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TECHNOLOGY IMPACT ON PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES. Mr. Richard A.

Koon Systems Analyst Organization and Methods Business Consultant - Provincial Education Council (Neuqun - Argentina) Mrs. Maria Eugenia de la Vega BA in Education - Focus: Defectology - Specialization: Speech Pedagogical Institute "Enrique J.Varona" (Havana, Cuba) rkoon@satlink.com / evega14@yahoo.com Introduction In most countries of the world in recent years initiated a reorientation aimed at the general pedagogical and technological renovation, respecting diversity of each region in terms of levels of technical, medical, scientific and educativo.Segn WHO, 15% of the world population is affected by any physical disability, mental or sensory impairment that hinders their personal development and social integration, education or employment. This percentage is equivalent to 900 million people, - Almost twice the population of Latin America - with some notable disadvantage in comparison with others. There is therefore an increasing worldwide concern for eliminate, as far as possible these disadvantages through specific actions as functions recover or missing and it is not possible the complete recovery, compensate with rehabilitation, which consists of both developing skills and skills and, to equip people of elements countervailing duties. Consider measures to enable people with disabilities are trained and may have access to technological development and take their place correspond in making decisions that affect their lives: a new world greater technological potential as before, but also with greater inequality and exclusions. UNESCO international reports (European Commission-1996) while recognize the educational and cultural potential of new information technologies and communication, warning of the significant latent load of inequality and marginalization. And considering that most developed nations - which account for 20% of the world's population - account for 90% of all Internet users, it is clear the opportunities opened by globalization are distributed unequally by cult of competitiveness of the market that people with disabilities can access.
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Globalization has allowed us to bridge the gap and has actually communications and transmission of information between people with disabilities anywhere in the world, representing a significant potential for development and promotion of welfare in terms of social equity. However, far from making Actually the spreading of this development, globalization has worsened in some regions Latino has increased inequalities and inequities in this group of people .. While the Internet is a new environment for everyone to communicate, is dangerous because it produces a saturation of information that maybe people with disabilities can take, but at the same time we must prevent them from being marginalized by lack of new developments. To do this we must set priorities and coordinate positions that will allow everyone access to this technology alike. To access an electronic communication, a person with a disability needs to less able to read, have a telephone, a computer, an interface appropriate to their disability and be fluent in English, which appears 70% of the messages contained in the network. Any of these requirements, let alone all at once, is difficult realization in some countries. The reality is that in USA and Canada, live more than 50 percent of users Internet, and the United States has more computers than the rest of the world. And Most users will exceed 150 million and other countries have joined this phenomenon that is growing at an accelerated rate. According to statistics presented in a report Informatics Meeting held in Miami (USA) in November 1999, an estimated in five years, more than 35 million Latin Americans have access to the network, a three times higher than today. Connect the knowledge and participate in a true globalization of means sharing information and not to exclude, is a strategic imperative for survival of the cultural identities of people with disabilities, in order to next century. The adaptive technology can reduce the impact of disability and meet the right quality of life of people with special needs and also come to influence the economy of Latin America as a large number of disabled people could begin to emerge as managers of their own enterprises through Telecommuting. On the other hand the technological improvements and especially the growing competition between manufacturer makes each day better taken into account the needs of users from the moment of conception of a product. Although these needs, principle are those of the general population, the solutions just sectors benefiting people with disabilities. Efforts to increase welfare levels will be strengthened to the extent

enabling the institutions to capture technological progress and facilitate training


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people with disabilities, for which we consider of great importance collaboration and cooperation among countries Iberolatinoamrica, and agencies international. Objective: The aim of this paper is to provide objective information and contextualized the situation of technology in supporting people with disabilities Latin America. Technological Advances Within our theme, the role of technology is trying to solve different needs that people with disabilities, adapting their capabilities to environment. We can group the assistive technology into five groups: 1. Systems Alternative and Augmentative Access to Information They are aids for people with visual disabilities and / or hearing. Speech Technologies: Speech recognition and text to speech conversion offer infinity of possibilities, some currently viable and others in a more or less close. The expectation in this area is a decrease in all constraints, but is not expected to be achieved recognizing speech, so entirely satisfactory for at least the first or second decade of the next century. Interactive Multimedia Systems: Multimedia systems (those that process, store and transmit images in an integrated manner, voice, text and data) offer possibility of acting on the contents thereof, thus resulting in the interactividad.Las disability benefit from the availability of services and multimedia applications that will allow, with the necessary adaptations, improve multimodal access on equal terms. Advanced Communications: Connecting exclusively through computers will to make way for a wide range of access devices and all countries can accessing a high speed network. There is an accelerating trend to include video telephony, text telephones, fax and others. Undoubtedly, one of the effects that are anticipated will be the largest social integration of people who until now have had limited access to telecommunications, which directly revert to decrease social differences between people with disabilities. The fusion of mobile phone Internet is about to shock everyone. The acronym WAP (Mobile Application Protocol) are to popularize in As manufacturers have enough units to launch their models mass market.
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There are also video equipment that transmit images by telephone movement of sufficient quality to afford access to a communication through sign language and lip reading even. Multiplying the access speed tend to generalize and interactive digital TV will not stay behind, increasing the broadband services to households and multimedia. Cognitive Rehabilitation: Neuropsychological Rehabilitation is one of the most important tools in the treatment of disorders of the functions higher cognitive (attention, memory, perception, orientation, Verbal Learning, Calculation). For this there are simple programs for assessment and rehabilitation people with cognitive deficits or impairments, through direct interaction user using a multimedia system and a touch screen, without using keyboard, trackball or mouse, allowing in some cases stop the cognitive decline and recover some higher brain functions. (Air - Gradior) 2. Access Systems: adaptive interfaces that allow people with physical or sensory disability use a computer. In recent years many Universities through their research projects of new low cost and program design also encouraging institutions espepeciales governmental organizations, and thus able to offer alternatives on different aspects of people with disabilities. For the most part, these projects target the development of interfaces that fit in each case the type of user accesses and adaptive capacity varies depending on the case. Some consist of microelectronic elements or telecommunications or aids not advanced but necessary to help offset an impairment or disability replacing or enhancing the function remains the same. Including mention: a. Telelupas: systems based image magnification in closed TV to allow the reading to visually impaired people. Although in general the common keyboards do not often make it difficult for people with disabilities visual, there has been some progress. b. Synthesizer Braille: a small computer with voice synthesizer or voice digitized which allows a blind person pretending to write information Perkins and then verify it. A Braille printer also allows transcribe this information and make drawings in relief, or using a braille display. c. System Optical Character Recognition: This device allows a visually impaired person reproducing the information from a computer using a scanner that reads any text using an OCR program and relays through a speech synthesizer or braille. One of these new applications is reading aloud written texts (newspapers, books, fax, email).
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d. Keyboard Concepts, was designed for people with mobility disabilities, and is

on a blank grid that can be grouped according to several concepts theme assigned by the therapists. There are also alternative type keyboards are simulated in virtual screen and are moved by a mouse. and. Sobreteclados: there are different types and can be tailored to the needs of user. f. Mice: The type is lever, pedal, spherical (track ball), touch, etc.., including are: Mouse emulators: wireless devices work by infrared waves. Head consists of user and device on the computer monitor. Each head movement involves movement of the cursor on the screen. Virtual Mouse: designed to provide mouse control to people with disabilities motor control with no voice. It works by scanning a keyboard and activated by a sound detected by a microphone connected to your sound card or a switch connected to the same sound card. Also exist for control mice Voice designed for people who can not control it as normal. A new software called DreamKey (www.dgdr.com / dreamkeys / index.html) opens new possibilities for people with disabilities as to interact with the keyboard or mouse replacing unique features, including: up and down the volume CD player, open emails and others. Using a panel of settings can be customized according to the movements of the disability user. Other software such as Ghost Mouse (www.mrdo.com/1.html) records the mouse movements to run later or record a sequence so that the user does not have to repeat movements. The JoyMouse (www.algonet.se / Larsby) allows Use the joystick or mouse to move the pointer across the screen. The Noisy Mouse (www.members.tripod.com/leeos/index-2.html) is specially recommended for people with disabilities, which emits a different sound every time is clicked with both mouse buttons, and the center button on those who possess it. The Special Keys (www.accesscodes.hypermart.net / skdisbler.html) allows toggle key combinations to prevent a person with disabilities turn off the computer. g. Copiers Electronic Boards: make it easier for deaf and hard of hearing, or those with mobility difficulties can obtain copies of classes without losing observation and care of them. h. Touchscreens: They allow people with mobility difficulties to access cursor movements with the pressure of a finger or hand.
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i. Switches: can be adapted to any type, mouth, eyes or eyebrows,

wrist, infrared, photoelectric, etc.. Some systems allow people cuadripljicas communicate through their eyes by make infrared goggles connected to the interface and keyboard. j. Browsers: Recently (October 99) has hit the market a browser works with verbal commands (http://www.conversa.com) are also the Net Surf Tamer and Braille, for people with visual disabilities. 3. Systems Alternative and Augmentative Communication: Developed for people whose disabilities can not access a verbal code-oral communication. They are very diverse and there are many classifications, one of them: Lloyd and Karlan (1984) distinguish between: support systems are those that require the use of any tool or instrument for communicate, apart from the actual body of the user, for example, writing, pictograms, communication boards, computers, etc.. And without support systems are comprising those forms of communication produced by the person have to communicate, for example, sign language, cued speech, other gestures as the indication, and so on. Rehabilitation of hearing and language: The idea of using computers in rehabilitation of children and young people with disabilities can be valuable, but the benefits are greater or lesser degree depending on the pathology. Although there is insufficient research on the "effectiveness" of programs computer, both at the hearing of oral and written language and in the fields of education and rehabilitation in general, some of them have their advantages, including: your playfulness and motivation. In some cases of children affected motricamente and other disorders, the use of technology resources not just your average learning but in most cases it is their only means of communication. They have opened new channels of communication for the deaf and hard of hearing that do not require auditory processing of speech and are replaced with support visual. In this area have developed excellent programs aimed at language learning: A) The LAO (Computer Aided Speech) APANDA Foundation (MurciaSpain). This program written text, images and signs, was intended for the care of deaf students who already have a grasp of reading but still have difficulties understanding.
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B) The PHONOS geared specifically to the attributes of speech (rhythm, intonation,

articulation) and language skills through sound images or written. C) The program IMASON, computer applications for intervention and / or rehabilitation of auditory perception, discrimination and association of sound through the computer, associating the sound sources with the images. There are also verbal development programs - through images and sounds - which allow its use in language and cognitive rehabilitation, including: Phonetic Speechwiever display (IBM-Spain) working all related prosody and qualities of the spoken word and Videovoz (Copextel-Cuba) performs similar functions for training, correction and development of language, phonemes in screen recording. His adaptation allows use at home by TVs and monitors. For teaching sign language-speaking, we know the existence of some multimedia applications already developed, without ruling out the existence of others: - SISCOSOR (Center for Applied Linguistics - Santiago / Cuba) SIGNS PROGRAM 97-98 (Joaquin Lopez - Alicante / Spain) SIGN LANGUAGE (Telecom Bogot / Colombia) These programs are appropriate to the grammar and language for the language of signs of the deaf community in each country, and are constantly updated. 4. Mobility Systems: Those related to personal mobility and architectural barriers. Once these difficulties are look for possibilities for that people with serious physical disabilities can interact or use a computer. Eg articulated arms or brackets, switches attached to wheelchairs, mouse emulators, rods, micro-robots, etc.. is systems combined with alternative and augmentative communication. In the pursuit of personal and specific alternatives for each case, technical aids go hand in hand with the rapid advances in medicine. Thus, research and development the rehabilitation technology have been encouraged and supported in recent years through research programs in government, private and university. Two cases witness the search and become a real hope for many: Chip for paraplegics Doctors in a medical institution in southern France, an electronic chip implanted in the abdomen of a paraplegic patient, whereby he may walk. The device implanted in muscle and nerve electrostimulation could produce a solve the problem of paralysis. As reported by Dr. Pierre Rabischong, this new technology will enable some paraplegics longer have control of their
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extremities. This patient - 38th man, a paraplegic for the last 9 because of a traffic accident - will wear on his waist a box with a small computer in operating a computer program. In addition to implant the chip, the medical team must connect through different cables, the computer system to the chip, so that the patient to control his movements at will. For a while, this chip can not be implanted in all kinds of people, because they requires a muscle in good condition and that the break of the bone has not been very serious. The medical staff of that institution implanted this device in six individuals affected by paraplegia late last year. The chip was the result of hard Research conducted in Europe under the "Rise and Walk" partly funded by the European Union. "Phantom", finger-robot for the blind Through a combination of virtual reality scenarios finger attached to a robot is system - first used in remote surgical operations - can feel the touch the objects represented by computer. Now it has been designed such form that allows the blind to determine whether a structure is concave or convex, or know the texture or thickness of a workpiece. 5. Control Systems Environments: allow manipulation of devices help control an environment. Environmental Control: There is large number of interfaces that allow people with motor disability, power control devices for domestic use. Example of this is so-called "smart homes", which provides software: connect / disconnect ringers, open / close doors, communicating by telephone, light control / air conditioning / TV or other devices. Virtual Reality: In this context, we can expect its development as a Technology Adaptive means of new input and output devices advanced, such as sensitive gloves, tracking devices for eye movements, 3-D positioning, etc.. with encouraging and increasing possibilities in the design of systems of care for people with disabilities. Experiences in the U.S. since 1995 have yielded positive results with people who had a mental disability and / or mild autism. This system allows - by mental images created by computer - eliminating environmental overload the same environment, maintaining visible objects or familiar people in the computer memory, which can be controlled by the therapists. Its current use is limited by the high cost of virtual technology, however, the strong competition and lowering of the electronic components allow this technology have massively in the next five years.
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Situation in Latin America and Spain

Today: Latin America has 7 million (Nov.1999) of Internet users and arise virtual communities which are destined for new gateways and Lists Discussion. The development of this new technology led to the creation and Multiplication of websites, creating new jobs for technicians, designers and people with disabilities. It also remains: most of the governments responsibility and there are very few Signs of change: intensive use in schools and libraries, and use the Web as an instrument for participation in public policy and to reach all population levels. Prevails even here the difference between the cultural and educational, if not understood which may be the practical use of the Internet content, it ends up being considered an expensive toy. We can define the technology landscape from different aspects: A level of education: The benefits of current information technologies and communication raises another issue: who has access and who is not. We observed that: - Using the computer as an educational resource is not symmetric for all schools: few exploit the full potential of computer and communication computers. - In some countries there are fewer schools - at least in private with no computers. There was (and still exists) a significant gap between private and public schools. The former can choose the best teachers, solve the ongoing training and continuously renew equipment and software. In some countries the state is to shrink that gap to reverse the situation, but not yet enough, so there are public schools that must comply with certain limited Cooperating machines provided by parents and outdated software, or old equipment recycled. In this simplicity to the massive acquisition of computers contrasts the complexity of carrying out a project of educational computing, many which fail. The question is not only the equipment but the training: there teachers who end up using the computer as a typewriter, wasting most applications without knowing how to solve technical issues, while others are linked to the curriculum and the students leave the knowing school program and familiar with the computer inside. - There are different criteria driving areas in terms of implementation technological change, mainly due to ignorance on the subject computer and the lack of training.
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- There is insufficient or lack of computer resources and professionals,

as well as no adequate teacher training in using software for Education Special, particularly in some Central American countries, hampering the provision of services. Although the education laws of each country give freedom of autonomy to find fiscal resources that solve this situation, in practice this is limited or not enforced. - There is a general ignorance about the possibilities that technology can give people with special educational needs, and strategies teaching to apply as there are distrust of the possibilities and capabilities regarding the use of technology by this group. - No detailed and updated information in the areas of Special Education or Differentiated with respect to the use of adaptive technology and also lack adequate dissemination of information. Regarding the software: There are several products on the market that emphasize the positive aspects of the and the same tool, but there is no strict monitoring and critical evaluation of the teaching content of such applications. The study and evaluation of different commercial software we describe the interactions that may occur in the relations of people with neecomo also can not fully meet the needs of this group. Special Education teachers are only able to provide support educational needs and frame but can not develop software, task by computer, which in many cases are left out of the system claim to possess teaching skills. It is important to the formation of multidisciplinary teams, which allow develop or modify a software according to the process of knowledge construction and responds to some degree and type of disability. On a commercial level: The next trend is the total deregulation of the telecommunications and expectations are placed on telephone companies enter the Latin American market. Although restrictions have to do with economic and cultural issues such deregulation will remove the impediments technology that limit the entry of a greater number of people with disabilities as users. This cyber market growth within the provinces of the country American, is hampered by the lack of server nodes, becoming a handicap for the application of Internet in Schools Specials.
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No one can predict the future of the network that has a world of possibilities front, its development is slower in countries that do not use the English language but the trend is changing rapidly by: increasing the amount of

users, product procurement and trading volume commercially, the inclusion of people with disabilities in Spanish and Portuguese with a high competitiveness and increased network devices are not computers: digital phones, smart card readers for the blind speakers, synthesizers voice, Close Caption, etc. In general, the idea is: To ensure equal Internet access for all persons with disabilities and equitably distribute resources among the provinces. The economic situation different countries prevents many people with special needs can access to a computer. Ensure or facilitate organizations / institutions for people with disabilities have access to the network and technology in general and allow active participation of education in the technological process that allows to have more into account the needs of people with disabilities. The governments of Latin American countries should consider in their calls for research projects in the field of telematics, introduction of clauses which are binding on all state projects or private, to take into account the requirements and priorities of people with disabilities. Distance training: The benefits for disabled people in this area are also obvious and extremely important, bearing in mind that their true labor and social integration inevitably spend adequate training professional. The technologies provide new tools and pose a change of scenery university is not yet defined, removing impediments related the physical transfer to the classroom, rigid schedules and allow for compatibility with work or other studies. It is important to note that: You should be aware that technological dependence is accentuated and institutions see their economic resources and more narrow every day under new policies rationalization of resources on a par with the dynamics of consumption. Respond to the training of teachers in all institutions Higher Education in order to avoid negative reaction of new technologies
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not change the educational mission of a university, and re-orient it towards people with disabilities. Introducing Educational Technology Adaptive must obey specific plans development and agree with the available resources should also be a stimulus to the dynamics of working in multidisciplinary teams that can realize through research grants.

Appearance work: Nearly 90% of new jobs include electronic use information, allowing the emergence of a new socio-economic profile and cultural que favorece la integracin de personas con distintas discapacidades. La disponibilidad de redes que soportan la transmisin de imgenes y sonido de muy alta calidad a valores accesibles abre la puerta a la existencia de servicios que permiten simular la presencia del usuario en forma remota (virtual), eliminando as la necesidad de desplazamiento fsico, lo que nos lleva a una nueva modalidad laboral: el Teletrabajo . Consideramos que el teletrabajo ser - para la persona con discapacidad uno de los puntos fundamentales en los que se basar el mercado laboral en el futuro. El recorte del gasto en las empresas continuar pero los niveles de productividad se mantendrn igual por lo que muchas corporaciones y PyMES estn fomentado fuertemente el teletrabajo con buenas perspectivas futuras. Las nuevas propuestas apuntan a: Fomentar proyectos de capacitacin para el empleo mediante la supresin de barreras de comunicacin en la formacin y la informacin como asimismo a crear nuevos puestos de trabajo para personas con discapacidad dentro de las nuevas tecnologas. Finalmente daremos un panorama parcial de la situacin en algunos pases de Latinoamrica, varios de ellos con dificultades para acceder a la tecnologa por distintas causas: Argentina Se concretaron proyectos informatizando escuelas que dependen de Provincias y Municipios establecindose por Ley para el nivel polimodal, contenidos que involucran a todos los niveles educativos. Adems hay importantes desarrollos de softwares en algunas instituciones privadas, as como profesionales dedicados a las distintas discapacidades, que han elaborado una serie de programas educativos y de rehabilitacin bastante interesantes, pero sus usos son limitados al mbito de las mismas ya que en muchos casos, el costo de los programas no son accesibles a las escuelas pblicas. Igualmente, el Estado a travs de un Plan Social Educativo compens las desigualdades que tienen las escuelas ms limitadas de recursos, subsidiando a muchas de ellas para poder equiparse con Gabinetes

Informticos como tambin adquiriendo determinados softwares pedaggicos. La capacitacin docente a cargo del Estado, se intensific en el rea de la Educacion Especial en los ltimos tres aos, aunque todava no es suficiente. La falta de recursos en las reas de investigacin y el poco inters de algunos niveles de conduccin mantienen las expectativas sin avances significativos.
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A nivel universitario, el inters de algunas instituciones se vuelca ms hacia los sistemas adaptativos, aunque no siempre se generaliza ni se difunde lo suficiente, situacin que se extiende tambin a varios pases. Brazil A travs de las Secretarias Municipales de Educacin se realizan actividades en conjunto con la Direccin de Educacin Especial y los Ncleos de Informtica Especial de las Universidades. El Estado subsidia y acompaa este tipo de acciones con el objetivo de orientar el planeamiento y racionalizar e optimizar la distribucin de recursos. Hay una tendencia a la capacitacin de personal y consolidamiento de los servicios bsicos de atencin educacional, lo que incluye tambin al rea informtica. En varias Universidades se han desarrollados diversos proyectos y programas orientados a suplir en parte, las minusvalas provocadas por distintas discapacidades mediante el uso de sistemas alternativos de comunicacin. Asimismo se ha evidenciado un importante avance desde las instituciones privadas hacia el desarrollo de software especfico para casos de sordera, sndrome de Down, ceguera y parlisis cerebral. Algunos de ellos, relacionados con la construccin de ambientes computacionales sobre experiencias pedaggicas que incluyen por ejemplo, actividades de la vida diaria. Hay un buen nivel de capacitacin docente pero tambin existe falta de recursos para equipamiento e insuficiente apoyo a iniciativas de instituciones privadas. Colombia A travs de la Universidad Pedaggica Nacional se ha recibido informacin de un inters por la formacin de profesionales que aporten soluciones pedaggicas y tecnolgicas a los problemas de integracin social y educativa de las personas con

discapacidad, tomando como base los Sistemas Aumentativos y Alternativos de Communication. Con este fin se han organizado seminarios para desarrollar, entre estudiantes y egresados, habilidades para el diseo, produccin y evaluacin de programas de intervencin pedaggica con soportes de alta y baja tecnologa, orientados a la solucin de problemas comunicativos propios de personas con necesidades educativas especiales. Los proyectos se han orientado a formar grupos interdisciplinarios para el diseo de software y sistemas alternativos en poblacin con autismo, sordera, retardo en el desarrollo, sndrome de Down y parlisis cerebral. No se ha logrado informacin fehaciente sobre desarrollo de softwares. Costa Rica El Programa de Informtica Educativa implementado desde hace diez aos entre las autoridades educativas y la Fundacin Omar Dengo, ha llevado a este pas a un importante desarrollo gracias a la introduccin de la tecnologa, prcticamente en un 50% de la poblacin estudiantil pblica, incluyendo las zonas mas alejadas del pas. Las metodologas utilizadas en los Laboratorios de Informtica parten de enfoques contructivistas y un respaldo metodolgico apoyado en Micromundos Logo y Sistemas Multimedia, con un
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amplio programa de integracin para nios con necesidades especiales. This includes personal capacitado, material didctico, apoyo presencial ya distancia, como asimismo soporte tcnico. El nivel pedaggico y de capacitacin alcanzado en este pas - junto a Cuba - es considerado uno de los ms altos dentro del contexto regional centroamericano. Cuba A pesar de las dificultades ocasionadas por el bloqueo econmico-comercial que afecta a este pas, el Sistema Educativo en general tiene un importante apoyo del Estado, han sido equipadas la mayora de las escuelas especiales con computadoras, as como las asociaciones de personas con discapacidad,muchas de ellas con ayudas tcnicas. Also, a travs de los Institutos Superiores Pedaggicos y Universidades de cada provincia se forman a los profesionales en cursos pre y post-grado para el desarrollo de aplicaciones informticas. Se han destinado recursos para investigaciones, diseo y elaboracin de software multimedial para Educacin Especial, con programas didcticos de excelente

diseo que fomentan la conducta exploratoria y aprendizaje de los nios, asi como tambin en los ltimos aos se ha facilitado el acceso gratuito a las redes telemticas. Entre otras, la Universidad Pedaggica Jos Mart , a travs del Centro de Estudios de Juegos Instructivos y Softwares (Camagey) ha elaborado y aplicado un proyecto de investigacin y desarrollo para el estudio de las posibilidades teraputicas y de diagnstico de la computadora en la Educacin Especial. En esta rama de la Educacin, el enfoque generalizado est orientado hacia la rehabilitacin logopdica y el uso de las tecnologas avanzadas que han permitido un eficaz trabajo correctivo en los componentes del lenguaje como va para acelerar el trnsito de los alumnos a la escuela primaria general, aspecto importante para la integracin , mediante el uso del Videovoz . Aunque en general no se aplica la tecnologia adaptativa, cada vez ms la informtica se pone en funcin del trabajo con nios, jvenes y adultos con nee , garantizado por el Estado. Chile En relacin al estado actual de la tecnologa de la rehabilitacin y el uso de la informtica en personas con necesidades especiales solo contamos con informacin de experiencias aisladas a nivel universitario, con interesantes iniciativas de docentes y alumnos en el campo de la rehabilitacin del lenguaje. La Reforma Educacional en este pas ha hecho cambios en las concepciones de la educacin institucional y su prctica docente. The mismos apuntan a una reformulacin gradual y significativa de los factores que inciden en el desarrollo individual y colectivo, como asimismo a la Integracin escolar. No podemos ampliar ms detalles por falta de informacin ya que contactos iniciados a nivel estatal y privado no nos han resultados concretos, pero estimamos que en la mayora de las escuelas de Educacin Especial se estn realizando algunos desarrollos informticospedaggicos. Ecuador : Debido a la situacin econmica informa la FENELIF (Federacin Nacional de Ecuatorianos con Limitacin Fsica), que agrupa a 26 Asociaciones Provinciales - , son

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pocas las personas con discapacidad que pueden acceder a equipos de computacin que les brinden las caractersticas necesarias para cumplimentar determinados objetivos, ya sean educativos, laborales o de rehabilitacin. Spain Este pas es uno de los que ha logrado - a nivel hispano - importantes avances en cuanto a tcnicas y adaptaciones de perifricos informticos. El apoyo del Estado, instituciones, Universidades y algunas empresas privadas se ha constitudo en un importante soporte para ayudar a eliminar las barreras que afectan a las personas con discapacidad. Los centros universitarios funcionan como un servicio para acercar la investigacin a la industria y la sociedad, incentivando a los estudiantes de carreras tcnicas hacia dichas reas como asimismo a la adaptacin de juguetes para personas con necesidades special. A travs de proyectos de enseanza asistida se han desarrollado asimismo muchas aplicaciones y programas educativos de muy buen nivel. La produccin de software educativo a cargo de empresas comerciales han demostrado un buen criterio en la seleccin de temas pedaggicos que pueden orientarse a todas las reas de Educacin Especial. A nivel de Teletrabajo y Capacitacin a Distancia para personas con discapacidad tambin se han logrado avances importantes. U.S. Aunque este pas no integra el grupo de naciones de habla hispana, el alto nmero de residentes latinos nos obliga a tomarlo en cuenta. El nivel econmico supera muchsimo a varios pases, por lo que el nivel de consumo y en particular de computadoras, es alto. In las escuelas no es ni ms o menos importante que otras materias, lamentablemente no es tratada como vehculo de innovaciones pedaggicas. Sus usos son superficiales y consisten en emplear algn software o aprender a usar programas integrados, pero sin demasiado hincapi en la metodologa que se emplea o en las aplicaciones curriculares. In todas las reas relacionadas con la rehabilitacin mdico-tcnica, realidad virtual, simuladores y otras, se han logrado importantes avances.

Honduras : La gran mayora de las instituciones educativas especiales no disponen de computadoras. Si bien el Estado est orientado hacia una gran necesidad prioritaria de evaluaciones pedaggicas en Educacin Especial, no se est contemplando por el momento la incorporacin de la tecnologa informtica por falta de recursos. Un Comit Interinstitucional de Rehabilitacin que se form en mayo de 1999 se encuentra trabajando en proyectos de desarrollo informticos destinados a la atencin de personas con discapacidad. Nicaragua
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En este pas, se encuentra el Instituto Nacional Tecnolgico (INATEC) que cuenta dentro de su estructura organizativa con un rea especfica que atiende a personas con discapacidad en rehabilitacin profesional y ayudas tcnicas. En relacin al estado actual de la tecnologa y el uso de la informtica en personas con necesidades especiales, recin se est comenzando con este proceso dado que la situacin del pas ha sido adversa y han sufrido desde desastres naturales hasta problemas polticos sociales, que han obstaculizado o demorado dicho proceso. La experiencia ms reciente y positiva se realiz con un grupo de discapacitados auditivos, a los cuales se les capacit en computacin con una instructora sin conocer el idioma de seas, dos metodlogas y una intrprete, con vital apoyo de la Escuela Especial, introduciendo el vocabulario tcnico del entorno Windows y sus aplicaciones. Para este ao con el apoyo de ONCE (Espaa) se iniciaran cursos para personas no videntes. Panama Existen proyectos conjuntos de alfabetizacin tecnolgica entre escuelas que participan en el Plan Nacional de Educacin Inclusiva (nios con necesidades educativas especiales), el Instituto Panameo de Habilitacin Especial (IPHE) y la Universidad Tecnolgica de Panama. La adopcin de medidas en los Servicios de Apoyos Externos a las Escuelas que reorientan los servicios de educacin especial apuntan a lograr la transferencia de conocimientos bsicos a esa niez discapacitada, en el uso e importancia de la

computadora, el intercambio de informacin, al igual que la integracin de nuevas tecnologas a sus procesos de aprendizaje. La Universidad Tecnolgica de Panam apoya, en algunas ciudades al maestro de informtica de las escuelas integradoras en el proceso de enseanza del curriculum, en el manejo y reparacin del equipo computacional utilizado por los nios, como tambin proporciona personal docente para apoyar el proceso de docencia que hace el IPHE Asimismo se gestionan desde estos servicios, la consecucin de las ayudas tcnicas a nivel de comunicacin alternativa y aumentativa para que los nios discapacitados tengan igual acceso a las computadoras y al conocimiento de esta herramienta en su formacin y desarrollo cognitivo, en equidad con otros nios del grado integrador. El desmantelamiento de las bases militares estadounidenses - operado recientemente ha permitido que el gobierno de ese pas donara equipamiento informtico a escuelas de toda America. Paraguay Aunque hay diversas iniciativas a travs de Universidades e instituciones pblicas y privadas para introducir la informtica en la educacin y rehabilitacin de las personas con discapacidad, el alcance de las mismas es limitado por falta de recursos y formacin docente en la Educacin Especial. Recientemente, con el apoyo de la Asociacin Paraguaya de Informtica Educativa y profesionales de distintas instituciones privadas y
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estatales, se ha impulsado la creacin del grupo RedEspecial, formado por representantes de distintos sectores y organismos que se han comprometido a unificar criterios para alcanzar estos objetivos. Esta iniciativa tambin ha tomado consenso en Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica, Espaa, Panam, Chile y Venezuela. Puerto Rico La informtica en la Educacin Especial prcticamente no existe. Por el momento esta tecnologa est destinada a la Educacin Regular y con grandes deficiencias de infraestructura, pues es poco el presupuesto disponible. Como asimismo hay escasez de profesionales en este campo. En muchas escuelas se ofrecen laboratorios de computadoras cierto da a la semana a grupos como complemento de la enseanza regular,

pero esto se aplica slo a la enseanza especial. El vandalismo que existe en las escuelas, amenaza con minar este privilegio de muchos, pues una gran cantidad de computadoras terminan sustradas y destrudas, quedando la escuela sin los recursos por long. Venezuela En los 23 estados del pas, hay instituciones pblicas, privadas y muchos profesionales interactuando en los programas de accin cooperativa con los equipos tcnicos y transdisciplinarios que son requeridos por la Educacin Especial. An no se ha avanzado en forma integral con la aplicacin de la informtica a nivel estatal, y solo tenemos conocimientos de experiencias aisladas en este campo, como asimismo de proyectos de rehabilitacin orientados a distintas discapacidades, impulsados por instituciones privadas que an se encuentran en etapas de desarrollo. Del resto de los pases (Bolivia, Per, Mxico, Guatemala, El Salvador, R.Dominicana, Uruguay y Portugal) no nos fue posible contar con suficiente informacin que nos permitiera elaborar y agregar un mnimo informe, ello no implica que en los mismos no haya avances, pues las investigaciones realizadas no han aportado resultados concretos para volcar en este trabajo. The future Las reglas de la nueva economa globalizada siguen sin estar explicadas, pero su advenimiento empieza a ser aceptado como un hecho. La tendencia general se est orientando a sistemas con capacidad de proceso en muchos dispositivos que van a dejar de ser considerados como computadoras. It muy posible que esa tendencia llegue aparejada de un mayor uso de la voz, el sonido y la imagen como elemento base para la interfaz con los sistemas. El espectacular crecimiento tecnolgico era de preveer, pero la verdadera sociedad de la informacin no va a estar accesible hasta que Internet estabilice sus funcionalidades y
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descubra todos los usos posibles que tal vez hagan realidad la idea , tantas veces repetida de la sociedad de la red.

En el mbito educativo, es muy difcil realizar anticipaciones sin tener en cuenta a las computers. Los alumnos tendrn cada vez ms posibilidades de interactuar con otras personas salvando las distancias geogrficas e idiomticas. Los docentes podrn dar clases a distancia a las personas con discapacidad a travs de las redes en un fenmeno que se generalizar cada vez ms. Las dificultades de acceso a Internet para las personas con discapacidad se han mejorado aunque an no se han consensuado documentos definitivos a nivel iberolatinoamericano y ser Espaa el pas donde posiblemente se apruebe la primera norma mundial de accesibilidad a las plataformas informticas para lo cual hay grupos dedicados a ello ( Sid@r y AENOR/Espaa) La tecnologa de la rehabilitacin jugar un papel muy importante a partir del 2000. Ms que la ayuda tcnica en s, a una persona con discapacidad habr que darle la posibilidad de tener un motivo por el cual vivir y esto lo facilitarn los nuevos avances tecnolgicos alcanzados en los ltimos aos. However: "No debemos convertirnos en esclavos de la tecnologa, ni mucho menos, sino ser capaces de domesticarla y usarla a nuestro favor. Si la tecnologa llega a fallar, el peligro puede ser enorme, sobre todo para el minusvlido fsico". Dr, Pierre Rabischong Montpellier Francia Por ltimo, y para acompaar este avance tecnolgico, quisiera destacar que hemos cimentado las bases de una organizacin a nivel Iberolatinoamericano, formada por profesionales de cada pas de habla hispana y portuguesa, interesados en orientar, promover y divulgar el uso de las ayudas tcnicas, informticas y las telecomunicaciones en la rehabilitacin y habilitacin e integracin educativa, social y laboral de las personas con necesidades especiales, conocida como Red Especial, en donde aportaremos aprendizaje y tcnica para que todos puedan acceder a la tecnologa. Quienes estamos trabajando en este tema creemos que pronto habr un enorme crecimiento en todas las regiones, y que el conocimiento ser uno de los elementos ms necesarios para fomentar este desarrollo. Literature Barcel, M.(1999): Del baco a Internet, una historia de la informtica. U. de Catalua (Spain)

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Boletin AELFA Nro.3 (1998): Barcelona (Espaa) Bossuet,G. (1981): La computadora en la Escuela Especial - Ed. Paids Campos,L - Tecnologa Alternativa en el desarrollo del aprendizaje y la comunicacin Camac - Argentina - CIIEE 98 Capra, M. - Aprendizajes para todos y Proyecto Colmena - PIE MEP-FOD - Costa Rica CIIEE 98 Centeno Torres, D. (1999): "Cuesta arriba la Educacin Especial" - Universidad de Puerto Rich Copextel (1997): El videovoz - Cuba De la Fuente,C. (1999):Teclado o ratn. El Pais Digital (Espaa) De la Vega,M. Koon,R. (1999): La computadora en la intervencin de nios y adolescentes con autismo. CIIEE 2000 (Espaa) Garrote, D. (1999):Sistemas Alternativos de Comunicacin y AutismoConf.Lista Nuevo Horizonte. Koon, R. (1998) Aplicaciones de la informtica para el desarrollo del pensamiento en alumnos con discapacidad. Argentina Mendoza N.,E. (1999): Rehabilitacin, esperanza para 900 millones de personas en el mundo. Revista "Conozca Mas". Colombia. Montes, N. (1999): Educacin Especial en Venezuela Murazzo, M.-Sirvente A. - Estrategias de desarrollo de Software para Apoyo a la Educacin Especial - Universidad Nacional de San Juan - CIIEE 98. Pavn Rabasco,F-Ordez Sierra,R.(1999):Las nuevas Tecnologias como recursos de apoyo para el aprendizaje de las personas con necesidades educativas especiales Internet Snchez M.,R. (1997): Ordenador y Discapacidad CEPE (Madrid) Tedesco, JC (1999):Artculo "La secuencia de la transformacin educativa en Amrica Latina" - Instituto Internacional de Planificacin de la Educacin - Argentina Toro C.,I. (1999): Diseo de Software Educativo para personas con necesidades educativas special. Pictogramas - Universidad Pedaggica Nacional Colombia Tristn,G/Epifanio,V. (1999): Proyecto colaborativo de alfabetizacin tecnolgica de la niez con necesidades educativas especiales de la comunidad coclesana en el uso e importancia de la computadora. CIIEE 2000

Ulloa, L. y colab.(1997): Estudio de las posibilidades teraputicas y de diagnstico de la computadora en la Educacin Especial. El desarrollo de los componentes del lenguaje a travs de los juegos instructivos computarizados. CIIEE 98 Neuqun (Argentina)