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This project developed and evaluated an intervention program involving applications of technology to enhance the communication skills and behaviors of children with deaf blindness and other severe disabilities. Of interest were specific applications designed to increase attention, use of symbols, reception, expression of choice, awareness of contingencies, and social interaction. Project objectives involved: identifying technological resources; developing a conceptual framework of communication technology applications; selecting and implementing interventions that can enhance early communication and that can be integrated into the educational curriculum; and evaluating the efficacy of technology applications in enhancing early communication skills, meeting individualized education program goals, and promoting the development of related functional skills. Participants included 26 children, ages 3 to 15. A team collaboration model was utilized, in which each child's communication goals were generated and intervention activities were then implemented, monitored, and revised. One case example illustrates the multistep process. Overall results supported the efficacy of integrating microcomputers and other technological resources into students' communication training, including students with severe to profound cognitive disabilities. Analysis of intervention goals and activities revealed that, for students with nonsymbolic, nonintentional forms of communication, increasing social attention and contingency awareness were of primary concern. In contrast, for students with higher levels of communicative competence, increasing the use of symbols was most frequently targeted. Appendixes contain profiles of expressive communication and social interaction and a copy of the first issue of the Center for Adaptive Technology newsletter. (Contains 21 references.) (Author/JDD)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Communication Aids (for Disabled), Communication Skills, Deaf Blind, Educational Technology, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Intervention, Microcomputers, Multiple Disabilities, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Secondary School Students, Severe Disabilities, Teamwork, Training Methods

Autor: Mar, Harvey H.; Sall, Nancy


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