Technology and independent learning
Advances in technology enable a whole new approach to the inclusion of children with vision impairment in mainstream schools.
We believe that children should be taught the skills to be self-reliant in their learning so that adult support is seen as the exception rather than the rule. We believe that recent developments in educational thinking and massive advances in digital technology now make this achievable in ways that weren't previously possible.
Technology revolution and digital resources
The increasing accessibility of tablets and smart phones means that blind and partially sighted learners are now able to use them directly rather than having to learn to use specialist software or different equipment.
Developments in the availability of digital learning resources has also led to the creation of Load2Learn, an online database of downloadable resources in accessible formats for print disabled learners.
How technology can be used to promote independent learning
The following four films show children and young people with vision impairment discussing how they use technology to learn more effectively and independently.
Film 1: Wilson is 10 years old and uses a tablet
Film 2: Ismail is 13 and uses an electronic magnifier
Film 3: Ben is 14 and uses a tablet and a laptop
Film 4: Hannah is 18 and uses a desktop and an audio text reader
Assistive technology assessments
Technology is an essential means for learners with sight loss to develop their literacy skills to their full potential, to access information and present their work. We have produced a guide which gives information and advice to anybody involved in deciding what equipment to provide for a young person with sight loss in an educational setting.
In addition, we have produced a checklist to help with setting up a PC in order to maximise its use for learners with vision impairment.
The following films show the importance of tablets in the classroom, focusing on the iPad.
- Watch "Tablets in the classroom, part 1 of 3 - iPad's low vision accessibility" with subtitles on YouTube
- Tablets in the classroom, part 1 of 3 - iPad's low vision accessibility - video transcript (Word, 166 KB)
- Watch "Tablets in the classroom, part 2 of 3 - iPad's screen reader" with subtitles on YouTube
- Tablets in the classroom, part 2 of 3 - iPad's screen reader - video transcript (Word, 164 KB)
- Watch "Tablets in the classroom, part 3 of 3 - Using the iPad in an educational context" with subtitles on YouTube
- Tablets in the clasroom, part 3 of 3 - Using the iPad in an educational context - video transcript (Word, 166 KB)
We've collected some case studies around the topic of using tablets in the classroom. At the moment, all of these focus on the use of iPads, which would seem to reflect their prevalence in this area.
- Supporting students using iPads (Word, 142 KB)
- Using an iPad with a blind child with autism (Word, 139 KB)
- Using an iPad in the science classroom (Word, 138 KB)
- An iPad for every student - the Essa Academy (Word, 137 KB)
- Wall of apps - Wyndham Primary Academy (Word, 137 KB)
- Digital leader - Wyndham Primary Academy (Word, 138 KB)
Independent learning resources
You can find about resources that support independent learning here:
Right now we can only reach one in three of the people who need our help most. Please make a donation and help us support more blind and partially sighted people.Donate now