Integration of assistive technology in instruction for learners with disabilities in inclusive secondary schools in Central Senatorial District Kaduna State, Nigeria
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Learners with disabilities (LWDs) in inclusive Education (IE) settings need access to quality education just like their able peers. Accessing quality instruction is a major step to the success of their education, their independence as well achieving quality IE. This study critically examined the integration of Assistive Technology (AT) in support of instruction of LWDs. The study restricted itself to the education of Learners with visual challenges, hearing impaired and mobility impaired in secondary schools in Nigeria, with a focus on integration of (AT) and instructional technique that would address the problem of these students in accessing information for their education This study was based on the following objectives: To establish government policy to guarantee quality instructions for LWDs in IE set up in Nigeria, to ascertain the availability of the ATs for teaching the LWDs in IE schools in Nigeria, to establish ways in which the teachers in the IE schools design and conduct their instructions to ensure LWDs learn effectively, To establish how teachers use AT for instruction of LWDs; To find out challenges facing teachers when using ATs for instruction and to assess the attitude of teachers towards integration of AT in teaching LWDs in IE schools. It was envisaged that the findings, recommendations and the suggestions of this study will be valuable to the Ministry of Education and the Nigerian government in general, in decision making in terms of policy and budgeting in the areas of provision of appropriate assistive technology for LWDs in inclusive secondary education. The results of this research are also expected to offer teachers with special knowledge on the integration of the AT in their teaching. It is also expected that the study will enlighten other stake holders in the field of education on LWDs including sponsors on the assistance they would give to enhance the education of LWDs. The study adopted the survey research design. The location of this study was Central Senatorial District of Kaduna State of Nigeria. A sample of 16 schools, 120 students, 340 teachers, 16 resource center personnel and 16 school principals were selected for the study. Data for this study was gathered using questionnaires, observation schedule, check lists, interview and documentary analysis guides. A pilot study was carried out before the real data collection to ensure that the instruments effectively gathered the required information for the study. The quantitative and qualitative data generated were analyzed using Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0. The analyzed data was then presented in form of frequency tables, charts and graphs. The research found that the disabilities law only spelt out real meaning of the idea of equalizing learning opportunities for all children in spite of their disabilities without particularly taking into account the nature of environmental requirement and terms of ATs services for each student's disability; The study established that ATs were not adequate to take care of the need of LWDs in the IE classrooms and school environment in Kaduna State Nigeria is not conducive for LWDs; The study also found out that the teachers were using lecture methods to teach LWDs. Also the study further found out that blind and visually impaired learners did not take mathematics due to lack of special methods or skills in teaching mathematics by their teachers, as well as lack of ATs resources in the schools. It was further found out that teachers lacked of skills to use AT. Among other recommendations the study recommended that teachers of learners with disabilities should undergo teacher professional development and that AT resources should be provided in all schools.