Assistive Technologies and Participation of Students with Visual Impairments in Extra Curricular Activities - What Does the Literature Say?
Keywords:Assistive Technology Devices, Extracurricular Activities, Visual Impairment
The rapid growth of technological advancement has impacted teaching and learning at all levels of education. Like all other students, visually challenged students need information and communication technologies to bridge the gap from classroom learning to extracurricular activities (indoor and outdoor learning activities). Therefore, this study conducted an empirical literature review on how assistive technology devices enhance participation of students with visual impairments (SVI) in extracurricular activities (ECA). The study utilized peer-reviewed and scholarly articles that provided relevant insights regarding assistive technologies and participation of SVI in ECA. The review found that assistive technologies plays a great role in enhancing participation of SVI in ECA including provision of access to information and materials, navigation and mobility support, communication and social interaction, skill development and educational opportunities. The review also revealed challenges associated with the use of AT in participation of SVI in ECA that included lack of accessibility standards, limited availability and affordability, technological compatibility, and inadequate training and technical support. The review concludes that assistive technologies play a crucial role in enhancing participation of students with VI in ECA and that these students are prepared for better future roles as adults. It also calls for stakeholders to create more inclusive and equitable extracurricular environment through addressing the barriers that hinder SVI to participate in ECA.
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