Assistive Technology

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Courtney Nunnally
ISTC 301
Assistive Technology Article
April 26, 2012
Lohmeier, K. L. (2005). Implementing the Expanded Core Curriculum in Specialized
Schools for the Blind. Re:View, 37(3), 126-133.
This article was written by a principal of a specialized school to make sighted people
aware of the educational needs of visually impaired students and what it takes for them to be
successful in all aspects of life. For the past two centuries, specialized schools for the blind
focused on teaching students how to be successful in reading and writing using Braille. Research
shows that in order for visually impaired students to be successful in life and in the workforce,
they must not only focus on academics, but also specialized skills that can be used in everyday
life beyond the classroom. Teaching both academics and specialized skills can be challenging
with meeting state and federal mandates, but it proves to be the most effective education for
visually impaired students. The expanded core curriculum goes beyond teaching academics and
focuses on teaching specialized areas such as compensatory academics, social interaction,
independent living, recreation and leisure, orientation and mobility, assistive technology, career
education, and visual efficiency. The purpose of the expanded core curriculum is to prepare
visually impaired students for life outside of the classroom and for a successful future career.
The author of this article conducted a survey asking 30 specialized schools for the visually
impaired across the country if they implemented the expanded core curriculum and during which
parts of the school day (before, during, or after). Only 16 schools responded to the survey.
Mostly all of the schools offer some instruction is each of the eight expanded core areas
throughout the school day. A good percentage of the schools go beyond the school day to offer
instruction mainly in the areas of social interaction, independent living, and recreation and
leisure. The author of this article says she hopes that in the future all areas of the curriculum and
instruction will be spread throughout the entire day because learning that goes on beyond the
classroom is most beneficial for visually impaired students. The goal is to not only teach
visually impaired students academics, but to make them productive members of society.
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