Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits: Volume 16 Issue 1

Assistive Technology Services During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 global pandemic impacted all aspects of society in every country. Efforts to manage this public health crisis involved government agencies at the national, state, regional, and local levels resulting in disparate policies, recommendations, and practices affecting citizen’s daily lives. The most obvious decisions involved closing businesses, community services, and schools within a very short time period, transitioning children and adults to remote instruction and remote work. Whereas the government has monitored the impact of these transitions using metrics such as the positivity rate, economic growth measures, and unemployment rates, little is known about the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of children and adults with disabilities or the social systems and services that support them.

This volume of ATOB invites authors to submit manuscripts that describe assistive technology services during and after the COVID-19 pandemic along with the analysis of lessons learned. International manuscripts are encouraged. Manuscripts may focus on any age group (e.g., school-aged children, post-secondary education, adults in the workforce) and any form of assistive technology. Manuscripts that describe organizational efforts (e.g., states, school districts, non-profit organizations, vendors) to pivot traditional service delivery models to new service delivery models (e.g., remote instruction, tele-practice, web-based) are particularly encouraged. For example, how did students receive new assistive technology devices during the pandemic? How did schools ensure that all digital curricula were accessible for students with disabilities? What role did AT teams play in supporting students and families during periods of remote instruction and engage in needs assessment? How were AT evaluations conducted for students or employees when working remotely? What barriers and supports emerged as more responsibility has been thrust on caregivers and users? Families and/or AT users are encouraged to share how the pandemic impacted them personally. Authors are encouraged to address “lessons learned,” and if available, share any evidence of the effectiveness of the new service delivery models and how such models may be continued or extended in a post-pandemic world. Authors may suggest those factors that influenced successful transition of delivery as a result of the pressures created by COVID-19 and how those factors could inform future service design.

This issue also includes articles from the broad scope of assistive technology research as part of ATOB’s mission to bring together the latest research in assistive technology in its annual issue.

Guest Editor: Dave Edyburn

Dave L. Edyburn, Ph.D., is Senior Research Scientist and Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and formerly Professor and Associate Dean for Research at the College of Community Innovation and Education, University of Central Florida. His research and teaching interests focus on the use of technology to enhance teaching, learning, and performance in the context of assistive technology, learning sciences, and universal design for learning.

He has served as Editor of Teaching Exceptional Children, Learning Disability Quarterly, Remedial and Special Education, Special Education Technology Practice, and the Journal of Research on Technology in Education. Dr. Edyburn served as the Guest Editor of the ATOB Volume 16.1 Issue: AT Services During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Use the links below to access the complete volume or individual articles.

Download Volume 16.1 (PDF)

Download Volume 16.1 (DOCX)


Individual Articles


Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Assistive Technology Services

Dave Edyburn1, Ph.D. and Erin L. Howard 2, MS, M.Ed.

1University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2University of North Texas

Voices from Academia

Assistive Technology/Augmentative & Alternative Communication Implementation: School to Home during COVID-19

Jennifer Courduff, Ph.D.1, HeeKap Lee1, Ph.D., Amanda Rockinson-Szapkiw2, Ph.D., and Jessica Herring Watson3, Ed.D

1Azusa Pacific University
2University of Memphis
3University of Central Arkansas

Voices from Academia

Virtual Parent Education on Assistive Technology: Pandemic Lessons Learned

Kirsten Marie Kohlmeyer, OTD, MS, OTR/L1 and Dave L. Edyburn, Ph.D.2

1Redwood Literacy, Chicago, IL
2University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Voices from Academia

Providing Education to Students with Visual Impairments During the Pandemic

Carlie R. Rhoads, Ph.D.1, Arielle M. Silverman, Ph.D.1, and L. Penny Rosenblum, Ph.D.2

1American Foundation for the Blind
2Vision for Independence, LLC

Voices from Academia

A Digital Walk Through Digital Talk: Lessons Learned

Kirsta von Hellens, OTD, M.Ed., OTR/L, ATP, Camille Skubik-Peplaski, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, and Allen Keener, OTD, MS, OTR/L, ATP

Eastern Kentucky University

Voices from the Field

A Journey to Build a Community of Practice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Beth Poss1, M.A., CCC/SLP, Sarah Gregory2, M.A., CCC/SLP, and Mike Marotta3, ATP
2Ithaca Public Schools
3The Richard West Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC)

Voices from the Field

The Assistive Technology Services Experience of the 2020-2021 School Year

Jeff Sisk, Ed.S., Jennifer Carr, M.Ed., and Meaghan Tracy, M.Ed.

Fairfax County Public Schools