Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is the first of a series of units in which students develop and apply professional skills in responding to the needs of individuals living with disability. Other units that are part of this suite are EDAC135 Inclusive Learning, EDAC223 Instructional Delivery, EDAC317 Supporting Learning, EDAC252 Belonging and Inclusion, EDAC224 Understanding Behaviours and Disability and EDAC314 Positive Behaviour Approaches. In this unit students develop foundation knowledge and skills to enable them to meet the course outcome of having the necessary skills to support successful inclusion. The unit will consider the use of technology that can be used to aid in the performance of everyday functions and its application for people living with disabilities. Students will examine available technologies and evaluate a range of high tech and lowtech devices which can promote independence and empowerment for people living with disabilities. There will be a focus on the identification and response to communication impairments. As well as accessing resources available in the local and international environment, students will build on individual experiences with technology in various settings.  

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Discuss definitions, theories and philosophical issues relating to the use of assistive technology (GA8)

LO2 - Identify and assess communication impairments (GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Differentiate social and environmental factors influencing the use of assistive technology (GA6, GA8, GA9)

LO4 - Assess the use of appropriate technology and communication systems (GA6, GA10).

Graduate attributes

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Definitions, theories and philosophical issues relating to assistive technology
  • Communication impairments
  • Contemporary assistive technology
  • Social and environmental factors influencing the use of technology
  • Assessment of assistive technology needs

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then becomes private study.

The teaching and learning organisation may take a number of forms, depending on specific course/subject requirements at the time of delivery, this may include a combination of face to face and/or online learning delivered on a weekly or intensive schedule. Tutorials and/or synchronous learning will enable students to participate in cooperative and supportive learning opportunities. All learning modes will be delivered and/or supported by a range of resources and activities on ACU’s technology learning platform (LEO).

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit has three assessment tasks. The first assessment task requires students to critically analyse the use of low and high technology devises (LO1). The second assessment task requires students to use a prescribed assessment tool to conduct a communication assessment on an individual whom has communication impairment (LO2). The purpose of the third assessment is to identity an assistive technology devise then research, analyse and discuss the benefits and limitations (LO3 & 4).

Through the completion of these assessments students will progressively develop their ability to assess for communication impairments, and use appropriate technology and communication systems for those with a disability.

Assessment Tasks

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

1,500-word essay critically analysing the use of low and high technology devises




Assessment Task 2

Students will assess the communication needs impairments of an individual. 


LO2, LO3

GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3

Identify an Assistive Technology devise, research, analyse and discuss its benefits and limitations


LO3, LO4

GA6, GA10

Representative texts and references

Lancioni, G.E., (2014). Assistive technologies for people with diverse abilities. New York: Springer.

Lancioni, G.E., Sigafoos, J., O’Reilly, M.F., & Singh, N.N. (2013). Assistive technology: Interventions for individuals with severe/profound and multiple disabilities. New York: Springer.

Saulnier, C.A., & Ventola, P.A. (2012) Essentials of autism spectrum disorders Evaluation and Assessment. Chichester: Wiley.

Scherer, M. (2011) Assistive technologies and other supports for people with brain impairment. New York: Springer

Wendt, O., Quist, R.W., & Lloyd L.L. (2011). Assistive Technology Principles and Applications for Communication Disorders and Special Education. Bringley: Emerald Group Publishers.

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