Division on Visual Impairments


A quarterly newsletter from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Visual Impairments containing practitioner tips for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and other professionals.

Issue link: http://dvi.uberflip.com/i/749268

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Page 37 of 83

Creating access to computer science: Enhancing engagement and learning for students with visual impairments Karen Mutch-Jones and Debra Bernstein, TERC karen_mutch-jones@terc.edu Stephanie Ludi, University of North Texas steph.ludi@gmail.com Recent trends in STEM education emphasize technology—the T in STEM—a recognition of the educational benefits and career opportunities computing offers for all students (Israel et al., 2015a). Creating access and supporting students with disabilities is essential, particularly given their lower achievement levels in STEM (U.S. Department of Education, 2011) and lack of representation in computer science fields (Burgstahler & Ladner, 2007). Furthermore, being able to solve problems with technology is no longer optional. Recent research by Change the Equation [CTEq2015] indicates that 80% of jobs not requiring a bachelor's degree will still require tech skills. Students with visual impairments (VI) reflect their sighted peers in terms of cognitive ability. Yet their participation in STEM activities can be limited by insufficient resources and instruction and a lack of teacher preparation in computing and non-visual teaching methods (King, 2011; Israel et al., 2015b; Snodgrass et. al., 2016). The negative consequences can be substantial. 38

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