Finding AT Research

AT research can be found in a variety of places. Certainly there are a lot of reports of AT research on the internet. Many vendors now include reports of research on their web sites. However, professional peer-reviewed journals are the best source of AT research. A peer reviewed journal is one that seeks and publishes research that is first analyzed by knowledgeable reviewers. The reviewers are always listed somewhere in the journal or on their website.They are generally referred to as the Editorial Review Board. It is prestigious to be on an editorial review board. The members take their role of judging the quality of the research very seriously and seek to publish only studies that are well designed and rigorously carried out.

A recent review of research on assistive technology (Ocolo & Bouck, 2008) found high quality AT research in 27 different journals. Some of the journals that regularly publish  assistive technology research include those in the following list. Note that the first two journals account for the majority of research published in the last eight years.

  • Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET)
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication
  • Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
  • Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness
  • Remedial and Special Education
  • Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Science
  • Topics in Early Childhood Special Education
  • Learning Disability Quarterly
  • Journal of Research on Technology in Education
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Research
  • Assistive Technology Journal

There are, of course, many other special education and rehabilitation journals in which you may find research about AT.

Additionally there are non research journals devoted to assistive technology, such as Closing the Gap and Special Education Technology Practice. However, these are not peer reviewed journals and tend to have first person accounts and suggestions for effective implementation strategies rather than research.

Websites maintained by AT vendors have begun to include reports of research about their products. In some cases this may be well designed, experimental research. However, unless it has also been published in a peer reviewed journal, you may want to look for additional research that has been peer reviewed.

Sources of AT research ranked by their likelihood to be valid. reliable and trust worthy:

  1. Published in peer reviewed journal
  2. Published in non-peer reviewed source
  3. Published in non peer review source and completed by publisher or other vested person
  4. Not published