From May 2008 through March 2011, The Students with Vision Loss Initiative (SVLI), was a project specifically designed to improve supports and services for students who are blind or visually impaired in Alberta. The Students with Vision Loss Initiative funded a number of projects across the province in response to the needs identified by stakeholders during a review in 2007. Some of the approved projects resulted in the creation of hands-on resources, which support the inclusion of students who are blind or visually impaired in Alberta’s education system. These valuable resources are highlighted below.
The first of these resources is a mathematics resource – The One Two Take Off My Shoe Early Mathematics Literacy Resource Kit and Manual, which is designed for preschool-aged children with vision loss. The manual focuses on teaching early number concept development to young children and provides a comprehensive listing of educational materials and supports that are available to parents and educators. The full manual is available for both viewing and free download here.
Another resource that was created pertains to the use of electronic whiteboards with students who have low vision. SMART boards and similar technology are the quickly becoming commonplace in classrooms across Alberta, and have the potential to either improve access to board notes for students with low vision or make it more challenging. The manual Tips and Tricks: Improving Accessiblity for Electronic Board Notes for Students with Visual Impairments was created with classroom teachers in mind, and offers an excellent overview of considerations and strategies for using this type of technology. To view and/or download this manual, click here.
Finally, Accessible Science Labs: A Resource with Experiments for Junior and Senior High Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired was also developed for classroom science teachers. This document includes accessible sample labs in all science subject areas as well as a comprehensive overview of the accessible science equipment kits that are available through the Vision Resource Centres. To view the science manual, please click here.
Please click here to read the full summary report of the Students with Vision Loss Initiative.