Enabling Dreams


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Enabling Dreams

  1. 1. The video Enabling Dreams was very inspirational, thought provoking, and it provided enlightening information about assistive technology. This video has really showed me that with the help of assistive technology people, most of all students will be able to go to school and learn just like everyone else. Assistive technology is more than a device that helps these students get around their environment, according to Enabling Dreams assistive technology are these students “life line”. Although assistive technology is very helpful for the students with disabilities, teachers must also accommodate and modify certain lessons so the students with disabilities will be able to participate in the lesson and not feel neglected.<br />The important parts or features of a revised lesson plan that should include opportunities for disabled student to be successful participants will have to be the exploration part of a lesson plan. For example, I taught a class on the subject Reading and to accommodate the students of learning disabilities and a student with multiple severe disabilities, I scanned the book and read the story out loud while the book was projected on the white board. The students were able to see the book clearly and read the words along with me, unfortunately the student with the multiple disabilities was absent from class. Technology could be implemented into the classrooms, just like the young lady named Suzanna, portrayed in Enabling Dreams, using a laptop and voice recorder to complete her assignments for class.<br />Compared to the previous lesson plan on just reading the book to the class, the students seemed more engaged and interested in the story when projected where everyone could see and read along. The usage of the computer made my job easier to teach read to the class without flipping pages and being able to put emphasis into my reading. This shows that technology does not only benefit the students but also the teacher. Like the video showed, the students were able to communicate to their teacher with the help of assistive technology this also helps the teacher understand what the student needs and is thinking. <br />Another interesting thing about the video is that it showed how students with disabilities were able to participate in activities through the usage of their assistive device. A few ideas I would probably add to the activities for inclusion of assistive technology would be the usage of PowerPoint games such as Wheel of Fortune and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? Which are great games for review not only for a student with special needs but for a general education classroom. The students with a disability will be able to use a computer and choose the correct answer as they review. <br />However, before I could include students with disabilities into certain activities as well begin teaching. In order to accommodate these students I would have to go through their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or specific learning requirements. This would always have to be the first step when teaching a student with a disability. I would want to make sure that the appropriate and expected lesson modifications and accommodations are being implemented into the classroom. By creating effective instructional lesson plans that are motivational, engaging, fun, and in accordance to their IEP the students with special needs will be able productively join in learning activities. <br />I believe in order to include students with disabilities lesson plans should be revised in order for these students to get the education that they deserve. If a lesson is not revised these students will be confused and lost in the classroom because they would have no idea what they are learning. I have observed classrooms where teachers with a student with a disability would give his paraprofessional a bunch of worksheets. However, in another classroom, a teacher had a student with a hearing impairment where she would have to use a voice amplifier that connects to the student’s amplifier so she could communicate with the students. In her lessons, especially reading, she would have to read slowly and talk slowly in order for the student to understand her clearly and be able to read her lips. So, I definitely believe that lesson should be revised to fit the students’ needs.<br />Now, some teacher may say that revising lesson plans for a student with a disability is difficult, but nowhere did it say that teaching is easy. Revising lesson plans to include students with disabilities is a wonderful idea because both the student and a student with a disability could learn from one another and communicate. Most of these students with disabilities often suffer from social problems. A child with ADHD may not want another student to be near them or a student with a stuttering problem may shy away from his or her peers, but by including these students into the lesson plan and allowing them to participate in activities may increase their social skills as well as their confidence. <br />If I was to assess the appropriateness of revised lessons for the inclusion of disabled students, I would probably use rubrics to assess how the activity could benefit the student with a disability, if the activity is appropriate to their disability, and most of all does it follow their IEP.<br />Overall, students with disabilities should be included in a general education classroom. All it takes is a little time, patience, and heart to revise lessons to make sure that these students are receiving the education they deserve and most of all feel accepted by their peers and their environment. Enabling Dreams has inspired me to want to teach even more. It has opened my eyes to inclusion and assistive technology that I never knew existed. There are instruments that are accessible to students with disabilities, computers, communication tables, and even a device that helps a student communicate through his eyebrows. Through this video I gained a better understanding and empathy for the unbelievable determination of people with disabilities. This video also encouraged me to learn more about creating a more productive environment and lessons for the students with special needs in the classroom <br />