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Showing posts from September, 2014

Supporting Students with Print Based Disabilities

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"There is a place in UDL for remediation. However, we must first determine the nature of our beliefs about students and their disabilities. When I ask an English language arts teacher whether a student with a visual impairment can receive an A in their course - even if the novel or play they are studying is not available in Braille, the answer is always yes. When I ask them how they would assess this student, they quickly respond that they would read the text aloud or use an audiobook, and then assess the student's understanding of the book. For the sake of argument then, we are saying a student who cannot read the text can still receive an A in English. Yet when I ask teachers weather a grade 9 student reading at grade 3 level can receive an A in their course, the answer is almost unanimously no. When asked why, they respond that he student cannot read the texts required in the course, and is not meeting expectations for reading. In other words, a student with a visible disa…

Together We Are Stronger

"The 'allegory of the long spoons' teaches us that when we struggle to feed only ourselves, everyone goes hungry. But when we focus on our neighbour’s hunger, we discover there are ways to feed everyone."

Weaknesses (spoons that are too long to reach our mouths) can inhibit our daily functioning if we think only in terms of trying to feed ourselves with what we currently individually have in our hands.  If we step outside the box though and consider other strategies and other ways to use the resources that we collectively have, we can find ways that we can all be fed. When we remove students whose spoons are too long for them to feed themselves from their natural communities, we also remove all the solutions and stabilizing factors that exist within that collective community... which affects all members of the community.