Presentation Instructional Accommodations              

Visual
Large Print
Magnification devices
Sign Language
Visual Cues
Written Notes, Outlines, and Instructors

Tactile

Braille
Nemeth Code
Tactile Graphics

Auditory

Human Reader
Audio Tape of Compact Disk
Audio Amplification Devices

Visual and Auditory

Screen Reader
Video Tape and Descriptive Video
Talking Materials

What are presentation instructional accommodations? 

Presentation accommodations allow students to access instruction in ways that do not require them to visually read standard print. These alternate modes of access include visual, tactile, auditory, and a combination of visual and auditory.

Who can benefit from presentation instructional accommodations? 

Students who benefit the most from presentation accommodations are those with print disabilities, defined as difficulty or inability to visually read standard print because of a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability.

How are specific presentation instructional accommodations administered? 

Large print 
     Large print editions of instructional materials are required for some students with visual impairments. Regular print materials can be enlarged through photocopying, or an electronic version can be manipulated to reformat test items and enlarge or change the font as needed. The latter method is preferable. All text and graphic materials, including labels and captions on pictures, diagrams, maps, charts, exponential numbers, notes, and footnotes, must be presented in at least 18-point type for students who need large print. Students need to work on finding an optimal print size and figuring out the smallest print that can still be read. Students should also practice using magnification devices, both hand held and computerized. It is important for the print to be clear, with high contrast between the color of the print and the color of the background. When using large print classroom material, consider the weight, size, and awkwardness of the books. Large print books are now available that look very similar to the same books in standard print. Be sure to order large print materials in plenty of time to be available for instruction at the same time as peers.

Magnification devices 
     Some students with visual impairments read regular print materials and enlarge the print by using magnification devices. These include eyeglass-mounted magnifiers, free standing or handheld magnifiers, enlarged computer monitors, or computers with screen enlargement programs. Some students also use Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) to enlarge print and display printed material with various image enhancements on a screen.

Sign language 
     Sign language interpreters may be required for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Sometimes an interpreter is only needed to sign instructions and to assist in communication. Some students may need all print materials interpreted while learning to read print. Interpreters need to be able to translate in the same method of sign language typically used by the student (e.g., American Sign Language, Cued Speech). Interpreters must not paraphrase, clarify, elaborate, or provide assistance with the meaning of words, intent of test questions, or responses to test items. Graphic materials may be described but should also be available in print or tactile formats. A standard video presentation of a test in sign language may be used to increase quality, consistency, pacing, and accuracy.

 

Visual cues 
     Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing need visual cues in the classroom. Teachers should keep their faces visible to the class when they speak, pass out printed material before class, repeat questions asked by other students, and summarize classroom discussion.

Written notes, outlines, and instructions 
     Notes may be taken by another student and copied. The teacher could provide a print copy of instructions and assignments. Students could also be given a detailed outline of the material to be covered during the class period and a detailed outline of material to be covered (syllabus) at the beginning of each grading period.

Braille 
     Braille is a method of reading a raised-dot code with the fingertips. This type of reading is most common for students who are blind or visually impaired. Not all students who are blind read Braille fluently or will choose Braille as their primary mode of reading. Braille users should also build skill in using audiotape, compact disc, and speech synthesis. 
     If a student needs Braille instructional materials, be sure they are ordered in plenty of time to be available for instruction at the same time as peers. Check to see if practice tests are available in Braille. 
     Refreshable Braille displays are electronic devices that are used to read text that a computer sends to the monitor. The device is connected to a computer and produces Braille output on the Braille display. Refreshable Braille displays only read one line of text at a time. These displays generally include directional keys, which allow the user to navigate through a document. These devices require hours of training to use and should only be used by experienced Braille readers.

Nemeth Code 
     The Nemeth Braille Code is a system of Braille that makes it possible to convey technical expressions in a written medium to students who are blind or visually impaired. Although Nemeth Code uses the same set of Braille cells as literary Braille, most cells have new meanings assigned to them in order to express the numerous technical symbols that occur in math and science.

Tactile graphics 
     Tactile graphic images provide graphic information through fingers instead of eyes. Graphic material (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, illustrations) is presented in a raised format. Tactile sensitivity is far less discriminating than normal vision, making many diagrams too complicated to understand without significant additional information. Additional information can be created through word descriptions.

Human reader 
     A qualified person may be provided to read orally to students who are unable to decode text visually. Readers should use even inflection so that the student does not receive any cues by the way the information is read. It is important for readers to read test items/questions and text word-for-word exactly as written. Readers may not clarify, elaborate, or provide assistance to students. Readers need to be familiar with the terminology and symbols specific to the content. This is especially important for high school mathematics and science. Graphic materials may be described but should also be made available in print or tactile formats. 
     Readers should be provided to students on an individual basis - not to a group of students. A student should have the option of asking a reader to slow down or repeat text - this is difficult when a person is reading to an entire group of students.

Audio tape or compact disk 
     Written materials are prerecorded on an audio cassette or compact disk that a student accesses by listening. Classroom directions, assignments, and lectures could also be recorded. When taping lectures, students should sit near the front of the classroom, use a small microphone, and tape only parts of the class that can clearly be replayed (e.g., turn the tape recorded off during small group discussions). Students using this strategy need to be as inconspicuous as possible. 
     Text could be read by another person onto an audio tape for a student to listen to later. Advantages include ease of operation and low cost. The greatest difficulty with an audio cassette is rewinding if a student wants to repeat material. This is not as difficult with a CD that can be programmed. Audio versions need to be supplemented with a print or Braille version of the text so that a student can have access to complicated graphic material. When using a two-sided cassette tape, students may need to be reminded to play the other side. Spot check audio formats before use to make sure everything is working properly. 
     "Books on Tape" is a service provided by Recordings for the Blind to which students can apply. Students call a toll free number to borrow textbooks for a specified period of time. A special tape player may also be needed. 
     "Recorded Books" are produced on tape or CD and can be borrowed from libraries or purchased from bookstores. Many online bookstores also carry recorded books, making access even easier. Some of the tapes contain the full book, and some are abridged (e.g., Reader's Digest version). These tapes play on standard cassette or CD players. Tapes or CDs for children often include a book for following along. Students who can see print may want to get a print copy of a taped book to follow along.

Audio amplification devices 
     Some students may require amplification equipment in addition to hearing aids to increase clarity. A teacher may use an amplification system when working with students in classroom situations.

Screen reader 
     A screen reader is a computer application that converts text to synthesized speech or to Braille (read with an auxiliary Braille display). Computer literacy is essential for screen reader use. Screen reading software allows students to listen to text as it is displayed on a computer screen. Students can choose to listen to any text multiple times. Some products work by having a student lay a page on a scanner. When a student activates the machine, it reads the text aloud using an optical character recognition (OCR) system. 
     Math formulas are normally displayed on screen as graphics that cannot be read by a screen reader. There is another section in the Universal Design module that gives more detailed information about synthesized speech.

Video tape and descriptive video 
     Many books have been made into movies, giving students a visual and auditory way to access literature. Videotapes are now often closed-captioned. Captions are visible when activated by a decoder. Built in decoders are required on all 13-inch or larger television sets. 
     Descriptive video is a descriptive narration of key visual elements, making television programs, feature films, home videos and other visual media accessible to people who are visually impaired. Key visual elements include actions, gestures, facial expressions and scene changes. Inserted within the natural pauses in dialogue, audio descriptions of important visual details help to engage viewers with the story.

Talking materials 
     Many classroom materials are now available with auditory components. These include "talking" clocks, calculators, thermometers, voltmeters, and timers. Light probes and special adapters are available that transform visual and digital signals into audio outputs.


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