Layla walking down a school hallway with her long cane and her braille display in it's purse-like case over her shoulder.

Assuming Responsibility

Tips on how to encourage a first grade braille student to be responsible for and independent with her technology.

During her Kindergarten year, Layla became familiar with the iPad as a tool that she could use to listen to stories, play games, and practice brailling new words she learned with the Refreshable Braille Display (RBD). Layla is now in 1st grade and she is taking more responsibility over the equipment and learning more about how it can be used.

Placement of Equipment

At the beginning of each lesson, I set the iPad, RBD, and Bluetooth keyboard in front of Layla and she is in charge of positioning the equipment in her preferred location. (Layla likes to have the RBD to the right of the iPad and the keyboard propped up in the case.)

Layla sitting at her desk with her hands on her iPad's Bluetooth keyboard and the braille display to her right.

Turning on the iPad

Photo of hand on the top corner of the iPad, touching the ON button.

To turn the iPad on, you hold the power button down until the Apple icon appears. Since there is no auditory indication that the iPad is turning on, Layla counts “one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand” while holding down the power button. She waits patiently until she hears voice over and that’s when she knows the iPad is on.

Layla walking down the school hall using her cane and the iPad in its case over her shoulder like a purse.

Carrying the Refreshable Braille Display

Another routine we have begun to establish is having Layla carry the RBD between my office and her classroom. The case with the long strap for the Refreshabraille 18, offered through APH quota funds, allows her to carry the RBD across her body without the risk of dropping it.

Small Adaptations to Help with Independence

As Layla started positioning her own equipment and turning each device on, I realized a few simple tactile markers would help her do this more quickly. She had trouble finding the iPad power button and the home row on the keyboard. She was also having trouble remembering which direction to push the power switch on the keyboard. Together we placed several tactile markers on the equipment and it has made these tasks easier. (The tactile markers were purchased from a Low Vision store.)


More posts about Layla:

Collage for assuming responsibility for tech devices


By Rachel Harris

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