Saturday, November 17, 2012

Blog Assignment #12

My major is secondary special education, so as discussed in a previous post, Dr. Strange has informed us that Apple offers many different types of applications for your iPhone or iPad. After visiting the Alabama Regional School for the Deaf and Blind, right here in Mobile, I found out that apple products already come with many types of adaptive technology for those who are disabled. I toured the school this past week for my EDU 400 class (Study of Exceptional Youth & Children). On this tour, they took us into their computer lab and briefly told us about some of the accessibility services that Apple provides for the visually and hearing impaired/disabled. I became so interested in what they had to say, I checked it out for myself. This is the web link that I first came across:, which led me to: When I came across these pages, I was amazed at what they have to offer to this community of individuals.

 students signing to each other via Mac
After checking out these 2 pages and a few others, this is the blog assignment that I came up with:

Students are to go to this page and find 5 types of adaptive services that Apple offers (I do not want you to pick any type of app that you would use for an iPad or iPhone. Dr. Strange has already given you an assignment in that area). You must mention five different types of accessibility technologies in your post. From the 5 that you chose, you must pick your favorite one. Whichever one of the 5 you choose, I want you to:
1. Describe what it is and how it helps
2. Find a video about it and add it to this post
3. Write about which type of disability this service targets (a detailed description)
4. Write about how you could possibly use this in your classroom

The purpose of this assignment is to get you involved in the disabled community. I want you to learn more about the types of disabilities that you will encounter as a teacher. It is so important to become familiar and comfortable with disabled students because you will come across many of them. This population will never go away and you need to learn how to incorporate them in your curriculum. I hope you enjoy doing this assignment as much as I have.

If I were to do this assignment myself, this is how I would respond:

I visited the Apple page,, and found it to be very useful and, eventually, resourceful. I was very unaware of how much Apple provides for the disabled community until coming across this page. I was assigned to find 5 different types of adaptive technology services that Apple offers for those who are disabled. The five that really stood out to me are:

1. VoiceOver
2. Refreshable Braille Display Support
3. GarageBand
4. Inkwell
5. Closed Captioning

 students signing via iChat on a Mac
Each one of these assistive technologies are miraculous and life-changing for someone who is disabled. Simple things that we take for granted each and everyday, may be a struggle for someone else with a disability. I'm so glad that Apple has come up with all of these things for the disabled community.

The one that stood out the most to me is Garageband. Garageband comes with all Macs. It is something that everyone can use. Garageband allows you to learn to play an instrument, record your very own music, write music, share your work and many other cool things. Not only, does it allow you to encounter musical adventures, but it also offers something for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

If a student is diagnosed as "deaf" or "hard of hearing", it can be very challenging for them to learn to adapt to their new way of living. Deaf is when someone has total loss of hearing. Hard of hearing is when the student has partial loss of hearing. When someone is hard of hearing they may only be able to hear certain sounds and frequencies within a specific volume range. These disabilities may result from a situation which caused their hearing to be lost, or it may be something the individual has had since birth. Either way, it is something that is difficult to withstand in an educational, or even an everyday setting.

image of Garageband
Although it is difficult for the student with the hearing trouble to learn, it may also be difficult for the teacher to adapt to a new way of teaching. This is why I think Garageband is a wonderful tool. Not only can you do all sorts of cool things musically, but it also works educationally. Teachers in the past have used Garageband to record podcasts of themselves delivering lessons to the deaf and hard of hearing population who are transitioning into learning to use their cochlear implants. (As a side note, a cochlear implant is a surgically implanted hearing device for those who are deaf or hard of hearing to assist in producing different types of sound to help them to decipher between.) Students learn inflection and how to differentiate between different pitches, voices, and frequencies. With help from the cochlear implants and Garageband overtime, the student can eventually evolve into better hearing. HOW FANTASTIC?!

Since I am planning on getting my degree in special education, I can use this everyday! I am so excited. Although I do not have a Mac now, I am planning on getting one in the near future. The Mac is equipped with so much adaptive technology. I cannot wait to get my kiddies started in on using it and seeing how much they progress throughout the year. I will use Garageband to make podcasts and do all sorts of other fun things with my students!

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any podcasts with teachers communicating with their deaf or hard of hearing students, but I did manage to find something else:

This video was created by some of the deaf students at Anacortes High School in Anacortes, Washington. The background music was also created by a deaf student in Garageband. How neat?!


  1. Lauren,

    Great idea. I think it is wonderful to discover the available resources for disabled students, other than apps. However I feel you should not exclude PC resources. Macs are considerably more expensive so in case a student or school system cannot afford those computers, they should also be aware of the resources available for PC computers. Good job on this!

  2. Elizabeth,

    You know that didn't even cross my mind? Great idea! Thanks for the tip!

    1. You're welcome! Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Lauren,
    This post was done really well! I think that Dr. Strange should definitely use this for his future classes because many of us will come in contact with these types of students at some point. It seems like you are going to become an awesome teacher and I know your students will love you! Thanks for posting!

    Amanda Patton

  4. Lauren,

    This was an extremely well thought out assignment. As future educators we need to know what resources are out there for students with disabilities. Great idea for a blog assignment!