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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


ABLEDATA: Explore the World of Assistive Technology

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 07, 2003 by Teacher Education
Overview: The primary purpose of ABLEDATA, a federally funded project, is to make
assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment information from domestic and
international sources available to consumers, organizations, professionals, and
caregivers within the U.S. ABLEDATA provides a large searchable database, a
wealth of information on products, relevant links for resources dealing with
disabilities and related topics, a consumer forum, and an online reading room
containing information, news, and publications on assistive technology issues.
Learning Goals: The major learning goals of the ABLEDATA Web site are:
1) Being an information source for assistive technology.
2) Offering a centralized information exchange on assistive technology.
3) Serving the nation's disability, rehabilitation, and senior communities.
Target Student Population: Student teachers and in-service educators, especially those in special
education, will find this site extremely useful.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None
Type of Material: Reference
Recommended Uses: K-12 educators and teacher education faculty and students will find information
and resources to consider when planning inclusive lessons and units for
individuals with disabilities.
Technical Requirements: Internet and browser. Links are available for viewing either the high or low
graphics versions of the site.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site is a tremendous repository of assistive technology data presented in a
thorough and thoughtful manner. Numerous links are provided for investigating
key topics such as accessible housing, blind and low vision, parents with
disabilities, spinal cord injury, stroke and brain injury, and travel. Under
each of these areas there exists a range of information to aid the user in
making informed decisions. The links and database offer related content
connections.
Concerns: None

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: There is a great deal of information available that could complement an in-class
introduction, online investigation, or summary research on assistive technology
and disability topics. The search information at this site is thorough and can
provide a lesson in itself for educators who are unfamiliar with online
searching. Educators, especially those working with students who require the
use of assistive technology, will find this site a valuable resource.
Concerns: The primary design of this site is to provide information regarding assistive
technology, which is reasonable. Teacher educators will need to employ their
own creativity and experience to develop examples of the actual planning and
uses of assistive technology in a teaching setting.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The links are clear, organized, and easy to follow. The searchable database of
the site and a site map make it very easy to find specific information. No
technical support should be needed. Links appear to be working and up to date.
Concerns: The link to the site map is only found on some of the pages within the site. A
suggestion might be to include the site map link on the sidebar of all the pages
within the site.

Other Issues and Comments: Since 2000, this site has received 10 Web awards for providing information and
service to users. Forbes, Britannica Guide to the Internet, and an Editor's
Choice for Assistive Technology are among the awards.