Mangiatordi (2012)

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Mangiatordi, A. (2012) Inclusion of Mobility-Impaired Children in the One-to-One Computing Era: A Case Study. Mind, Brain and Education 6(1). (accessed 30-08-2012)

This study looks at the cases of three children with cerebral palsy from Uruguayan special schools undergoing integration projects in mainstream schools. The schools deployed XO computers on a 1:1 basis in each class. In these three cases the use of assistive technology (AT) was used to access the laptop rather than to access the more general environment. The three children only used the computers in the same computer related sessions as the rest of the class. The laptop was not used an instrument to improve the productivity of the children.

Two of the children benefited more socially than functionally. Even though they were using the laptop only once or twice per week, they seemed to use it effectively to develop more complex and consistent relationships with their classmates.

The children who participated in this study showed improvements in their social skills which were not directly connected to an improvement in their functioning. Ismael did not go far beyond his physical limitations, but he found in the computer a powerful channel for his interaction with peers. Micaela was as good in the use of the computer as she was in the majority of school subjects, but there was a substantial difference in the way her classmates perceived her with respect to her social and functional possibilities. The case of Pablo confirmed that the lack of a very basic level of implementation of AT simply turns the machine into a useless device.