Many teens who are living life with disabilities or impairments, like most young adults, long for acceptance from their peers. Throughout my research on visual impairments, I found an article published by the Washington Post describing the success of a program available for teens who are visually impaired that encourages their creativity. The program is called Time to Rap and is led by a woman who has been visually impaired since birth. Time to Rap gives teens the opportunity to make friends in an accepting and comfortable environment while participating in a creative writing program. The article published by the Washington Post, describes the experiences of multiple adolescents throughout the duration of the program. Many of the kids express how the program has allowed them to gain confidence in a social setting and feel that they are part of a family. The connection that these young adults have made can be contributed to the power of poetry, the form of creative writing that this program focuses on.
The link to the newspaper article is here http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/20/AR2007062001292.html
After reading the article it became even more apparent to me how important it is for educators to create a classroom environment that is inclusive of all students. This feeling and my experience as a chemistry teacher led me to further research how a science classroom can specifically be accommodating for students with visually impairments. I found that in laboratory settings teachers can do many things in order to assist the learning experience of visually impaired students. The instructor should describe and familiarize the student with all of the lab equipment being used, convert lab materials from a visual to a tactile format when possible, keep materials and supplies in the same location throughout the classroom, provide a microprojector when activities require a microscope, and provide equipment that will allow the student to acquire or record data. These are just a few of the accommodations that science teachers should incorporate into their laboratory activities for visually impaired students. To find more, please go to this website: http://www.as.wvu.edu/~scidis/vision.html.
1. Carter, D. (2007, June 21). Writing Lets Visually Impaired Teens Connect. The Washington Post, pp. T05.
This wikipedian research has been provided by Emily Greenlee.