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Becky has a vision impairment. She is legally blind and has moderate learning challenges. Her vision is stable and is measured as 10/200 in each eye. Her visual deficits were caused by accidental hypoxia (reduction of oxygen in body tissues below physiologic levels) due to smoke inhalation from a fire in the home. She is a friendly and motivated student. She receives Orientation & Mobility services from a consultant who works within the building and the nearby community. She is currently using a closed circuit TV to read print. All information must be enlarged for her to use. She also uses talking books.

A focusable telescope was offered but she is not interested in using it. In a recent assessment, her IQ was assessed at 83

Becky’s teacher is wondering which of the curriculum outcomes will be appropriate for her and which will need to be modified.

You have been asked to prepare a professional learning session about your inclusive practice for your colleagues at the first professional development day at the beginning of the year. Your supervisor has noticed that your educational setting is truly inclusive and would like you to share with your colleagues the effective inclusive practices you have adopted.

Your assignment on your inclusive practices will focus on the following:

  • Identify the key learning needs of the student in the case study. From the case study , some learning needs may already be mentioned but you will need to research more widely based on the diagnosis of the student to identify all relevant needs. In addition to general areas of need, identify a particular skill or aspect of curriculum content that is relevant to this student and describe the student’s current level of performance. If relevant, briefly identify the needs of the other students in the group setting as well. You may wish to use a slide or a diagram or a flow chart to show these learning needs in context.

  • Explain how you differentiated your pedagogy to meet the individual needs of the student in the case study. Focusing on your teaching of a particular skill or aspect of curriculum content, explain the differentiation strategies you used to accommodate the learning needs of the student and create an inclusive learning environment. Justify your strategies with reference to appropriate scholarly literature. If you also made reasonable adjustments for the student explain these adjustments, including how the student benefited, and why they were made. Ensure that you explain the difference between reasonable adjustments and differentiated tasks. 

  • Show the learning plan that you developed for the student in the case study. This may take the form of an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) or a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) plan. The plan should, however, clearly define the skill or aspect of curriculum content to be taught, include short and long-term goals, instructional techniques and procedures for assessment.

Overview of Becky's Condition

Becky has a vision problem and she is legally blind with moderate challenges in learning. However, vision is quite stable and is usually measured as 10 out 200 in each of the eye. The visual defects of Becky is caused due to accidental hypoxia owing to inhalation of smoke that took place from a fire at home. Becky is friendly as well as a very motivated student and she receives her services mobility from a consultant that works within the community building. She has been offered with a focusable telescope but she did not show any interest in using it. However, in her current assessment it has been found that she has moderate IQ level with 83. Based on the overview of her conditions it can be said that Becky needs the following learning ailments:

  • Support in understanding the English language  and other learning curriculam to the extent as much possible
  • Motivation to understand her defect and development of reading capabilities
  • Helping her with  compensatory access skills provided with proper orientation and mobility
  • Development of self-determination and sensory efficiency of the Becky and helping her increasing her social communication.
  • Ability to resolve a conflict and an ability to confront her problem
  • Capability of problem solving skills

In order to meet the requirement of Becky it is necessary to deal with her vision deficit condition for making her understand her learning defects. Becky is needed to develop her skills of vocabulary and language skills along with skills of problem solving that will be taught to her using a class based approach and by using quality teaching as well as universal design for learning (Bryant, Bryant & Smith, 2015). Compensatory and operational skills are necessary such as learning experiences for the blind and visually deficit children. These skills are required for them for helping them access all the aspects of core curriculum. On the contrary, functional skills indicates the skills that the children with visual impairment by helping them with the opportunity to work play and communicate with each other (Robinson, 2017).

According to Blind and vision impairment forum in Australia, almost one out of some Australian children has a significant problem with vision impairment (adcet.edu.au, 2018). In this regards, within the population in Australian most of the children have certain level of vision deficit while only a small group of people is blindness. There are broad range of inclusive strategies that can support students to learn.  However, there are certain specific strategies that can be used for teaching children with vision impairment. In this aspect, it is necessary for the educators for encouraging the students with vision impairment for moving towards the front of lecture theatre where they can have unobstructed vision (Mitchell, 2015). Compensatory and functional skills are inclusive of those experiences of learning that helps in development, spatial understanding, organisational skills along with speaking and skills of listening. However, communication requirement for visually impaired children may vary, depending on the amount of operational vision, impact of additional impairment. Children may be helped with the use of larger print, or print with use of large optical devices, sign language and recorded material for interacting. Regardless of these, each of the visually impaired students’ needs proper instruction from the teacher with professional preparation for instructing students with visual problems in each of the compensatory and operational skills.

Meeting Becky's Learning Needs

As a part of additional core curriculum, orientation and mobility is a crucial area of learning for these visually impaired students like Becky. However, () states that teacher who have specific qualification for teaching orientation and mobility for the blind and visually challenged children it is necessary to deliver them the curriculum. This is needed to be done because students will need to learn about themselves and the environment they stay in taking from the initial body language to the independent travel in various areas. Therefore, Becky needs to be provided with expanded core curriculum that includes focus on the fundamental requirements and basic capability for the visually impaired students to travel independently and enjoy the environment.

Technology is an equipment for unlocking the needs of learning and increase the horizons of the students. As stated by Ahmad (2015), technology can be a great equalizer for the children with vision impairment. For the braille user, it will allow student for providing feedback to the teaching stags by producing the material in braille for personal utilisation. These activities will provide Becky and other visually challenged people with the ability of storing and retrieving information. Moreover, technology will help to improve communication and learning as well as it will help to increase the arena of these children in different significant ways. Becky’s teacher needs to use assistive listening devices like induction loops during the time of class. In this context, vision aids may be inclusive of transmitter and receiver system with a clip fixed on a microphone for the class (Buhere & Ochieng, 2013).

The need for collaborative service activities is extremely helpful in assisting students with vision disability. Ancillary staffs of most of the education institutes’ helps in occupational therapy and physiotherapy that are not always accessible to educational authorities for their students (Witchger Hansen, 2015). Therefore, for the students with vision impairment, new technologies such as internet is needed to be used for bridging the gaps. In this aspect, it is necessary to ensure that the lists of the subject oriented and technical terminology that the students will be needed to accomplish are made accessible before in the course (Brian & Soonhwa, 2017).

Using assistive technology for the Children with learning disabilities can be helpful in improving academic achievement in their writing expression, reading as well as performance of mathematics (Anthony, 2002). Assistive technology is any device that helps the children with disability to complete a regular task (Adebisi, Liman & Longpoe, 2015). The tool can be any item that can be used for maintaining and improving the operations of child with disability

Inclusive Strategies for Teaching Vision-Impaired Children

Differentiated instructions and learning module is a teaching and learning method that focuses on the disabled students at the core (Navarro, Gesa & Sampson, 2016). This is because all the students is different from each other. In this method, the process of learning instruction emphasises the fact that a particular style of teaching will not accommodate each of the student specifically when the style of the teacher is a mismatch for the student (Navarro, Gesa & Sampson, 2016). In this regards, differentiated form of teaching helps the teacher with various options of learning activities, demanding content, various modes of assessment and the classroom environment for fulfilling the needs of the children.

Nearly all the teachers agree with the objective of differentiating pedagogy. However, often teachers mat lack certain strategies. Therefore, here are some strategies for flexible system of grouping and tiered activities that educators can utilise for avoiding old type of instructions.

 Use of stations: using station involves with putting up of various spots within the classroom where students work with different tasks in a simultaneous way. These stations help in flexible system of grouping as not all the students’ needs to go to stations all the time.

Compacting: this method motivates the teachers to evaluate students prior to beginning a unit of study or establishment of skills. In this context, students who perform well in the pre evaluation test, do not continue work on what they already are aware about,

Agendas: These are customised lists of tasks, which the visually impaired students needed to complete within a specific set of time; student’s agendas throughout the given time may have similar as well as dissimilar components that may be helpful (Seale et al., 2015).

Videos and tapes: It is necessary for the teachers to inform the student in advance if the teacher plans to utilise a film, videos, slides and discussion substitute ways of presenting important information. In this context, notifying students with the proper intentions will help the students to be prepare about the resources in class (Higgins, 2013).

Students who have visual impairment that may affect their capability to access texts. They may be excluded while reading some tutorials. They may also face issues in face-to-face interaction, as they are unable to read the facial movements and body language, in this context, seminar many be helpful for the speakers to say there name, providing the students with textual material in an available format may be helpful for them as well.

Assistive Technology and Communication

In this context, the quality framework of teaching focuses on the incorporation of intellectual quality, and in providing quality environment for learning with significance to develop an inclusive classroom for children (Stanton-Chapman & Brown, 2015). In this context, quality environment for learning highlights the essentiality of social assistance and objective settings for the children.

Therefore, by focusing on small number of differentiated pedagogy it will be possible to ensure the understanding of Becky and each of her task (Soukakou et al., 2014). By doing so, she will be able to enhance her skills of learning and will be able to overcome her zone of proximal growth. Modification tool will allow the students with disability to improve their spelling and grammatical skill with an improvement of the understanding of literacy. Again, feedback is one of the most crucial influences on the learning and accomplishment.

In planning the learning requirement based on the universal design framework, teachers can provide the students with individual orientation in the laboratory and computers for reducing their anxiety within an unfamiliar ambience. In this context, it is necessary to consider their health and safety issue as well. Some equipment’s may be needed for these students for helping the students with visual problems by hoeing them to take part in the practical classes. For instance, auditory display of visual information, tactical display of visual information, clams and different equipment is for supporting the items of equipment. According to McKnight et al., (2016), it is necessary to ensure that all the children are well aware of the emergency and procedures of evacuation, wherever possible all the objects needs to be removed from their usual place. The teachers are required to choose room with proper lighting where lights are concentrated on the face of the speakers. It is necessary to adjust light for the individuals. This is because good lighting is helpful, but too much of light can be harmful and distracting for the students.

The teacher’s needs to ask the students to show their understanding of different subjects by writing it within a paragraph that may disadvantage students such as Becky who has low level of IQ (Lindqvist & Nilholm, 2013). Therefore, for helping Becky, technology can be used such as dragon dictation that will allow the teachers to record their voice and types about what they are reading other than disadvantaging student’s it lower levels of IQ. Teachers can also use different websites such as Lap books where students will be able to use online posters as different means of expression other than writing out in a document. Therefore, being critical with the students will allow them to express their knowledge and helping them in opening up their expression for multiples modes of learning.

Collaborative Service Activities

Providing the students to express their learning in various ways will help to promote self-management skills that are necessary for Becky and other students. This is because offering the students with different means of expression will provide them with various option over them learning. This will support Becky ability of conflict resolutions and will help to develop her skills of problem solving. This will act as part of modification that will be helpful in meeting the means of expression with the matrix of tasks from which they will be able to select from them. From these options, they will be able to pick visual tasks in each of the week.

In this multiple means of involvement will be focusing on involving the students in different methods of learning that can be done through specific objectives of learning that are related to the lives of the children. This is because; through this students will be able to make different connections in between information and their lives in various context that are helpful for their future learning. Therefore, using Universal design framework through accommodating and modifying the teaching for all the standers will help in meeting the requirements of all the students within the class (Courey et al., 2013). This is because UDL learning settings focuses on the choice and considers the learning of all the students and their preferred way of learning.

Conclusion

Therefore, throughout the study, it has highlighted multiple forms of accommodations and technological method of learning that are effective and necessary for each of the students with disability. However, teacher of Becky can use some additional accommodations and modification that will be helpful within the classroom teaching.

  • An suitable arrangement of seating  from where Becky will be able to see and listen to her teacher with the help of her vision aids,
  • Frequent provision of individual instruction for ensuring the understanding of Becky and to support her in developing her skills of literacy
  • Frequent breaks since the students with vision deficit needs to continuously concentrate and watch the happening for effectively interpreting the information around the,
  • A learning supportive assistant for the purpose of literacy and other subjects of the day is needed for helping Becky to build level of IQ and Vocabulary along with skills of conflict resolution.
  • Group work is also necessary in which Becky will be able communicate with other students within the classroom and by which she will be able to establish her skills of conflict resolution.

References

adcet.edu.au | Inclusive Teaching: Blindness and Vision Impaired - ADCET. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.adcet.edu.au/inclusive-teaching/specific-disabilities/blindness-vision-impaired/

Adebisi, R. O., Liman, N. A., & Longpoe, P. K. (2015). Using Assistive Technology in Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities in the 21st Century. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(24), 14-20.

Ahmad, F. K. (2015). Use of assistive technology in inclusive education: Making room for diverse learning needs. Transcience, 6(2), 62-77.

Anthony, J.S.  (2002). An Unplanned Journey into Individualised Planning, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 49(2), 191-200, DOI: 10.1080/103491220141767

Brian, R.B & Soonhwa, S. (2017). Introduction to the special series: Technology and disabilities in education, Assistive Technology, 29(3), 121-122, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2016.1230154

Bryant, D. P., Bryant, B. R., & Smith, D. D. (2015). Teaching students with special needs in inclusive classrooms. Sage Publications. 263-270.

Buhere, P., & Ochieng, P. (2013). Usage of selected resources for inclusive education in mainstream primary schools: Issues and Challenges from a Kenyan Perspective. Problems of Management in the 21st Century, 8, 16-24.

Courey, S. J., Tappe, P., Siker, J., & LePage, P. (2013). Improved lesson planning with universal design for learning (UDL). Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(1), 7-27.

Higgins, J. M. (2013). The fourth singularity and the future of jobs. World Future Review, 5(1), 11-23.

Lindqvist, G., & Nilholm, C. (2013). Making schools inclusive? Educational leaders' views on how to work with children in need of special support. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(1), 95-110.

McKnight, K., O'Malley, K., Ruzic, R., Horsley, M. K., Franey, J. J., & Bassett, K. (2016). Teaching in a digital age: How educators use technology to improve student learning. Journal of research on technology in education, 48(3), 194-211.

Mitchell, D. (2015). Inclusive education is a multi-faceted concept. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 5(1), 9-30.

Navarro, S., Zervas, P., Gesa, R., & Sampson, D. (2016). Developing teachers' competences for designing inclusive learning experiences. Educational Technology and Society, 19(1), 17-27.

Robinson, D. (2017). Effective inclusive teacher education for special educational needs and disabilities: Some more thoughts on the way forward. Teaching and Teacher Education, 61, 164-178.

Seale, J., Georgeson, J., Mamas, C., & Swain, J. (2015). Not the right kind of ‘digital capital’? An examination of the complex relationship between disabled students, their technologies and higher education institutions. Computers & Education, 82, 118-128.

Soukakou, E. P., Winton, P. J., West, T. A., Sideris, J. H., & Rucker, L. M. (2014). Measuring the quality of inclusive practices: Findings from the inclusive classroom profile pilot. Journal of Early Intervention, 36(3), 223-240.

Stanton-Chapman, T. L., & Brown, T. S. (2015). A strategy to increase the social interactions of 3-year-old children with disabilities in an inclusive classroom. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(1), 4-14.

Witchger Hansen, A. M. (2015). Crossing borders: a qualitative study of how occupational therapy educators and scholars develop and sustain global partnerships. Occupational therapy international, 22(3), 152-162.

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