Frequently students with visual impairments get exempted from a class project as the classroom teacher is not sure how to include these students or adapt the activity for them. I want my students to participate in the project as much as humanly possible!
My kindergarten student's class is doing a project on farms. They are to research an animal and write a little report on it and draw a picture about it. Here is what my student did:
- I did a Google search on horses (his animal of choice) and found a link for Animal Facts. Since I used my iPad, I used VoiceOver to read it to my student instead of my reading it. As the facts were read, we paused after each one to allow him the opportunity to determine which one he wanted to use in his report. He selected most of them and then later narrowed them down.
- He chose what items he wanted to include in his picture: barn, horse, grass, sun
- I then brought in textures for him to choose which ones to use
- He arranged them on the poster board and then secured them to the board with glue. (The horse was cut out for him.)
- He then wrote his report using the Mountbatten and with his one-on-one paraprofessional's assistance, illustrated the top of the journal page
Anything is possible if you just put your mind to it! The project may not always look like the other students in the room, but doing the project teaches our students so very much, in addition not to including them in the class. For this student we are setting the stage for future expectations at the school, with his parents, and with the student himself.