University of Technology Sydney

028257 Inclusive Education: Technology

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Professional Learning
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines the role of technology to facilitate the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development and/or participation of individuals with special needs in school and in the community. Emphasis is on the use of technologies to promote communication for students with a broad range of communicative skills. The subject reviews the historical significance of technology in the field of special education. Current technologies are examined and the potential for emerging technologies is considered in the context of students with a diverse range of abilities. The implications of using assistive/adaptive devices, mobile technologies and social media to facilitate learning and age-appropriate activities for students with special needs is addressed.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Identify ways in which various technologies assist the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of individuals with diverse abilities and particularly the use of technology to enable participation for students with diverse abilities in a range of contexts (GTS 1.1);
b. Critically analyse programs and apps used to support learning of students with diverse learning approaches and needs (GTS 2.6, 4.1);
c. Identify issues surrounding the use technology (eg. social media) to support the social interactions and participation of individuals with a diverse range of abilities and develop teaching strategies to facilitate mastery of such tools (GTS 3.4, 4.5).
d. Examine media portrayals of disabilities; the educational use of media to support inclusivity; the experiences of children living with disability or chronic illness; and develop empathy for children with disabilities and/or chronic illness and their families

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject addresses the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

1. Professional Readiness
1.2 Design and conduct effective learning activities, assess and evaluate learning outcomes and create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments (GTS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
1.5 Employ contemporary technologies effectively for diverse purposes (GTS 2, 4)

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry
2.1 Analyse and synthesise research and engage in inquiry (GTS 3)
6. Effective Communication
6.1 Communicate effectively using diverse modes and technologies (GTS 2, 3, 4)

Teaching and learning strategies

Face-to-face classes will incorporate a range of teaching and learning strategies including peer-discussions, analysis of case studies, short presentations, discussion of readings and case studies and student groupwork. There will be guest lectures delivered online by expert practitioners from community and industry organisations. These activities will be complemented by independent student reading not only of literature but also of podcasts, social media, and other online content. Furthermore, students will be supported to undertake practice-case based approaches, teach with technologies in practice-based scenarios, and create their own media resources. Students will receive formative feedback from teaching staff and peers.

Content (topics)

  1. The impact of technologies to support people with disabilities and chronic illness across the lifespan (PA3.11, PA5.1, PA5.8, PA5.9);
  2. Technological devices to facilitate social, emotional, cognitive and physical development and participation and communication at school, home, in the community and potential workplaces (PA3.1, PA3.11, PA4.15, PA5.1, PA5.2, PA5.8, PA5.9);
  3. Incorporating technologies into classroom contexts to ensure accessibility for students with diverse abilities (PA3.4, PA3.5, PA3.6, PA5.4);
  4. The use of mobile devices to support inclusive educational practices (PA3.4, PA3.11, PA4.9,PA4.11, PA4.16, PA5.4, PA5.6);
  5. Critical analysis of the functionality of specific devices, programs and ‘apps’ to support student development (PA3.4, PA3.5, PA3.11);
  6. Issues association with media and social media for people with disabilities and their families (PA2.3 PA3.3, PA3.11, PA5.8).


Assessment task 1: Mobile App Evaluation


a and b

Weight: 40%

1250 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Persuasiveness of justification for selected framework (with adaptations as necessary) 30 b 2.1
Compatibility of selected apps to address the chosen literacy or numeracy skill 10 a 1.2
Depth of critical analysis of four apps to support learning of the selected literacy or numeracy skill 60 b 1.5
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Learning Program and Video


b, c and d

Weight: 60%

1 x learning program (1,500 words approx) and 1 x 2-3 min video

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of task analysis to identify components required to achieve mastery of communication tool 10 b 1.2
Detailed learning plan to explicitly teach each step of the task analysis to mastery 40 c 1.5
Effectiveness of video to advocate for inclusive practices in schools, without promoting stereotypical views of disability 50 d 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes


Ahmad, F. K. (2015). Use of Assistive Technology in Inclusive Education: Making Room for Diverse Learning Needs. Transcience. 6(2). pp. 64-77.

Ashman, A. (2018). Education for Inclusion and Diversity. Melbourne: Pearson.

Cihak, D. F., Wright, R., Smith, C. C., McMahon, D. & Kraiss, K. (2015). Incorporating Functional Digital Literacy Skills as Part of the Curriculum for High School Students with Intellectual Disability. In, Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 50(2) pp. 155-171.

Croser, R. & Bridge, D. (2012) Chapter 6: Information and Communication Technologies. In A. Ashman & J. Elkins (Eds) Education for Inclusion and Diversity. Frenchs Forest: Pearson.

Gargiulo, R. M. & Metcalf, D. (2010) Chapter 12: Assistive Technologies and Innovative Learning Tools. In Teaching in Today's Inclusive Classroom: A Universal Design for Learning Approach. Belmont CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Green, J. L. (2011). The ultimate guide to assistive technology in special education: resources for education, intervention, and rehabilitation. Waco, Tex.: Prufrock Press.

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L., & Dole, S. (2017). Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement. Oxford: Oxford.

Media Access Australia, (undated). SociAbility: Social media for people with a disability. Australian Communications and Consumer Action Network.

Moore, D. (2012). Disabled students in education: technology, transition, and inclusivity. Hershey PA: Information Science Reference.

Raghavendra, P., Grace, E., Newman, L., & Wood, D. (2016). Supporting young people with disability to use social media. Flinders University.

Other resources

Students will require smart phones or tablets to make short films. Should they prefer to borrow a film camera they can make a booking a with UTS ITS