Welcome Back to School
How exciting for our Virginia students that are headed back to school for a fun and successful 2018-19 school year. Students come to school with a variety of abilities. Educators are preparing learning environments to meet individual student needs. Meeting student’s individual needs can often be challenging. Consider these options when creating your accessible classroom.
Universal design for learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning based on scientific insights. UDL activates a variety of neural networks including engagement, representation, and action or expression. What a great way to engage students in learning. Click here to learn more about UDL.
Virginia’s Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM-VA) service is just one resource that Virginia Department of Education provides for students with an IEP and print disability. AIM-VA can help support students who struggle with printed text by providing alternate formats of these materials. Students in the inclusion classroom can then use the same content books as peers. Accessible materials paired with the right assistive technology (AT) software features allow the struggling reader to hear and see text at the same time.
Both of these excellent resources, UDL and AIM-VA, provide opportunities to build independence and self-confidence with school work.
Students with print disabilities often wait for assistance to begin their work as well as require ongoing support throughout an activity. By providing literacy assistive technology tools, students can often begin their assignments independently.
A student’s self-esteem and confidence affect their academic success. Although any student can suffer from low self-esteem, students with print disabilities are particularly at risk. Giving students the correct tools and providing effective training to use those AT tools, allows a student to participate and use their skills in the inclusion classroom. Being an active member of a class can affect a student’s self-confidence.
“Confidence isn’t optimism or pessimism, and it’s not a character attribute. It’s the expectation of a positive outcome” (R. M. Kanter.)