AUDITORY ACCESS DEVICES
By: Carmen Willings
Auditory devices are another means for a student who is blind or visually impaired to access print and information. These devices can help a student access information easily, but be aware that listening to books on tape is not the same as literacy. Keep in mind that auditory skills should be used in conjunction with print or braille instruction as listening is not a form of literacy.
Every student deserves the opportunity to be as literate as they are capable and it should not be limited to the access of personnel who are able to properly instruct the student. Auditory devices should be used in tandem with print or braille as it is essential for a student be as literate as their cognitive skills allow.
For younger students, or those with cognitive delays, they must be taught to move to sound sources to get what they want (ex. walk to the water fountain to get water, walk to the running water to wash their hands, or go to the lunch table when they enter the cafeteria). Encourage the student to turn their head, turn their body, and point to isolated sounds. Talk about the positions of sounds: in front, behind, beside, left, right, above.
A recording device allows a student to record an instructional lesson for studying, write assignments and for notetaking purposes. Some of the same devices that students use to listen to recorded texts such as tape recorders, CD players, MP3 players, iPads and iPhones. It is important to gain permission from the school prior to implementing this as many schools have strict policies against recording classroom instruction.
The Library of congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (talking Book program), Recording for the blind, and other organizations provide free library services to visually handicapped persons. They offer a wide variety of texts and leisure-reading materials for download, on disk, or cassettes.
Some machines, specifically designed for use with audio books, include variable speed components because the speeds at which special disks and cassettes are played differ from the speeds of commercially manufactured recordings. The National Library Service lends special Talking book and cassette-playback/record machines to eligible persons for this reason. More portable playback/record cassette equipment can be purchased from the American Printing House for the blind and various other companies, such as Humanware, throughout the United States.
In recent years, downloads or pdf's are the most common means of accessing electronic text. Registering your student for a Bookshare.org or a Reading Ally account is an excellent way to access recorded books.
Electronic Dictionary w/ Speech
An electronic dictionary with speech may be used by a student who cannot access a print dictionary. This dictionary, which may also include a thesaurus, is hand-held and battery operated. It uses a standard (QWERTY) keyboard on which the words are entered. Information is produced in both a spoken and large print format.
Audible Gym Equipment
Beeper balls, balls with bells, goal locators with sound, and other adapted gym equipment can make gym time more accessible to students with visual impairments.
This beeper box, emits a series of beeps and can be used to create your own beeper balls (or attach to any other object)! You can go hide the beeper somewhere, and have the student locate it - much like a game of Hide and Seek. And when kids get older and you're teaching them mobility skills, this beeper is very useful for audibly marking landmarks, street corners, etc.
Screen Reading Software
With this hardware and software, students who are blind are able to access print material on a computer screen. Students can use the internet, word processing programs, calculators and access other printed material without having to see the screen. The best option for students who are blind who will be required to take computer tests or complete other projects on the computer, is for the school to purchase a screen reading software program. Screen reading software, like JAWS, reads the information on the computer screen.
Speech Recognition Software
Speech recognition software turns your talk into text and can make virtually any computer task easier and faster. It lets you interact with your PC and control your digital world with your voice. Create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, send email, and search the Web just by talking.
Talking or Large Print Calculators
Talking or large print calculators are essential for students with visual impairments, particularly those in academic classes. Talking hand-held calculators are available from several manufacturers. They perform the function of speaking each entry and result and are capable of performing all the computations of a non-adapted electronic calculator. Earphones are available for many models.
Talking watches are important for students who are blind or visually impaired who are learning time management skills.
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings
Visual Efficiency & Magnifier Fluency Grab & Go ECC Supplements
This workbook is a pdf download that can be printed on demand for use with students. It contains five different types of worksheets for developing visual motor skills and near magnifier fluency skills particularly with the use of a video magnifier. As a supplement to the TVI’s Guide to the ECC, the worksheets correspond to each of the 32 ECC Thematic units. The worksheets, along with a list of environmental print for each thematic unit, are designed to help students refine their visual motor skills while reinforcing ECC concepts presented in the thematic units.
Visual Efficiency & Near Magnifier Fluency Worksheet Details:
Digital pdf download: 210 pages
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings