Psychology (PSYC) 576

Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs (Revision 3)

PSYC 576 Course Cover

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

Credits: 3

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

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies

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**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 is a three-credit, graduate-level 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 the school or larger community setting

Course Objectives

Students in Psychology 576: Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs will be able to achieve the following course objectives.

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


Dell, A., Newton, D., & Petroff, J. (2017). Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Enhancing The School Experiences of Students with Disabilities (3rd Ed). Toronto: Pearson Education.

Student Evaluation

To receive credit for Psychology 576: Assistive Technology for Students with Special Needs, you must complete: three journals, a case study Project, and participate in seven discussion forums. The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weight associated with each activity.

Activity Weighting
Case Study Project 35%
Participation in Forums 30%
Journal 35%
Total 100%



Part 1 Benefits of Technology Use

  • Unit 1 Introduction
  • Unit 2 Technology to Support Writing
  • Unit 3 Technology to Support Reading
  • Unit 4 Technology to Support UDL
  • 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 Devices

Part 3 Augmentative Communication

  • Unit 9 Selecting and Designing a System
  • Unit 10 Early Communication
  • Unit 11 Integrating AC into the Environment

Part 4 Putting It All Together

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

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 3, December, 2018.