Young students are being introduced to technology way before kindergarten. Students who are blind and low vision often access teacher-created books and materials created using presentation applications such as PowerPoints, Keynotes and Google Slides. This post is one in a series of posts about accessible Keynote presentations on an iPad running VoiceOver geared for emerging readers and early readers. Toddlers and preschoolers are motivated by books about themselves, their family, their school, and familiar things. TVIs and family members are creating accessible digital books for these very young students who can listen to the books; and, when paired with a braille display, these students can also be exposed to and/or read the books in braille. The ability to access slide presentations is also a prerequisite tech skill for kindergarten students and above.
Note: Mainstream National Technology Standards dictate that students are introduced to creating simple presentations in kindergarten or first grade with mastery of advanced slide presentation skills by the end of third grade. Before the student is introduced to creating presentations, the student should be familiar with accessing presentations.
Note: Depending on the slide, the slide may read the entire page, including the image description. (Example: VoiceOver reads the entire slide in the video tutorial with the Horizontal Image with text underneath.) Other slides in the same theme deck may require a right swipe to move from the text to the image description.
If a student has a paired braille display and is reading the book in braille, you can mute VoiceOver speech if desired and the student reads the braille, or the student can listen to VoiceOver read the text while following along on the braille display.
Note: Many young students struggle to physically make gestures. Many of these students find that the joystick commands and/or braille display commands are easier to perform.
For students who are learning to navigate with a Bluetooth keyboard or for students who struggle making the physical gestures, the Bluetooth keyboard commands may be more efficient.
The video tutorial below demonstrates how to access a simple Keynote presentation/book geared for emerging or early readers.
By Diane Brauner