Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 10 - Discovering Assistive Technology - Types of Disabilities & Accommodations

It was interesting to see that some celebrities who we hear about every day have to live with and overcome disabilities just like many "regular" citizens. I had heard about the struggles of Howie Mandel and Howard Stern with obsessive compulsive disorder, but I hadn't heard of many of the celebrity disability stories that I read about on the website. As I've mentioned before, I am a huge soccer fan, and I had never heard that Tim Howard, who is a goalkeeper for England's Everton FC, suffers from Tourette's syndrome, or that David Beckham, who is probably the most famous soccer player in the world, suffers from OCD. Also, two authors that I admire a lot - Jack Kerouac and Arthur C. Clarke - lived with schizophrenia and polio, respectively.

The National Federation of the Blind website provided many useful links to information and ideas on how to instruct visually impaired students. The 2009 Youth Slam is an excellent way for blind students from all over the United States to gather, interact, and discuss their classroom obstacles, their inspirations, and their aspirations. Braille is Beautiful is an excellent program that teaches sighted students how to read and write Braille. I reviewed the link for this program and I would definitely find a way to fit it into my curriculum so that my students would have a better appreciation of the struggles and obstacles that their visually impaired classmate must deal with on a daily basis. On a much more practical note, my visually impaired student could more easily participate in peer-reviewed activities if his or her classmates could read Braille., the website for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, is a very useful research tool for teachers. The numerous links vary from general information concerning learning disabilities to links that discuss specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia. The Resource Locator feature on the website is a great search tool for teachers, administrators, and parents alike to find outside help and/or assistance, if needed. Information and/or local aid concerning a learning disablity can be found using a basic keyword search.

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