Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Second Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Third Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Fourth Committee Member

Monica Brown

Number of Pages



Students with intellectual disabilities often lack access to general education curricula. This is because many teachers struggle with adapting these curricula to meet the unique learning needs of these students. Technology, having the potential to facilitate access to general education curricula, has been successfully used as a tool to adapt curriculum for this population. The use of the iPad (Apple, 2010), which is easily programmed to support the unique needs of students with disabilities, is beginning to be explored as a tool for the learning and instruction of students with intellectual disabilities and results have been favorable. Further research is needed to evaluate the efficacy of using iPad (Apple, 2010) technology as a curricular support and methods for successfully incorporating this technology into instruction must also be explored.

This study focused on providing access to academic content aligned to general education content standards through the use of an iPad (Apple, 2010). Two instructional conditions were compared, traditional teaching involving paper and pencil and teaching involving iPad (Apple, 2010) technology. Data were compared to determine the effects of the intervention on the academic content knowledge, work completion, and engagement of students with intellectual disabilities. Student perceptions concerning the use of iPads (Apple, 2010) as learning tools were collected and evaluated at the conclusion of the study.

The results indicated that although the iPad (Apple, 2010) did not have a significant effect on increasing the academic content knowledge or maintenance of knowledge over time, the iPad (Apple, 2010) did have a significant effect on the work completion and engagement of students with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, students participating in the study responded favorably about using the iPad (Apple, 2010) as a learning tool.


Children with mental disabilities – Education; Cognitive accessibility; General education; Inclusive education; Intellectual Disability; iPad (Computer)


Accessibility | Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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