Teaching Self-Advocacy Skills Delivers Results

Authors: Jean Robinson, family support specialist, TSBVI Outreach

Keywords: self-advocacy, accommodations, visual impairment, Family Wisdom

Abstract: A young student with a visual impairment emails her teachers to let them know how she can access materials.

Editor’s Note: A teacher of the visually impaired received a thank you from a parent of one of her former students. The mother appreciated the TVI working with her daughter on self advocacy skills. To show the results of her teaching she included an email that her daughter wrote to all her teachers.

Dear teachers,

This is Jenny (not her real name). My name on my papers says Jeanette. Everyone just calls me Jenny. I am thirteen years old. I love to sing, play the piano, and use technology. I also wanted all of you to know some information about getting work to me and how that works for me at school. I thought I’d give all of you a heads up.

I will need to have my materials in braille if possible. Please, please, get the materials to me in time for the activity/work. You can send me emails, too. Feel free to email me if you have any questions, need something, or to send work for me to do. My email is (not a real email address). I can read them, answer questions, and send you a reply back or send another email.

Pictures don’t work well with me, though. So, if you send pictures, please describe each of them to me.

I use thumb drives, as well. I have a special device that helps me read what you put on it. If you use one, then the document needs to be a rich text file. I can create folders for each teacher, and you can open them up and find your work that you gave me. I can save files and give the thumb drive to you. Then, you’d plug it into your computer. You could save it on your computer and give it back to me. Whichever works for any of you, just let me know.

Sometimes when I type on the braille input device, letters run together and make typos. I will proofread, but if something looks funny, it is probably a braille input problem.

One other thing, if you show a video and it does not speak what’s on the screen, then I’ll need a student to describe the pictures and what the people are doing.

Thank you very much! I appreciate your cooperation. I will help you if you need a reminder.

Getting materials in an accessible way is the main idea. I love to learn and all of these will help me have a great future! I plan to go to college and get a master’s degree.

I hope all of this helps you know what to do.



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