Friday, November 13, 2009

AT Module #1

It is difficult for me to even realize what it would mean to have a blind child in class. This is my first year teaching library K-6; I have students in wheelchairs and others diagnosed with autism or mental retardation, as well as others who have various learning disabilities. I would be lost without the teacher's assistants who work with these kids every day and can help me figure out the best practices.

I would emphasize Braille as a fundamental key to literacy for a visually impaired person, just as reading and writing manually is fundamental for a sighted person. I know there is some controversy in the blind community over the value of learning Braille; some think that assistive technology has become so sophisticated that Braille is unnecessary. However, my view is that knowing Braille is a necessary skill for the visually impaired.

I really liked the idea of a school-wide Braille skills competition. Everyone could get involved and learn the value of a new form of communication while working toward a prize. There are often units done on learning sign language, but I have never heard of a unit on Braille. Hopefully the school would be equipped with proper Braille signage.

Two websites I found useful were the What Works Clearinghouse, and Doing What Works, which helps implement the findings on the What Works site. They cover topic on common school challenges such as behavior problems, dropout prevention, and encouraging girls in math and science.

1 comment:

  1. the Clearinghouse has advice for all types of students