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Literacy in the Digital Age

Here is an interesting quote on a listserv Education and Technology that is full of fascinating information ( and it is a different twist on literacy:  "Lanham noted in "American Scientific", that "word literacy", meaning the ability to read and write, has gradually extended its grasp in the digital age until it has come to mean the ability to understand information, however presented " ( 1995, p. 198)."
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Optimizing Vision

The student with low vision who is functioning in a general education classroom setting may be experiencing a multitude of visual challenges unique to the environments in which (s)he works.  As a TVI, I need to have a construct in my head in order to quickly organize my observations of each environment, so that I can make adjustments and/or recommendations for accommodations. For starters, I must consider the lights or brightness in the room.  There are certain eye conditions that make lighting either detrimental (ocular albinism) or vital (optic nerve hypoplasia).  Questions I might ask myself are:  What is the lighting source?  Is the student getting so close that her head obscures the light?  Would a task light help?  Where should the light be directed?  If an outlet is nearby, the APH lamp is wonderful.  Another option is a battery powered OTT® light that can be moved from room to room.  When positioning...
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Emerging Writing

I just listened to a presentation on emerging writing in children who are 3-5 years of age.  What I kept thinking to myself was “How can we support the participation of children with visual impairments in emergent writing activities?” Here is a definition of emergent writing and a link to the paper it came from: “The broad construct of emergent writing includes the physical marks that young children make on paper, the meanings that children attribute to these markings, and the social contexts in which the writing takes place (Clay, 1975; Rowe, 2008).”p.54 Preschool lab Ohio State University  Getting the physical marks on paper may be the hardest part for a child with a visual impairment.  In children with typical vision, these marks start out as scribbles and/or pictures. For some children with visual impairments, just providing high contrast markers, good lighting, using a light box as a writing surface, using...
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Neuroscience and Writing

While preparing a workshop on writing by students with visual impairments, I found a general education web site about writing.  This was the National Writing Project at One of the articles at this web site was about how writing can impact the brain.  That article is “Writing and the Brain: Neuroscience Shows the Pathways to Learning” at As I read the article, I thought about the need for students with visual impairments to write more and to write as part of a collaborative effort.  Logistics may make that harder for students who use Braille but I think it behooves us as teachers of students with visual impairments to think of ways to make that happen. Jim Durkel APH Materials Coordinator
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