Children with disabilities may need to have adaptations made to the school environment, or may need special support in order to participate in school activities such as writing, reading or being on a break. Is the school environment, broadly speaking, adapted for children with disabilities? Are children with disabilities provided with the adaptations and support that is required if they are going to have equal opportunities for development and learning, compared with other pupils?
Assistive technology in school
The research includes both larger studies, mapping obstacles in the school environment and evaluating technology support in schools over time, as well as smaller studies in which children and young people with disabilities express their views on participation and participation problems at school. The focus of these studies is on obstacles to functioning, i.e. everyday problems that occur for children and young people with disabilities in relation to their surroundings, as well as on how these obstacles/difficulties can be met and overcome through changes to the physical and psychosocial environment. Technology as support is included as an aspect of the environment, alongside support and help from other pupils of the same age and other adults, as well as school and rehabilitation staff and their preparedness and measures in school and in the transition to work.
Needs in terms of adaptations at school
Research is being done both in Sweden and abroad, and has led to increased knowledge about the areas in which pupils with disabilities need adaptations and support in school, how such support can be devised in order to work in the day-to-day school environment, as well as to further development and problematising of the concept of participation. The research also includes further development and testing of the BAS interview instrument (the English version is called SSI, the School Setting Interview), in which children and young people themselves identify their needs in terms of adaptations at school. SSI was developed by Professor Helena Hemmingsson and is used in Sweden as well as internationally.