athabasca University Library has quite a large collection of tools that Canadian and US students can borrow for this project. However, the AT equipment will not be sent to overseas locations. Therefore, international students must ensure they have local access to an AT tool that will allow them to complete this requirement of the course, prior to registering for PSYC 576.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Integrated Studies

**Note:Students in Group Study courses are advised that this syllabus may vary in key details in each instance of the course. Always refer to the Moodle site for the most up-to-date details on texts, assignment structure, and grading.**


Psychology 576: Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs. This three-credit, graduate-level course focuses on assistive technology tools, strategies, and support services. Assistive technology (AT) refers to equipment that improves the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. It includes hardware such as augmentative communication devices, adaptive tools, and software designed to support the participation of individuals with disabilities in the school or larger community. With the support of assistive technology, individuals with disabilities discover they have control over their environment, and develop a sense of competence and independence. Students participating in this course will learn about assistive technology, develop the skills and knowledge to implement assistive technology, and come to understand how the appropriate use of assistive technologies can act as a potential equalizer for all participants in a learning (or working) environment.

Course Structure

Psychology 576 is divided into four sections, with each section covering a different set of topics relating the assistive technology. Each section is further divided into units, with each unit focusing on a specific aspect of the topic being studied.

Part 1: The Fundamentals of Assistive Technology

Part 2: Assistive Technology Tools in the Curriculum

Part 3: Assistive Technology for Students Special Needs

Part 4: Special Topics

Course Objectives

By the end of the course students will be able to

  • Participate in the identification of assistive technology needs of students with special needs.
  • Access appropriate assistive technology resources.
  • Actively participate in a multi-disciplinary team assessment.
  • Implement assistive technology in the classroom or other educational setting.
  • Participate in an evaluation of the effectiveness of assistive technology.


To receive credit for this course, students must participate in the online activities, successfully complete the assignments, and achieve a final mark of at least 60 per cent. Students should be familiar with the Master of Arts—Integrated Studies grading system. Please note that it is students' responsibility to maintain their program status. Any student who receives a grade of "F" in one course, or a grade of "C" in more than one course, may be required to withdraw from the program.

The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weights associated with them.

Course Activity Weighting
Online Participation 22%
AT Tool Review 22%
Personal Competencies Summary Essay 26%
Course Project 30%
Total 100%

Course Materials


There are no printed textbooks for this course.

Athabasca University Printed Materials

Reading File: The Reading File contains selected articles from various sources that are required reading for this course.

Athabasca University Online Materials

Course Home Page: You will find Course Information (including the Assignment File and other pertinent information) at the top of the course home page. You will also find your Study Guide presented unit by unit online. You will find your assignments and links to submit your work to your professor on the course home page.

Athabasca University Library: Students are encouraged to browse the Library's Web site to review the Library collection of journal databases, electronic journals, and digital reference tools:

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, May 1, 2011.

Last updated by MAIS; 08/05/2014 13:51:13