Supporting Study Abroad for Students with Disabilities 

Despite this encouraging trend, students with disabilities find themselves under-represented among globe-trotting academics. In 2017-2018,, only 9.2% of study abroad students were students with disabilities, despite the fact that students with disabilities represent approximately 19% of students on college campuses.
There is no reason this should be the case. The author of this blog – himself a person with a disability – found studying abroad to be challenging, but ultimately a life-changing experience. In this blog, we will explore how factors like technology and a commitment to accessibility can facilitate study abroad for students with disabilities.

Playing Around with Technology: Part II 

In a previous post, we discussed the importance of play for children with disabilities and how technology can facilitate play. Teachers employed technology in the classroom to encourage social interactions between students with and without disabilities. Students, when given opportunities, took existing technology and used it in innovative ways. Finally, parents spoke about how technology provided alternative forms of communication or even allowed them to watch how their children played.
A person with a visual impairment sitting outside on steps using their cell phone.

Perspectives from Higher Education Experts in Orientation and Mobility

In the November 30 CIDDL Webinar, How to select Technology and Design Instruction: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities that Generalize Across Tools and Settings, Dr. Tara Courchaine interviewed Dr. Robert Wall Emerson, Dr. Sarahelizabeth Baguhn, and Dr. Nicholas Giudice regarding their processes for choosing technology to introduce in orientation and mobility (O&M) programs.
Man Using the Braille in Front of a Computer

Dot the I’s and Every Other Letter: Technology to Support Braille Learning

For over 150 years, a system of raised dots known as braille has been the fundamental system of written communication for the blind. Perkins School for the Blind reports that there exist braille codes for over 130 languages from around the world. Even beyond the classroom, braille is an indispensable tool in the daily lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. Fortunately, advances in technology have the potential to make braille more readily available than ever before.

I’ll Cross that Virtual Bridge When I Come to It: Orientation and Mobility Training in Virtual Environments

One technology that has shown potential for creating safe spaces for teaching/practicing O&M skills is virtual reality (VR). According to Thevin and colleagues (2020), VR systems create immersive, interactive environments that provide students the opportunity for trial and error . Besides visual feedback, VR systems can provide both haptic and auditory information for the benefit of individuals who are blind or low vision.

Accessibility Checker for Slides

Special education teachers and related service providers are tasked with developing and maintaining high-quality data to support student progress towards goals. This means that the burden of exploring options to collect high quality data is on educator preparation programs (EPPs) and personnel. Beyond teaching how to write legally defensible goals and maintain high-quality data sheets from them, EPPs must also provide pre-service teachers with the skills to create and/or find resources to assess the assigned goals. Boom Cards™ by Boom Learning are interactive task cards that can be used in the brick-and-mortar classroom and virtually to provide teachers and related service providers with meaningful feedback for progress towards goals.