Monday, May 21, 2012

Visual Impairments Links for May

[This is from a digital handout I give to all of my teachers.]
Visual Impairments Specialist: Ms. Kathy

Below are some links to ideas and activities that I have consulted with some of you about. If not—well here they are! Remember that the Classroom Suites activities cannot be open unless you have the program installed on the computer you’re opening them on. Don’t forget to save them before closing if you want to keep them. If you accidentally delete a CRS activity that you’d like to keep you can find them on the Activity Exchange if you have a free account there. Look for my user name: mskathy0724

I’ve put asterisks (*) next to my special activities for students with multiple disabilities.
20 iPad Aps for Kids with Autism*

It’s a list of what it says. 

“ is the leader in free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary students to learn on the web. All children's educational computer activities were created or approved by certified school teachers. All educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn…”
ABC’s of Digital Tools in the Early Childhood Classroom*

It’s a list of what it says 

Good videos can be created for classes with photos and graphics found on the internet. However one cannot add one’s own audio except for music , for creating descriptive videos for children who cannot see the graphics.
Braille Notebook cards*

A teacher does not need to know Braille to use these cards. These are used when you are going over the alphabet every day with the entire class and the blind child in your class cannot see or feel the letters you point o on your chart. Have the paraprofessional open these notebook cards for the child to follow along with her sighted peers.
Catalog of iPad Aps for Teachers and Students*

It’s…you know.
Children Around the World (Mexico)*

Created By: Cindy Kerr

Skill Level: Grades K-2

Curriculum: Language Arts Life Skills Social Studies

Activity Details: Join us this year as we visit children in countries around the world to see what their schools look like, clothing, music, food and language. We'll see the map, flag and capital cities.

Easy next page button and yes-no self checking questions.

“Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices.” (There is also a mobile access version)

Educational Needs for Low Vision*

A few ideas for children with low vision
E-Reader’s Worksheet1 *

E-Reader Worksheet 2*

Use these as a template to create an online worksheet for your students. Do you know how to create hyperlinks like the ones in this document?
Five Little Monkeys*

Intellitools activity: Created By: Cindy Kerr

Skill Level: Birth-5

Curriculum: Language Arts Math

Accessibility Features: Switch Low Vision

Activity Details: Easy numbers 0 to 5 with music from the well known song. Find the answer to turn the page.

Scanning set.

Attached overlay.

Music purchased from iTunes is "Five Little Monkeys" by The Countdown Kids.
Fun Brain*

Learning games in all content areas with a section for teachers and parents.
Greenville ES Word of the Day

Created By: mskathy0724

Skill Level: Grades 3-5

Curriculum: Language Arts

Accessibility Features: Low Vision

Activity Details: Some of these words may seem above 2nd & 3rd grade level but you may be surprised! My visually impaired students like to try "footlong" words. Sometimes they'd bring them to class. Then we'd get the definiton and they'd braille/write their own sentences for them in their morning journals. Some of the sentences they authored are included in this activity. I'd make a card with the word, part of speech, definition in print embossed with braille and they'd tape it to our door until the door was filled with "footlong" words. For a fun test, I'd let the Intellitools program read to them and they'd braille their answers on paper. Then we'd check answers from their papers to the program.

Free Internet resources to use in classroom instruction, developing project ideas, reinforcing specific subject matter areas both in the class and at home and even for online technology tutorials. The portal is used by teachers, parents and students of all ages on six of the seven continents (there are not many classrooms in Antarctica) and is available to anyone with an Internet connection.

Great for encouraging creative writing! The Kerpoof website is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company… Kerpoof is all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative. Here are just a few ways that you can use Kerpoof:

• Make artwork (even if you aren't good at drawing!)

• Make an animated movie (really! it's easy!)

• Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store

• Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug

• Tell a story

• Make a drawing

• Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made
Lily: The Blind Great Dane

Intellitools Classroom Suites Activity: Created By: Byron O Wilkes

Skill Level: Grades 3-5

Curriculum: Language Arts

Accessibility Features: Switch AAC

Activity Details: This activity set is made up of two activities. The first is a reading activity for students which relates the story of Lily, a blind Great Dane and her friend Maddison. Note: students can also listen to the story if they can't read yet. The second activity is a comprehension activity which provides a set of seven questions in a 3-2-1 format to evaluate the student's comprehension or understanding of the story. Note: the activity captures all of the student's responses and a report can be generated through the IntelliTools Classroom Suite Reporting System if the activity is assigned to the student. Please note that the template used for the reading activity is from the Learning Magic, Inc. "Writing Bin-Early Skills" CD and the template used in the comprehension activity is from the Learning Magic, Inc. "3-2-1 For IntelliTools Classroom Suite" CD. Please do not use these templates to create other activities unless you own a copy of the aforementioned CDs. For further information on those products please visit our website at
LDOE Coursewhere

Create an account here and apply for workshops sponsored by the LDOE this summer.
Matt’s Wallet*

Intellitools CRS Activity: Created By: mskathy0724

Skill Level: Grades 3-5

Curriculum: Math Life Skills

Accessibility Features: Low Vision

Activity Details: My high school student Matthew wants to count money because someday he wants to be rich. He helped with this activity. It helps to teach how many of each coin will equal a dollar and how many of each bill denomination are in $100. Matt picked out the items to purchase at the end of the activity. Since the items chosen stay on the activity, a teacher can check for correct answers by going back into the program to see the number of coins and bills the student clicked to add to the pictures.

May In My Classroom

An Intellitools activity brought to you by the same therapist who created “April in My Classroom.”

Microsoft Narrator*

If you have a relatively new computer, one of the accessibility features is a screen reader called Microsoft narrator. The link will take you to the web site that will show you how to locate and use it.


“Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.“
Ms. Kathy’s Kids Blog

Just my blog where I post ideas, photos of ideas, articles and the occasional rant/vent. 
My Big Campus

“My Big Campus extends the classroom to a safe, engaging online environment.”
One True Media*

Free but it’s worth it to purchase a premium account. Create videos with music and sound. Voice videos can be added (I’ve used clip from my Flip Cam) so that visually impaired children can appreciate the videos as well. You can email links to parents or order a DVD of your finished product for about $10.
Raz Kids!

An online leveled books library for grades K-6. Students improve their reading skills by:

• Listening for modeled fluency

• Reading for practice

• Recording their reading

• Checking comprehension with quizzes

Students log in to get books and quizzes assigned by their teachers.

Research Paper Sites (High School/Middle School)

It’s that time of year! This list of sites can help. I’ve had them for a while so let me know if some of the links are no longer valid
Scoop It!

Instructional Resources for Technology on all levels. You can search for lesson plans and curricula using the drop-down menus, or visit the Educator pages for any of the products
Study Guide Template

This one was made for a VI resource class but you can use it as a template for HS/MS Study guides and drop them in your students’ computer folders
Technology for the Visually Impaired

A blog about the latest stuff and updates on stuff we already use. Yum!
Typical Technology Solutions for the Disabled

You know.

Deafblind Runner's 100 Run Medals Challenge

Deafblind Runner's 100 Run Medals Challenge | Facebook Deafblind Runner's 100 Run Medals Challenge is on Facebook. To connect with Deafblind Runner's 100 Run Medals Challenge, sign up for Facebook today.

AADB Borad Committee Meeting--Deafblind

Someday Soon, the Blind May See

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Teaching Toys for Pennies

I posted this video sometime ago. I have found that at the turn of each season, the Family Dollar Store has these small light up balls in bright colors that will light up when shaken. They are just the size for small hands. I suggested using them against a black background or for teachers of severe profound impaired children with cortical blindness. I even suggested that the teacher invest in a black apron. Since the lights from these toys blink rapidly there may be a seizure inducement concern for some children. I would not allow children who puts things in their mouths to handle these toys. A teacher will use some discretion base on the needs and conditions of his/her students.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Deafblind in South Africa Web Site

Family carers entitled to pay (Batten's Disease)  
Ms. Kathy thought you might like to read the following story on
Family carers entitled to pay
It's a fulltime job for someone like Ra Timms to look after her daughter, Jordyn Rose, who has Batten disease. ... Read More

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Visual Impairments Specialist Scotlandville Elementary

Eyes Don't Have 'Fringe' Benefits for Emos: Amblyopia

*NOTE: What we call "bangs" in the US are called "fringe" in the UK and Australia

Retinal Implants Should Recharge Sight

Trendy Hair May Be a Hazard

Hi Ms. Kathy's Kids,

I saw this on and thought you'd like to take a look.

No Fringe Benefits for Emos' :Amblyopia Hair

Visual Impairments Specialist Scotlandville Elementary

Fwd: Bookshare Action This Summer!

Bookshare K-12 Newsletter

May 2012

Bookshare Express Summer Book Suggestions

And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson (k-3)
Akiak A Tale of the Iditarod, by Robert J. Blake (1-6)
Adaptation and Change on the Galapagos Islands, by Helen Sillett (4-8)
Blind Mountain, by Jane Resh Thomaso (4-8)
The Acorn People, by Ron Jones (6-12)
The Prairie Traveler: The 1859 Handbook for Westbound Pioneers, by Randolph B. Marcy (9-12)
Letters from High Latitudes, by Marques of Dufferin (9-12)

Share and Connect

Reading the Bookshare blog? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Accessible Twitter.
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Summer Reading Contest!

The Bookshare Express is our 4th annual summer reading contest. Get your students on board for one of this summer's most fun events!
Bookshare members of every age, grade level, and country, including international members, are invited to read books about different places and share what they learned. For each submission, they can win great prizes like a tablet PC, mp3 players, and Read2Go apps!
How can your students participate?
  1. Educators learn how to sign up your students for an Individual Membership
  2. Sign up to be notified when the contest launches in early June.

Mentor Awards and Special Recognition Announced!

As of today, approximately 370 Bookshare Mentors and Local Experts are doing their part to Let Reading Come Alive in their districts. Many went the "extra mile" and shared their activities with the Bookshare team. They also became eligible for prizes, including Read2Go licenses, MP3 players, gift cards for school supplies, and an iPad as a grand prize.
Congratulations to Sallie Spencer who will receive an iPad for her work with children, teachers, and parents across all grade levels in Olivet, Michigan. Sallie will also be profiled in an upcoming Bookshare Blog.
See the full list of winners here.

Time to Locate Next Year's Textbooks

Check the Bookshare library to see if next year's textbooks are available, if not, let us know by giving us us the title, author, an ISBN and we'll purchase the books, scan and proofread them over the summer so they're ready for you in the fall. Contact us

Bookshare Books Now Available for MP3 Players to request yourBookshare.

More good news! Bookshare now offers titles that can be downloaded and played on any MP3 player. When a title is requested for the first time, it may need to be converted to MP3. Delivery times will depend on the size of the book and the number of people waiting for MP3 book conversions. Note that MP3 audio files are best played on an MP3 player. Keep your eyes open for other formats that will be available in the future.

Downloading Books is EBookshareHalf!

Downloading Bookshare books is easier than ever. You are no longer required to enter a password (a second time) when unzipping your downloaded bookBooksharemply log into your Bookshare account, find the book you want, download, unzip and open with your Webinarsd reader.

Upcoming Webinars

Educators: Get Individual Memberships for Students!
Wednesday, May 23rd, 1:30 p.m. PDT, 2:30 p.m. MDT, 3:30 p.m. CDT, 4:30 p.m. EDT
Sign up here
Bookshare to get Individual Bookshare Memberships for your students.
Besides allowing students to participate in the Summer Contest, Individual Memberships:
  • Enable students or parents to download books anywhere, anytime (and all summer long)!
  • Allow stuBookshare'srents to install Bookshare's free reading tools on any computer.
  • Promote independence as students learn they can download books themselves.
  • Encourage students to read for pleasure, not just for school.
  • Make it easier for stuappss to utilize ouriOSbile apps: Read2Go for iOS devices Go Read foBookshare devices.
    Take Bookshare to College
    Thursday, May 24th, 12:00 p.m. PDT, 1:00 p.m. MDT, 2:00 p.m. CDT, 3:00 p.m. EDT
    Your student with print disabilities will be a step ahead if he or Booksharees at college as a Bookshare user. Learn how to help yoBooksharet get started with Bookshare, find popular titles as well as resources including how to get financial aid, and more. We'll also point you to the right resource at the school your college-bound student has selected.BookshareRegister here.
    Take the Bookshare Express to Anywhere this Summer.
    Ideas that Work

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    Visual Impairments Specialist Scotlandville Elementary

    Amblyopia Part six

    You know I like family web sites and blogs. In this mom's blog she sometimes writes about her child's adventures in   dealing with amblyopia. Here's part six in their adventures.

    Fw: Waiting 2 INhale. Payback for waking me up too early for breakfast

     My Cat: Mr. Bob Buttons

    Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 8:48 AM
    Subject: Waiting 2 INhale. Payback for waking me up too early for breakfast

    We play this game each morning. Yesterday he woke me up at 4:30 for his breakfast. The usual time is 5am whether the alarm rings or not. After that he has to go out into the back yard and he'll peek through the blinds at the patio door for me to let him back in. So I had him wait a little. :)