In my undergrad technology class, we learned about a variety of disabilities and how technology can be adapted to meet the needs of all users. However, I have not thought about that in a while and so have forgot how important it is to make adaptations to ensure that each student has an opportunity to learn. Watching the YouTube videos and exploring the sites given reminded me that it is important to consider each student and that it may be necessary to think outside the box to reach every user.
Discovery Exercise #1: After looking at the National Federation of the Blind's site, I realized how important it is to be prepared to make accommodations for students who are hard of seeing. This site provided a variety of strategies and exercises that can be implemented into a classroom or library. It is important to remember that not only can a teacher learn Braille to assist a student with sight difficulties, but sighted students can learn too. I think it is important to explain to students that there are many ways to communicate with each other and that reading Braille can be a fun and interesting skill to have. The Braille is Beautiful kit would probably be a good place to start. This kit helps teachers show students in their class what Braille is and why it can be useful. Students can have fun learning about Braille and also use it to communicate with classmates who have vision difficulties. The teacher should be a leader in showing students that this is something that needs to be taken seriously. This site showed many other programs that would be worth looking into. It is important to make accommodations so that all students can have the same learning opportunities.
Discovery Exercise #2: The Job Accommodation Network seems like a great resource for people with disabilities. Oftentimes when people have a disability, the individual (or their family) may think that they will never be able to have a normal life or a job. This site, however, can help people with disabilities find a job that can match their abilities. There are many companies throughout the world that are willing to hire people with disabilities and give them the training and accommodations that they need. I really appreciate this site. Also, the site provided a list of products that can be useful to help these people fit into their jobs. These products can also be used in schools and libraries to make accommodations for students.
The other website, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, provided a variety of resources for teachers that can be useful in a classroom or library. This site provided information on a wide variety of disabilities that I am going to bookmark to help me learn more about students in my classroom. The site also provided a section on universal design that I think was very interesting. It helps teachers to make accommodations in the classroom to ensure that all students receive the same amount of accommodation.
When using technology, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same abilities. Technology has given us a chance to make changes to ensure that each student can have the same chance and the same opportunities. I am looking forward to learning more about how to make accommodations when using technology in my library.