Communication Technology for Students in Special Education and Gifted Programs

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Aitken, Joan E.
Information Science Reference, Jul 31, 2011 - Education - 399 pages

Communication technology provides new opportunities for individuals with special needs, facilitating assistive communication, increasing mobility, offering a different model of engagement, and allowing new forms of exploration. However, many people learn about these new technologies haphazardly through teachers, social workers, therapists, and networks of people who have similar needs.

Communication Technology for Students in Special Education and Gifted Programs collects ideas about new communication technologies and innovative ways of using them to enhance education for students with exceptionalities. These case studies are based on the experiences and expertise of the teachers, researchers, and other professionals who have used them. By learning about the experiences of professionals with diverse specialties, others will gain information and ideas for how to better serve individuals with special needs across the educational spectrum.

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About the author (2011)

Joan E. Aitken is Professor, Arts and Communication, Park University. She has a B.A. in Communication Theory from Michigan State University, an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an M.A. and Ed.D. in Communication and Administration from the University of Arkansas. She joined the Park faculty in 2005, after teaching at the University of Missouri, University of Louisiana, and University of Arkansas. Aitken s emphasis in scholarship has been computer-mediated communication and communication education. She has authored eight books, which include the following:

Interpersonal Concepts and Competences, by Berko, Aitken, and Wolvin. (2010). Rowman & Littlefield Press.
Cases on Online Discussion and Interaction, by Shedletsky and Aitken. (2010). IGI Global Press.
Human Communication on the Internet, by Shedletsky and Aitken. (2004). Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Longman.

Aitken has authored five instructor s manuals (three in the second edition or later), provided Web development for four publishers, and published 50 articles and reports. Aitken was editor of the National Communication Association s The Communication Teacher and served on the editorial board of NCA s Communication Education. She has obtained $3.5 million in competitive grant funding, including $1.5 million as the primary grant writer and others as a collaborative team member. Aitken has worked internationally in Jamaica and the People s Republic of China.

Joy Pedego Fairley has served on the faculty at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) since 2008. She is an Improvement Consultant for the Kansas City Regional Professional Development Center (RPDC) affiliated with UMKC and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Fairley has a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Central Missouri, an M.S.Ed. in learning disabilities from the University of Central Missouri, and a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas. Fairley joined the UMKC staff after twenty years as a special education teacher and administrator in Leavenworth County, Kansas.

Fairley was the Director of the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative (LCSEC) from 2001 until 2007. She was responsible for a $13,000,000 annual budget and successfully completed for grants totaling over $500,000. Additionally, she supervised over three hundred special education teachers and staff, all committed to providing outstanding services to students with special needs within Leavenworth County. Fairley was a founding member of the Leavenworth County Multi-disciplinary Child Protection Team, a court appointed position designed to help ensure the safety, education, and welfare of all students within the county.

Fairley s expertise is in special education administration, compliance, and transition. Her areas of scholarship include special education law and the accessibility of technology within school settings for students with special needs.

Judith K. Carlson has over thirty-five years of experience in the field of special education in diverse settings ranging from autism assessment to juvenile corrections. She holds a BA in Elementary Education, an MS.Ed in Behavior Disorders and Learning Disabilities, and a Ph.D in Special Education, all attained from the University of Kansas. She joined the faculty at Rockhurst University, a private Jesuit institution in Kansas City, Missouri in 2009, after retiring from the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she was on faculty since 1998.

Carlson is best known for her work in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) while at the University of Kansas (1988-1998). She has multiple book chapters and publications in the field and continues to present on this and other topics at international, national, and regional conferences. Prior to her move into higher education, Carlson taught and directed the AYS Alternative School for juvenile felon offenders as part of a community corrections diversion program in Kansas City, Kansas (1975-1985). She values her work in the urban core and has continued to support this agenda throughout her professional career.

Carlson s current research interests focus on dispositional attitudes and education of general educators to enhance support and acceptance of children and youth with exceptional learning needs in the inclusionary classroom. Infusing developing technology into both general and special education settings is a priority in her continuing professional endeavors. [Editor]

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