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The impact of tablet computers on students with disabilities in a higher education setting

Henderson, Kirsty Elizabeth and Gibson, Christopher and Gibb, Forbes (2013) The impact of tablet computers on students with disabilities in a higher education setting. Technology and Disability, 25 (2). pp. 61-76.

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Abstract

This study evaluated the impact of iPads on students with disabilities in a Higher Education (HE) setting with a focus on: an assessment of their physical characteristics and functionality; their utility as communication devices; and the use of iPads to engage with university services. The participants, who had a range of disabilities, were provided with iPads for a period of three weeks, given basic training in their operation, and were instructed to use them freely. The participants completed an online survey and then took part in semi-structured interviews at the end of the loan period. The participants also undertook a series of short information-seeking tasks that were designed to compare the performance of laptops and tablet computers. This study should be of use to education practitioners as well as acting as a pilot for future studies aimed at investigating the provision of tablet computers to students with disabilities