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AFB Textbooks and Instructional Materials Solutions Forum
October 2001

Survey of Multimedia Presentations for Students with Visual Impairments:

Below are the action steps/issues that were identified from the analysis of the national survey dealing with multimedia presentations for children with visual impairments. The national survey was conducted in the spring of 2000 by AFB. The results were announced at the October 2000 AFB Solutions Forum meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The following action steps/major impressions were identified and prioritized during the March 15, 2001 meeting held in Washington, D.C. Each participant was asked to rank his/her top three action steps that needed to be addressed immediately to complement the purpose of the survey. The number by each action step reflects the number of people responding to each action step.

For the complete results of the survey, go to www.afb.org/education.asp .

The Electronic Files and Research and Development Work Group has developed an action plan and addressed many of these issues.

Suggested action steps:

  • Provide cross-training opportunities for teachers of students with visual impairments (TVI) and assistive state technology teams so they can conduct appropriate assistive technology assessments for visually impaired students. 24
  • Publicize and define what an assistive technology assessment is and provide guidelines for its use. 20
  • Educate administrators about the need for, purpose of, and importance of assistive technology assessments. Create an information portfolio for administrators. Coordinate with National Agenda state teams who are already working on this issue. 15
  • Explore funding sources for assistive technology. 7
  • Involve organizations currently working on finding answers to the issues surrounding caseload size to coordinate efforts to determine appropriate solutions. 5
  • Develop extensive in-service training to help teachers and parents learn about assistive technology. 5
  • Coordinate with the Center for Applied Special Technology, Inc. (CAST), WGBH (National Center for Accessible Media) and other groups to define universal design strategies for multimedia presentations. 5
  • Encourage state level administrators and textbooks coordinators to implement purchasing policies for accessible textbooks. 5
  • Support national legislation efforts to ensure accessible media is provided to students. 4
  • Encourage assistive technology vendors to develop teaching curriculums for the technology they develop. 3
  • Coordinate with the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDE) to include access to textbook issues with their in-service presentations to administrators. 2
  • Inform teacher-training facilities of the opportunity to access technology equipment from suppliers. 1
  • Work with the Association of Technology Act Projects (ATAP) and state technology projects (funded through the Assistive Technology Act of 1998-P.L. 105-394) to facilitate appropriate technology assessments. 1
  • Create a web page to distribute information about funding sources. 1
  • Document models of assistive technology training and provision of assistive technology services for students, including existing assistive technology loan programs and funding plans. 1
  • Coordinate with AFB's National Employment and Technology Programs about the development of an assistive technology training curriculum.0
  • Educate teachers of students with visual impairments about the expanded core curriculum. 0
  • Identify age appropriateness for using various types of assistive technology. 0