For anyone who has been overwhelmed when selecting an educational or assistive technology or who has experienced frustration in trying to come up with the best instructional plan for a person with a disability, this book was written for you. Connecting to Learn presents a comprehensive and highly readable approach to matching the right technology with students with disabilities, especially visual and auditory disabilities.

Dr. Scherer, author of the highly acclaimed Living in the State of Stuck: How Technology Impacts the Lives of People with Disabilities, explores the way disabilities, especially those involving the senses, can lead to isolation and a lack of "connectedness," and how this in turn leads to learning difficulties. She then provides a step-by-step model for assessing and evaluating individual students on their needs and finding the right technology to help each student.

This practical book features numerous checklists and forms that readers will find immediately applicable. The book provides data on the prevalence of vision and hearing loss as well as relevant legislation. Quotes throughout the book from students and teachers about the various technologies they use in their schools and in daily life bring the many empirical and practical points to life. School psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, educators, disability support service administrators, instructional design specialists, parents and individuals with disabilities, and rehabilitation psychologists will find this lively and compassionate book to be indispensable in their efforts to help those with disabilities learn, live, and connect with others. Readers with disabilities will first nod in recognition at the problems this book describes and will ultimately cheer its practical solutions.

Table of Contents




I. Introduction

  1. The Fundamental Sense of Connectedness

II. Learner Characteristics and Preference

  1. The Effects of Loss of Hearing or Vision on the Learner and Learning
  2. The Personal Meaning of Hearing or Vision Loss

III. Environments for Learning

  1. The Move From Separate to Inclusive Education
  2. Contrasting Inclusive With Exclusive Education
  3. Technology Made Inclusive Education Possible

IV. Technologies for Access to Information and for Instructional Delivery

  1. Computers: Mixing Assistive, Information, and Access Technologies
  2. Desirable and Less Desirable Effects of Educational Technologies
  3. Getting Going on Learning

V. Matching Learners With the Most Appropriate Technologies and Strategies for Their Use

  1. Individual Learner Preferences and Needs
  2. The Matching Person and Technology Model

VI. Connecting to Learn

  1. Bringing It All Together for the Individual User


  1. Matching Person and Technology Process and Samples of the Assessment Forms
  2. Copy of Statement of Need Form
  3. Checklists for Educational Technology Evaluation and Selection
  4. Finding and Funding Assistive Technologies
  5. Resources



Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Author Bio

Marcia J. Scherer, PhD, is director of the Institute for Matching Persons and Technology in Webster, NY. She also is associate professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Rochester Medical Center, and senior research associate, International Center for Hearing and Speech Research (a joint program of the University of Rochester and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology). She received a PhD and an MPH from the University of Rochester.