Does anybody have any information on technology I could use in the classroom for visually impaired students?

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Christopher

I know this response finds you at the end of a school year, however moving forward into the new year this may be of interest to you. One of our manufacturing divisions, Hamilton Industries produces a talking flash card ready we affectionally call the Study Buddy. For more info please read below:

What is the Study Buddy and how does it work?

• The Study Buddy is a talking flash card reader which is supplied with 36 two sided flash cards. The teacher records up to 72 ten second answers to questions on the Study Buddy that will correspond with each individual flash card. When the flash card is inserted in the reader, the recorded answer is then played back to the student.


The Original Special Education Concept:

Toying with the idea that the Study Buddy would be an asset to Educators working with students of special needs, a Study Buddy was supplied to the Grapevine/Colleyville Independent School District in Grapevine Texas for evaluation purposes to be used in assisting children with learning disabilities.

Taking the concept one step further:

The teachers in the Special Education Department realized a use for the Study Buddy that none of us had ever considered, helping in educating the Vision Impaired.

How it is used:

• The Study Buddy is customizable and adaptable to each student’s learning needs. The recordings can be deleted, modified or changed in order to correspond to new questions offered the student and can be used for years to come. Additionally the recordings can be lock protected to eliminate the possibilities of accidental erasures.
• Numbered Tutorial, Quiz and Test questions are typed in Braille on a separate sheet.
• A corresponding number to the question is also Braille imprinted on the bottom of each Study Buddy flash card.
• The vision impaired student will then read the Braille typed question, answer it and confirm the answer by inserting the corresponding Study Buddy flash card into the reader.
• If the student doesn’t know the answer they would insert the card in order to hear and learn the proper answer.

The question sheet and recordings can always be updated or changed while the flash cards remain with their original Braille numbering scheme.
Hi there. Don't know if you still have an issue with technology for VI. I am a teacher of visually impaired, and you should theorhetically have one if your student is visually impaired who can help you find appropriate technology. However, I also know there is a shortage of TVIs, so I'll help if I can and you still need it.

Since I know nothing about the student, some general things for you to Google are Freedom Scientific, HumanWare, Enabling Technologies (mainly for braillers and embossers), SET BC (an AT website from British Columbia that rocks). If I remember correctly, University of North Carolina has a pretty strong AT program with a visual impairment component. That's all that comes to mind.

If you would like more specific suggestions, tell me more about what you think the student sees or what visual behaviors s/he is having. Hope you have an actual TVI though - that would be best.
Dear Christopher,

I have provided (donated) some document cameras to teachers for students that were visually impaired. They were able to magnify worksheets and tests on a whiteboard with projector or on a TV. The student was able to complete testing on the whiteboard when the other children were not present. Video magnifiers for "Low Vision" are priced much higher than document cameras. They are certainly not the same, but the document camera can be effective enough, especially when using a whiteboard. It is also feasable( I've tested a couple) to connect the document camera directly to a 19" LCD on the student's desk, for desk-work magnification. Some units can be flipped forward to magnify the blackboard, BUT...If the camera does not have a flip-up distance lens adaptor the camera will not be able to focus properly.

You'll have to determine the specific needs that have to be addressed.
Let me know, I have a couple of full sized ELMO P-10 units that are older demos. Shoot me an email
vised@optonline.net
We'll see what may work for this child.
JJC

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