School administrators have specific responsibilities that contribute to the agency-wide provision and implementation of AT for individual students. Successful programs begin with developing a vision of what quality services should look like in collaboration with educators, parents, students, and other community stakeholders. Administrators then work with the agency’s AT leaders to set a course of action that helps everyone move toward that vision.
School administrators are the leaders for the program they serve, whether it is a specific program, a building, or an entire agency. In an international synthesis of research about successful school leadership, Leithwood, Harris, & Hopkins (2008) noted that almost all successful leaders draw on the same set of basic leadership practices. They organized these into four categories:
- building vision and setting directions;
- managing the program;
- understanding and developing individuals; and
- redesigning the organization.
Providing effective AT services requires a school administrator to address assistive technology from each of these administrative perspectives. As managers, school administrators sign purchase orders for new equipment and ensure consistent and equitable services. As supervisors, school administrators ensure that the agency has qualified staff members who are knowledgeable about AT and the technology needs of students with disabilities. As leaders in program development, school administrators include AT in long-term planning efforts.
Leithwood, K., Harris, A., and D. Hopkins. (2008). Seven strong claims about successful school leadership. School Leadership & Management 28(1), 27-42.