Psychology (PSYC) 476

Technology for Students with Diverse Learning Needs (Revision 6)

PSYC 476 Course

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: EDPY 351

Precluded Course: PSYC 476 is a cross-listed course—a course available in two different disciplines—with EDPY 476. PSYC 476 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for EDPY 476 or PSYC 576.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Psychology home page

PSYC 476 is not available for challenge.

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This course introduces teachers and other educational professionals to 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 a school or larger community setting. With the support of assistive technology, individuals with disabilities discover that they can have control over their environment, enabling them to develop a sense of competence and independence. In this course, you will also develop the necessary skills and knowledge to implement assistive technology, and gain an understanding of how this technology can act as a potential equalizer for all participants in a learning environment.

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed PSYC 476, you will be able to do the following:

  1. Participate in identifying assistive technology needs of students with special needs.
  2. Access appropriate assistive technology resources.
  3. Participate in a multi-disciplinary team assessment.
  4. Implement assistive technology in the classroom or other educational settings.
  5. Participate in an evaluation of the effectiveness of assistive technology.


Part 1: Benefits of Technology Use

  • Unit 1 – Introduction to Assistive Technology
  • Unit 2 – Technology to Support Writing
  • Unit 3 – Technology to Support Reading
  • Unit 4 – Technology to Support Universal Design for Learning
  • Unit 5 – Technology for Math
  • Unit 6 – Communication
  • Unit 7 – Supporting Positive Behaviour

Part 2: Access to Computer and Mobile Devices

  • Unit 8: Accessing Computers and Mobile Devices

Part 3: Augmentative Communication

  • Unit 9 – Selecting and Designing a System
  • Unit 10 – Early Communication
  • Unit 11 – Integrating Augmentative Communication in the Environment

Part 4: Putting It All Together

  • Unit 12 – Decision Making
  • Unit 13 – Implementation in Schools
  • Unit 14 – Transition Planning


To receive credit for PSYC 476, you must complete a Planning Activity, contribute to eight Discussion Forum topics, keep a journal, and write a Case Study. To receive credit for this course, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on each assignment and an overall course grade of at least D (50 percent).

Activity Weighting
Planning Activity 15%
Case Study 30%
Discussion Forum 10%
Journals (3) 45%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Dell, A., Newton, D., & Petroff, J. (2017). Assistive technology in the classroom: Enhancing the school experiences of students with disabilities (3rd ed). Pearson Education.

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

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 6, October 27, 2020.

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