ICT in Portuguese reference schools for the education of blind and partially sighted students

  • Ramos S
  • de Andrade A
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Abstract

Technology has become an essential component in our society and considering its impact in the educational system, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) cannot be dissociated from the educational process and, in particular, from pedagogical practices adopted for students who are blind or partially sighted. This study focuses on Portuguese reference schools for the education of blind and partially sighted students, regulated by the Decree-Law No. 3/2008, in which are concentrated the human and material resources that can offer an educational response with quality for these students with special education needs. The study intends to analyse the perceptions of the teachers, who teach visually impaired students in middle school and secondary school education in these reference schools, of their knowledge, teaching and training in the area of ICT, as well as of the real ICT integration in the teaching and learning of these students. A survey, which has been applied to these teachers in the 2012/13 school year, was adopted as a method of data collection. The results reveal a sample confident in their technological capabilities, however with little resourcefulness in some tools and software specific to the area of visual impairment and a very significant number of teachers ignoring many of these. The implementation of ICT with students who have visual disabilities is lower compared with the sighted students. The lack of specific training is considered to be the main obstacle for teachers, with regard to the real integration of ICT in the teaching and learning of these students. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Assistive technology
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Portugal
  • Teacher training
  • Visual impairment

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Authors

  • Sara Isabel Moça Ramos

  • António Manuel Valente de Andrade

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