Edmonton... Alberta students with vision loss can now access online resources, training and support through one window – the new Vision Education Alberta website.
“I’m pleased to launch the Vision Education website at the start of Education Week 2009,” said Education Minister Dave Hancock. “It’s vital that all Alberta students have access to quality learning opportunities, and that means providing the supports students need to take advantage of those opportunities. The new site has the most up-to-date accessibility features to ensure easy navigation for students with vision loss.”
The website is a unique place for Alberta students with vision loss, their families, classroom teachers, educational assistants, vision teachers, other vision specialists, and education stakeholders to access important information, including:
Beginning in fall 2009, the site will also feature an interactive discussion board that will enable classroom teachers, vision teachers and specialists to ask questions to and share information with others across the province.
“This well thought out and designed online resource will be excellent for educators, parents, families and students to access anywhere in the province, and even beyond our borders,” said Niels Nicolajsen, program co-ordinator of the Vision Resource Centre – North. “It spans the gap of urban and rural for those with Internet access, and will be a service that can empower our students to enhance their education and improve their future.”
The website was developed through the Students with Vision Loss Initiative, which was announced in May 2008 with a $9 million government commitment to enhance educational support for students who are blind or visually impaired.
More than 650 students with vision loss are enrolled in schools across Alberta. These students require instruction from professionals trained in such disability-specific skills as Braille literacy and numeracy, assistive technology skills, use of low-vision devices, career and life management skills, social interaction skills, independent living and personal management skills, and orientation and mobility skills.