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Blind and Low Vision Masterclass Series 2024

This series of lecture will provide updates on technology and education for students who are blind or have low vision.
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Key Details

Masterclass Series
Course Code
Start Date
29 April 2024
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Course Information

Session 1: Technology for the Inclusive Classroom for persons with print disabilities

By: Richard Orme and Dipendra Manocha

Technology serves as a powerful tool for students with print disabilities, facilitating their participation and active engagement in learning. When used appropriately it can support reading, writing, co-curricular activities, independent mobility, examinations, and more. Technology can facilitate notetaking and enable written communication between students and teachers. This session provides an overview of how these solutions can ensure full participation of students with print disabilities in the classroom, including in STEM subjects. The session with also provide inputs on what support is available to the teachers for their inclusion in classrooms.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about:

  • An overview of technologies commonly used by students with print disabilities for reading and writing
  • Key solutions and skills for teachers to include students with print disabilities in classrooms.

Session 2: Visionary Learning Through Technology

By Richard Orme and Dipendra Manocha

Presentation strategy will be announced shortly

Students with print disabilities, including visual impairments, dyslexia, or other reading difficulties, encounter significant challenges when accessing traditional printed materials. The Visionary Learning through Technology model integrates four essential components: Kit, Content, Confidence and Connection. The absence of any one of these components can render the others ineffective. This session will discuss the global Visionary Learning initiative, and explore how the same model can be applied at the level of a school or individual learner. Visionary Learning through Technology is evolving into a global campaign spearheaded by leading international organizations such as the DAISY Consortium, The World Blind Union, and ICEVI. The session will shed light on how participants can actively contribute to this campaign.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about:

  • The components of the Visionary Learning model: Kit, Content, Confidence and Connection.
  • Using Visionary Learning to help ensure technology adds value for print disabled learners.
  • How to become part of a global campaign for positive change.

Session 3: Get confident with making accessible documents.

By Richard Orme, Prashant Verma and Dipendra Manocha

Presentation strategy will be announced shortly

Students with print disabilities need books in formats that they can read themselves. An accessible digital book is an excellent solution as it can be read with Eyes, Ears and Fingers. They also provide rich reading experience even with complex book content such as tables, graphics, infographics, maths, etc. When a book or a reading material is not already available in suitable format, then inaccessible reading materials can be converted into accessible digital formats. The session will introduce easy to use tools and methods to do this without much financial investment and by anyone who has the knowledge and skill to work in Microsoft Word.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn about:

  • Simple to use tools to create documents and books in accessible digital formats.
  • Deliver such books to users as braille, large print or audio books compatible with range of devices available to the users.

Session 4: Building accessibility into the digital world for multi-lingual learners

By: Peter Cracknell

1-1pm AEST on August 15, 2024

Assistive Technology such as Optical Character Recognition, Screen Readers and Speech Synthesizers have enabled people with vision impairment to read independently; but do these technologies also have a benefit for sighted people who cannot read English for other reasons? For example, people with dyslexia? Or people whose first language is not English? In this lecture, Peter Cracknell will review emerging AI technologies such as the OrCam Learn device that can assist with the learning of English. For example, International Students may need to complete a module of English competency before starting a University course. Or, migrants and refugees may need to improve their vocabulary and pronunciation, or may wish to translate materials between English and their native language. Also, at school, many Australian children with below-grade literacy struggle to keep up with curriculum. Devices like OrCam Learn not only engage them as independent learners, but also monitor their progress in fluency, accuracy and words per minute, so that teachers, tutors and parents can better support them. The advanced AI listens to the student reading text out loud and asks comprehension questions, suggests words to focus on, pronunciation, and uses an app to display progress. Spoken dictionary definitions are instantly available by pointing a laser spot at the word in question. This lecture will include a demonstration, and Peter invites lively participation from those attending!



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