Michelle Knight, an Access Technology Consultant for RIDBC (Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children), Australia, has a created the Early Learning Access Technology Framework to introduce technology to children who are blind or have significant visual impairment. This document is a guide for families and educators, and is targeted at early learners. The Framework was created in recognition that children are regularly engaged with technology, even before they commence formal education. Children who are blind or have significant vision impairment require an environment that nurtures positive and meaningful technology experiences, and offers opportunities for life-long skill development, like their sighted peers.
The purpose of the Framework is to support a systematic approach to acquiring access and generic technology skills for children who are blind or have significant vision impairment. It is designed so that skills can be acquired simultaneously across seven themes. Underpinning each theme is a child-centred approach, that emphasizes fun and introduces technology within the context of the child’s life. Learning how to use technology should be enjoyable, meaningful and motivating.
The Framework is a working document responding to the constant changes in technology. Activities are included to supplement skill development, however families and educators are encouraged to seek additional resources.