As an educator with vision, I have often struggled to learn the basics of various devices and accessibility features. Before I can introduce a student to accomplishing the tech task, I have to understand the basics, know the commands, and have an idea of what to do first with my student. I might be proficient (or not!) on one device with one student, but I am definitely not proficient on every device and the accessibility features that each unique student requires.
TetraLogical has created 5 video tutorials, developed for people with vision to understand how a person who is blind or low vision accesses websites. The videos provide a general overview of how a person with a visual impairment accesses a website in similar ways to a person with vision. These videos are short, well organized and easy to follow.
The video tutorials include:
After watching the desired video, as a teacher, I now have a basic understanding of how to navigate a website, which typically includes how to scan the page using headings before stopping to read a desired section. Scanning also enables the user to get a quick overview of what is on that page. Just like most sighted viewers, most people do not read the entire website from top to bottom; instead, people visually scan or listen to the headings and then determine what part of the website they want to explore in detail. Using my new basic knowledge and commands, I can now apply this knowledge into introductory lessons with an accessibility tool that is appropriate for my specific student. I will teach this lesson using a website that is age-appropriate and to accomplish a task that the gen ed students are doing in class.
Here are two of my favorite websites for students to practice website tech skills; these websites are fully accessible with a screen reader and are easy to navigate.
If using an iPad or Mac computer, I strongly encourage my students to use the Reader which eliminates all the clutter on the page. Open a news article or animal fact and then select the Reader; the page changes to make the article full screen like a document without buttons, tabs, columns, ads, etc.
Below is the 4 1/2 minute Browsing with a desktop screen reader video:
By Diane Brauner