BOARD WORK (CHALK, WHITE, INTERACTIVE)
By: Carmen Willings
Chalkboards, Whiteboards and Interactive boards are used daily in classrooms for instruction. These boards can present problems for students who are blind or visually impaired but there are strategies to use in order to make them more accessible.
Say Everything As It Is Written
Saying everything as it is written on the board will be helpful to all students, but is particularly helpful and important for the student who is blind or visually impaired.
Copy of Notes
Taking notes can be difficult for students who are blind or visually impaired. Many students will need to be provided with a copy of teacher notes prior to instruction. These notes can be emailed to the student to allow them to access them on their iPad or iPhone or provide the student with a printed copy of the notes.
If a student needs materials in braille, be sure to provide the TVI with the notes well in advance in order to ensure there is time to prepare the materials in braille. This is particularly helpful in math classes when a student would need to follow the step-by-step instruction. Don't assume that all students will benefit from this accommodation. Some students learn best through active involvement and will decline notes or may want a fill-in-the-blank format.
Proximity to the Board
If the board is located at the front of the class, the student may need to be positioned near the front of the class. Some students, however, will need to sit further back or to the side if they have a restricted visual field. In many classes, the instruction area may change from the front, to the side, to the back of the room. There needs to be flexibility in where the student is allowed to sit. Allowing a student to move throughout the room will typically be necessary.
Using screen sharing apps like Join.Me is another great way for students to access information on an interactive white board (e.g. Promethean Board, SMART board). The student can either use a computer with internet access or use a device such as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod with internet access and the Join.Me app. The teacher simply goes to the Join.Me website, initiates the meeting and provides the student with the numeric code. The student goes to the Join.Me site OR opens the Join.Me app and requests to join a meeting. The student enters the code and has immediate access to everything presented on the screen! Feel free to preview, download, and print these directions for using JoinMe.
Encourage Use of Prescribed Low Vision Devices
If the student has been prescribed a monocular, binocular, or electronic magnification device that can view information at a distance, for distance viewing, encourage the student to use their device
The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) can help determine the best position for optimal viewing. Keep in mind that these devices allow the student to view a small area at a time. Monocualars and binoculars are great for spotting information, but should not be used for note taking as it is difficult to locate the targeted area, look down to notes, and find the location again, especially repeatedly.
Create Accessible Power Points
1. Use a pre-set slide layout in order to ensure that the slideshow is maximally accessible.
2. As with handout materials, choose a simple font such as Arial or Verdana
3. Resist the urge to use smaller font sizes. Ideal font size of 24 point.
4. Use the recommendations in font legibility including high contrast.
5. Avoid using animations and transitions.
6. Use alternative text for images, charts, graphs, and tables to ensure students who use a screen reader can access information.
7. Use slide titles for easy navigation of the slideshow.
8. Use descriptive text for any hyperlinks used in the presentation to ensure that the link's purpose is understood.
9. Save PowerPoints in the 97-2004 mode.
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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