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I Have VI Technology, Now What?

Finding solutions to common technology problems facing Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments.

I had the pleasure of presenting at the 2019 DC/MD annual AER conference.  My presentation focused on common issues that TVIs and service providers faced when new VI technology equipment was dropped into their laps by school districts and agencies. We looked at ways to approach the use of iPads, iPhones, refreshable Braille devices, and other tech tools. 

As the attendees waited for the presentation to start, they were encouraged to complete a survey.  The survey results consisted of the following information:

Survey Results

People in attendance and that took the survey

Devices for Personal use

Devices that their students or clients use

Familiarity with using iPads in general

(scale from lowest to highest level of proficiency 1-5)

When asked about issues related to using iPads, they reported

When asked about their familiarity with using Refreshable Braille devices

(scale from lowest to highest level of proficiency 1-5)

When asked about issues related to using Refreshable Braille devices they reported the following

When asked about their familiarity with using Accessibility on laptops

(scale from lowest to highest level of proficiency 1-5)

When asked about their familiarity with using Laptops for Accessibility

When asked about issues related to getting properly trained to use VI Technology

Additional Discussions

The responses created a good dialog which also highlighted other technologies that were being used in different settings.  The Attendees shared the following additional information:

Popular Technology that they use

Barriers to accessing technology

Solutions

Helpful Resources shared with the group

Having completed the survey and our discussion regarding the results of the survey, we moved on to looking at ways to become familiar with technology for individuals with vision impairments. We also looked at resources for learning how to use VI technology as professionals, and how to teach the use of the technology to VI students and clients. 

The first step to a solution that I shared with them was the need to assess a student or client’s technology needs.  I shared the link to the Path to Technology site that contains various types of assessment resources for VI professionals to use.

Additional Solutions

When we discussed additional solutions, I shared the following resources with the attendees:

Websites/Blogs

Webinars

Online Guides

YouTube

Podcasts

Hands-On Activities

Practice VO gestures on an iPhone or iPad:  

Practice VO on  Mac:  How to turn on VO on Mac

The entire conference was full of great information and resources!  It was such a good opportunity to network with other VI professionals, share ideas and resources, as well as catch up with familiar faces!

Feel free to leave additional VI technology solutions and resources in the comments below!

If you have a VI tech question, leave it below and as readers of this blog, we can come together to find solutions!  

Collage of VI Tech

By Ericka

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