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      Effective use of Assistive Technology for Inclusive Education in Developing Countries : challenges from two case studies

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            Abstract

            Developing countries face many obstacles in the process of implementing inclusive education (IE). Effective use of assistive technologies (AT) can help governments in developing countries achieve inclusive education by helping children with disabilities in schools. Despite the importance and positive impact of AT, prior research on the use of AT in inclusive education especially in developing countries is limited. To fill the research gap in this area, this paper investigates the research question of, how can AT be effectively used for IE in developing countries? To address this question, we conducted an in-depth case study of two developing countries, Bangladesh, and Tanzania, and thoroughly reviewed existing IE projects around the world and other relevant literature. Three experts in the field and 18 informants of the two selected countries were interviewed in person, by phone or by email. The analysis of findings from interviews and literature review shows that obstacles to effective use of AT for IE come from three different levels – school, national, and network. Because AT is only part of the equation for a country to achieve IE, a high-level national perspective is required, and other related factors also need to be considered. We recommend governments in developing countries adopt a systematic approach in tackling obstacles at each level and pay attention to five management challenges: establishment and maintenance of professional networks: identification and maintenance of knowledge and expertise; funding management; coordination among ministries, and implementation, maintenance, and monitoring of a national program. Overall, governments are suggested to adopt a “network” approach that includes a constructive view of development drawing on incentives-based cooperation from all stakeholders. The results of this research shed light on the status quo of the use of AT for inclusive education in developing countries and provide useful guidance to parties who are interested in using assistive technologies to achieve inclusive education.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            ScienceOpen Preprints
            ScienceOpen
            31 July 2023
            Affiliations
            [1 ] The New York Academy of Sciences;
            Author notes
            Author information
            https://orcid.org/0009-0002-6894-3884
            Article
            10.14293/PR2199.000268.v1
            fc1b8a3c-491e-4f99-a66f-d37069f220a1

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .

            History
            : 31 July 2023
            Categories

            All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).
            Education,Computer science
            Assistive Technologies, Inclusive Education

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