Tag: Deaf/Hard of Hearing & Blind-Visually Impaired

Coding Education and Accessibility in Schools

Software developing is one of the fastest growing fields in America. Because of this coding is being integrated into schools from a very young age. With a gap in coding education for students with visual impairments, APH has sought to provide adapted coding education materials. According to a 2018 Stack Overflow survey of 64,000 developers, 1 out of every 100 software developers is blind/ visually impaired. In January 2022 survey of 1,000 U.S. students commissioned by KX, a global provider for real-time analytics and data management software, found that 35% of the students surveyed reported that cannot currently code said that the lack of educational access is the primary barrier holding them back from learning. Code Jumper, Code Quest, and the Accessible Code and Go Mouse are available under Federal Quota and help bridge the gap in coding education for students with visual impairments.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge of the Coding products that are available for students through APH.
2. Participants will learn the strengths and differences of each device to better determine which product will work best for each student they service and how each device can be integrated into all school subjects.
3. Participants will be able to code on the Code Jumper, Code Quest, and Assessable Code and Go Mouse

Getting In Touch: Providing Classroom Solutions for Blind Children through Technology and Tactile Literacy Skills

The Monarch is an incredibly innovative device which is slated to be released to the public during the fall of 2024. It has the potential to make available to blind students a world of tactile graphics and multi-line electronic Braille text to which students have never had access. However, research, combined with a large amount of anecdotal evidence, suggests that, in order to maximize the potential benefits of the Monarch, blind students need far more intentional instruction in tactile literacy than they are generally receiving.

During the first part of this presentation, participants will learn about and discuss tactile literacy teaching strategies for students of all ages. We will explore what works, what doesn’t work, and why.

During the second half of the session, participants will learn about the Monarch itself. We will explore its key features, demonstrate its powerful capabilities, and brainstorm a number of use cases as a group. Participants will also have an opportunity to touch the Monarch, with particular emphasis on viewing its tactile graphics and graphing capabilities.

For more information about the Monarch and the organizations involved with its development, please visit: https://www.aph.org/meet-monarch/

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will learn and brainstorm at least 3 key strategies for helping blind students to interpret tactile graphics.
2. Participants will learn how the Monarch’s Editor, Braille Editor, Tactile Viewer, and KeyMath apps can support various classroom activities and assignments.
3. Participants will develop, as a group, at least three use cases for the new Monarch Braille Device.

Using the APH Chameleon 20 & APH Mantis Q40 in Education

The APH Chameleon 20 and APH Mantis Q40 are the most frequent Braille notetakers in use in the United States. There are other more expensive Braille notetakers, but they are not used as frequently. These Braille notetakers are available under Federal Quota. This session will provide attendees with instruction on how to configure these devices and how to use them in the public school system. I have written training manuals on these two products that are available free at this location and will be the basis of the presentation: https://www.wssb.wa.gov/services/statewide-technology

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge of the APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20 and how devices best work with Windows computers, Chromebooks, and iPads. (Only use the APH Mantis Q40 with a Chromebook!)
2. Participants will be able to independently use the Editor in the APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20 and will understand that it is a text editor. Participants will be able to create, save, and export student work.
3. Participants will be able to download books in the APH Mantis Q40 and APH Chameleon 20. Participants will be able to access their books and understand the reading commands required for navigation.

Magnify This! Choosing the Best Magnifier for My Students

In the world of low vision, magnifiers of all shapes and sizes are crucial for not only education but also navigating the world around us. Magnifiers allow students to view the board, read books and assignments, and navigate their environment. Different magnifiers serve different purposes, whether that is in class, at home, or in public. Magnifiers allow those with low vision access to a world otherwise unavailable to them.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will gain knowledge of the 4 different magnifiers available through APH Federal Quota.
2. Participants will gain knowledge on how to OCR pictures on the Juno.
3. Participants will able to identify which magnifier is best for their students.

Hidden Challenges for Assistive Listening Technology in Large Venues

Assistive listening systems (ALS) enhance speech intelligibility by sending a wireless audio signal from a venue’s sound system directly to a receiving device worn by a listener in the audience. The audio signal that is transmitted via a venue’s ALS travels at the speed of light, while the acoustic signal produced by the venue’s loudspeaker system travels at the much slower speed of sound. The result of this is that a listener seated at >35 ft from the stage perceives an echo, which reduces intelligibility and increases listening effort. This means that assistive listening systems may have the opposite of the intended effect for listeners with hearing disabilities in large auditoriums.

Bluetooth Auracast promises that listeners will be able to use their own smartphones, earphones, or hearing aids to connect directly to an ALS audio stream. However, when multiple ALS audio streams are available, the user would have to operate a remote control or smartphone to select the correct stream. This is less accessible than connecting to a hearing loop system, which simply requires the listener to push a button on their receiving device.

This presentation addresses how to mitigate both of these issues.

Key Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
1. examine whether any given large venue provides an adequate assistive listening solution
2. analyze whether alignment delay poses a challenge in any given venue
3. propose an adequate assistive listening solution for any given large venue

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