Delivering a speech to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Assistive Technology, the Minister for Children and Families, Vicky Ford MP announced that new research has been published that aims to help bridge the gap between education and employment for young people with SEND. The rapid assessment review brings together a body of research on assistive technology, aiming to help schools and colleges better understand how to harness the benefits of existing tools and approaches to raise the outcomes of pupils with SEND. It also seeks to support the technology sector to embed accessibility features as part of their service development, and help policymakers to better embed inclusion into their policies and services.
The research finds “strong and exceedingly clear” evidence that “providing individuals with a method of communicating, the earlier the better, improves a variety of outcomes relative to independence, educational outcomes, and quality of life.” It states that assistive technology is an under-utilised intervention to support pupils and students with SEND to access and engage in the curriculum. It notes however that realising the potential of assistive technology will “require the coordinated efforts of students, parents, educators, administrators, policymakers, developers, service providers, and researchers” to increase the numbers of people benefitting from technological interventions that have been shown to be effective.
You can find the research in full here.