Refocusing on Instructional Design in Assistive and Instructional Technology

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

eLearning Forum Asia


In the world of educational technology, it is becoming more and more difficult to separate the worlds of assistive technology (AT) and instructional technology (IT). Learning goals, such as those proposed by Universal Design for Learning (UDL), become easier with the current capabilities of computer-based, application-based, and digital technology tools to make reasonable accommodations for learners with disabilities. Recently, the gap between ATs and ITs designed for persons with disabilities and learners without disabilities has narrowed. Many of the digitally based strategies proven to be successful with individuals with disabilities are effective and useful for typical learners (e.g., word prediction assistance built into cell phone texting). In this presentation, Kyle Higgins and Randall Boone will focus on the need to incorporate appropriate and effective instructional design in the creation of useful and effective ATs and ITs. We will detail three areas of concern: (a) the difficulties found with traditional print materials, (b) adapting digital content for under-served populations (e.g., those with disabilities, second language learners), and (c) the design of current digital technologies (e.g., software, apps). The three areas that will be discussed are viable for important research concerning content delivery that is truly accessible - meeting the standards for accessibility for access to information and access to learning.