Many learners struggle to engage with formal education. This can be for a range of reasons and there's no simple answer to any of them. This site is about reducing the barriers to engagement wherever possible. It will often focus on technology but that's only because technology has a lot to offer in many contexts. Other 'human based' approaches can be just as effective so they'll also get space when they cross the horizon.
I love the way the VI simulator allows you to use the slider bar to simulate different severities. Really helps make the point that every disabled person is unique and we need flexible, agile ways of teaching and supporting
Really useful and timely guidance on Bring Your Own Device approaches to mobile learning. This is a vexed area with lots of potential to go right as well as to go wrong so this guidance by Jisc Legal is very valuable.
Good storytelling is one of the ultimate ways of being inclusive and a simple story can set the scene for making any learning come alive - irrespective of the age group. This collection of stories is useful imagination-fodder.
With the launch of XerteToolkits 2.0 it's now possible to bring benefits of rich interactive Xerte content to mobile devices. My favourite page types are the connectors (see sample http://tinyurl.com/jtdeg2) but the new flexible web page template is just brilliant - see link main Mitchellmedia link. Resize the browser, try it on your phone. See how it adapts. Any teacher with modest IT skills (eg PowerPoint, basic digital photos etc) can learn how to do this in half an hour. See next TechDis XerteFriday session on Flipping the Classroom - http://tinyurl.com/jtdeg3 and Xerte community site www.xerte.org.uk
Win7 is only Beta at the moment so might be worth waiting a bit but certainly useful kind of tool to explore. Suddenly it doesn't matter what device you have - you can still teach with the best from different platforms!
This tool gives information about the numbers of people living with sight loss in each region and local authority in England. It also provides other key indicators related to sight loss as well.
alistairm 's insight:
If you want data on sight loss in the UK this is an excellent resource with regional data as well as data by type of sight loss. These figures represent individual lives, stories and struggles to fulfil educational potential. A good reason for learning to teach inclusively, taking advantage of the free TechDis voices (www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/voices) etc.
iPads and tablets in the classroom - up to date guidance from RNIB
alistairm 's insight:
iPads are currently the most versatile and accessible tool for teaching and learning. However while the operating system has lots of inbuilt accessibility the accessibility of apps in the appstore is as varied as the app developers themselves. This guidance from RNIB pulls together some good advice - much provided by blind users themselves.
This very comprehensive set of lists goes beyond teaching and learning applications to independent living applications and would be ideal for disabled students making the transition to living away from home.
The latest upgrade to the iPhone and iPad version of Amazon's Kindle reading app brings a bunch of new features aimed at blind and visually impaired
alistairm 's insight:
The book drought has ended. Kindle app for iOS improves its accessibility and - literally - overnight 1.8 million books on Amazon become available to blind and partially sighted users. Now we just need Amazon to pay fair taxes and I'll start using them again..
Useful summary of Google accessibility improvements. It's often easy to miss improvements that have been made and to still be avoiding particular tools or services even though their accessibility has begun to catch up.
Jisc TechDis, supported by colleagues from Dyslexia Action and RSC London, delivered a workshop on free tools to support reading, writing and planning. Download the support pack from the TechDis events archive (limited availability).
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