Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Urban Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Drame

Committee Members

Roger Smith, Margaret Bartlett, Candance Doerr-Stevens


Assistive Technology, Hybrid Professional Development, Inclusion, Professional Development, Universal Design for Learning


Classrooms today are becoming more diverse and students with disabilities are being included more within the general education setting. Therefore, teachers need to continue to develop their instructional practices to be able to support such a diverse population of students. Assistive tech-nology is one way that teachers are able to meet the needs of their students. The purpose of this study was to identify the influence a hybrid professional development had on urban educators use of assistive technology within their classrooms. The professional development included four sixty-minute face to face sessions where teachers learned the principles of Universal Design for Learning and the functions of Google Read and Write, along with how to incorporate this assis-tive technology using this framework into their instructional practices. This was then followed by four weeks of online professional development that included targeting ways for teachers to uti-lize specific tools from Google Read and Write on a weekly basis. Both online and face-to-face components to the professional development granted teachers the opportunity to collaborate with one another while receiving ongoing support. This hybrid professional development process fo-cused on combining assistive technology with the Universal Design for Learning framework which resulted in the majority of teachers being able to fundamentally change their lesson plan-ning and incorporate assistive technology into their literacy instruction.