First Advisor

Sundeen, Todd

First Committee Member

Sileo, Nancy

Second Committee Member

Peterson, Lori Y.

Third Committee Member

Muhanad, Manshad

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The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain an in-depth understanding of special education teachers’ perceptions and experiences using assistive technology (AT) to support students with learning disabilities (i.e., dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia) in public general education schools within the Abha educational district in Saudi Arabia. Interviews, among other data collection methods, were utilized in this extensive investigation to answer two research questions regarding the perceptions of Saudi special education teachers of students with learning disabilities of the usefulness of AT, and the challenges and barriers these teachers perceive as influencing their use of AT. The participants were seven special education teachers of students with learning disabilities teaching in Abha public general education schools. Two themes related to the participants’ perceptions of the usefulness of AT were identified: Theme 1, which was “Beliefs about AT” and Theme 2, which was “AT in Teaching.” Three themes linked to the participants’ perceptions regarding challenges and barriers that influence their use of AT were identified: Theme 3: “The Educational System”; Theme 4, which was “Accessibility”; and Theme 5, which was “Suggestions for Improvement.” In examining these findings, detailed information is presented on the participants’ usage of AT and their beliefs regarding its usefulness. Also, the results provide details about the obstacles the teachers face in integrating AT into their teaching practices and their recommendations on how these challenges could be overcome. The implications for practices in this study are discussed with consideration of three levels of education stakeholders in Saudi Arabia: the Saudi Ministry of Education, the school district, and the individual school. Recommendations for future research include suggestions for researchers interested in investigating AT use for students with learning disabilities. Keywords: assistive technology, learning disabilities, special education, individualized education program

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57 pages

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Available for download on Sunday, December 01, 2024

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