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Bleeding Hearts for Accessibility
Some asked, “Will the Internet collapse?” Now just over three weeks into the public’s awareness of the Heartbleed Bug, the collapse brought consciousness to millions about the need for increased protection. The panic has subsided, but the undercurrent of worry still persists, especially for our students who rely on technology for their academic success. From our perspective, a network security’s focus on keeping people out seems at odds with accessibility’s focus on inclusivity. How do we ...
Running pilot studies with Kinect games for helping children with ADHD
Kinect motion-based touchless games have been suggested by educators and therapists for helping children with learning disabilities as well as disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The ultimate goal is to help children improve skills such as attention, memory, concentration and eye-hand concentration. ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders consisting of three symptom domains: hyperactivity, impulsivity and attention deficit. Epidemiological ...
Thinking Outside the Touchscreen Box
“Vision Free Users”. I encountered this phrase on a message board, and I paused. The phrase ‘hands free’ is commonplace, especially with driving laws. ‘Vision Free’ is more than a pitch to sell headsets and earpieces—it’s an identity. Earlier, I went on a quest of using tablets with Ease of Access. Yet, “Vision Free” describes a specific person—a powerhouse user of technology. Despite the seeming importance of a visual display, it can be bypassed through assistive technology. Touchscreens are ...
Part 2: Tablet Accessibility Tips for Students with Disabilities
You can find Part One of our post : --My journey begins with locating Ease of Access. Typically, I would get there by swiping my fingers. Not today. I first traveled using a shortcut with the On-Screen Keyboard. A timesaver for some, shortcuts are a boon to students who are blind or have cognitive disabilities. Keeping keyboard shortcuts standardized ensures that Windows Key + U always Ease of Access, whether you’re on a tablet or notebook. I’m now in Ease of Access, as announced audibly by ...
How Assistive Technology Can Benefit Students both in the Classroom and at Home
When we discuss assistive technology in schools and at home, we might think first about children with special needs. However, assistive tech can help both students with special needs like those with difficulty speaking or students without special needs but who have difficulty with reading, communicating or typing. The best assistive tech is built into computers, tablets and other mobile devices that can help teachers to accommodate all students in one setting. Including students with different ...
Braille and Imagination
Imagine beings that cannot communicate with words or conventional images whose sensory perception is so astute they perceive your presence by the difference of airflow around a room. They feel vibrations so subtle many of us are rarely aware of their existence. Some may hear as you do and some may not. Those who do will have a heightened sense of sound, multilayered processing of the sound, and an astute sense of smell distinguishing things we can only imagine as seeing and hearing individuals. ...
Laura Rahn: A Year of 1:1, and How It Helped Me Grow as an Educator!
We are pleased to introduce Laura Rahn, our latest Accessibility Sunday guest blogger! We first met Laura as a fellow participant at the Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Innovative Education Forum in 2011 and have crossed paths several times as colleagues at Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia and through our continuing relationship with Microsoft. Laura was featured on Anthony Salcito’s Daily Edventures blog in July 2013 at Here’s her bio! Laura Rahn has been a classroom teacher for 24...
Visual Access Using Zoom and Magnifier
We recently had an opportunity to explore assistive technology (AT) supports to help a first grade student who has a visual impairment access the Internet. She already had some wonderful supports in place. Her teachers had set up the Display options on her PC with a lower screen resolution that increased the size of the screen elements, including desktop icons, folders, and font size. They had increased the default Zoom level for viewing web pages to a higher percentage and increased the text ...
Back to School: Personalizing technology for individual needs and preferences
This month the nation’s children head back to school—many equipped with powerful new technology unimagined a decade or two ago. Technology plays a huge role in both teaching and learning, and is becoming more and more adaptable to personal needs and preferences. Students now routinely use technology to gather information, complete and submit school work, and enjoy interactive and stimulating lessons. For students with disabilities, computers are often the most essential tool they can employ for ...
How Hearing Impairments can Affect Students?
When a student has a profound hearing impairment, it’s extremely evident, but many students have hearing impairments that are mild an are not yet diagnosed. I for one have seen students have problems in the classroom, with reading, and speaking because of mild-to-moderate hearing loss so it’s imperative that educators and therapists look for the various signs of a child experiencing problems with hearing for if they get the intervention they need at an early age, learning, speaking, and ...
New Accessibility Resources available for Educators from Microsoft
With the release of the new , we are excited to tell you what our new products offer in the area of Accessibility. This 4th edition covers Windows 8, Office 2013, Office 365 and Kinect for Xbox360. In addition, this version includes some best practices as shared by some of our valued PiL educators who have also blogged her on the PiL Hot Topic of Accessibility. The Guide has been published as a download and links have been updated on: • • • In celebration of the new guide we’ve decided ...
Successful Individuals with Disabilities and Disability Awareness for All of Us
It was such an honor to be featured on Edventures and I really think that more individuals are looking at this blog because of it. There was a post by a gentleman named Daniel Hubbell and it was so good to see. He was writing about how important assistive technology is, especially to students, and how this technology is ever-changing but necessary to keep up with for the success of all our students. Though education is my major focus, we will all need some type of assistive technology in the ...
Investigating assistive technologies
Greetings!! My name is Valeska Gioia and I’m an Assistive Technology Specialist and have been in this field for approximately ten years. I’m originally from New York but relocated to South Carolina about seven-years ago and my background is in special education. I’ve worked with many students with mild to profound disabilities and I know that all students can experience success if they have the right tools to help them. Assistive technology is growing by leaps and bounds and I love getting to ...