Effective assistive technology planning and decision making for children and youth with disabilities should include careful consideration of family and cultural factors. Inclusion of the family when considering assistive technology needs of the child is the key to identifying important family and cultural perspectives that can “make or break” the successful integration of assistive technology in the home, school, and community.
Despite the recognition that families should be integral to the AT decision-making process, family and professional partnerships have often been difficult to establish in practice. Cultural and language barriers may compound the difficulty of forging a strong connection between families and professionals. Families from different cultural backgrounds may be less inclined to participate in the process of considering assistive technology for their child for a variety of reasons, such as lack of knowledge about assistive technology, attitudes held by professionals, and differing cultural perspectives about assistive technology.
This month’s discussion experts, Phil Parette and Tom Nurse, will answer your questions and share their experience and knowledge about family and cultural issues in AT decision making. They will also offer strategies for educational professionals to develop more family-centered AT practices.
Parette, Howard P. and Nurse, Tom, "Family and cultural issues in AT service delivery" (2005). Faculty Publications - College of Education. Paper 1.