accessibility, covid-19, remote learning

Designing for Accessibility

As schools continue to implement virtual options for students, accessibility should be high on the list of considerations as we are building services – courses, resources, websites, and more. Home Office of government services in the UK has published a set of posters for designing for accessibility. The posters are very clear, easy to understand, and address accommodations for a variety of disabilities.

Please share this amazing resource with your contacts!

germs
covid-19

Tips for Teaching Remotely to DHH Students

Teaching Remotely to Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing 

As schools are implementing remote strategies to provide educational services, it is imperative that accessibility for students who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) is addressed as lessons are being planned. Whether instruction is being provided off-line with packets of assignments or online in a virtual environment, lack of accessibility will mean DHH students will not have equal access to instruction, as is required in IDEA. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, as well as specific resources for helping to implement. 

Captioning

All videos, real time learning sessions, and pre-recorded learning sessions need to be captioned. To learn more about pre-captioned resources as well as tools and instructions for captioning, visit our collection of captioning information. *While sessions and videos must be captioned, it is important to know that this alone may not provide accessibility for all students who are deaf/hard of hearing, especially those whose reading level is below 5th grade.

Interpreting

Students who have interpreting as an accommodations in their IEP have access to interpreters in their school districts. Those interpreters need to provide interpreting for real-time instruction, pre-recorded instruction, and may also provide sight translation assistance for packets of assignments. For how-to resources on creating accessible videos, visit our collection of instructions in written and video formats.

In a situation where the interpreters are not able to interpret during real-time instruction, the student can use a Video Relay Service (VRS). HOWEVER, the student must use VRS equipment or software to see the interpreter, as the interpreter is not visible through Zoom. Instructions on using VRS to access a video conference have been provided in ASL

Considerations for Video Conferencing

When connecting with students through video conferencing, keep in mind the quality of sound, background noise, lighting, visual distraction, and the placement of the camera, as well as captioning and/or interpreting. To learn more about information about ensuring remote learning is accessible, visit our collection of remote learning accessibility information.

Ideas for connecting with other Educators serving DHH Students

  • Collaborate with deaf ed teachers in your school, district, state through email, social media groups, or communities of practice. If you are a teacher in a general education classroom, it is imperative that you connect with the deaf ed teacher who is serving your student(s)!
  • Share resources you find on social media and tag them (e.g., #dcdcec.org #deafed).
  • Use your favorite social media app and search for groups.
  • Visit DCD-CEC on our social media accounts and become friends with our followers.
    • Facebook: @dcdcec.org 
    • Twitter: @dcd_cec 
  • Visit the DCD website

Information compiled by the Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing in collaboration with the Texas Sensory Support Network, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services. For additional information about providing virtual services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, visit our Virtual Learning Livebinder.

germs
covid-19

Paraprofessional Role during Remote Learning

Remote Learning: Using Paraprofessionals Effectively

Life for educators is definitely a different experience right now! As teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing (TODHH), we are not only working on our own lessons, we are working with general education teachers to ensure that their instructional materials are accessible. 

Many of us have access to paraprofessionals in our classrooms or interveners assigned to particular students, and districts are struggling to determine how those staff members can best help meet the needs of students in our current reality. Below are some activities that the paraprofessionals could do that often will make a HUGE difference to the teachers and the families. 

All activities should be initiated and guided by the TODHH, especially contact with students and families.

Accessibility:

  • Caption pre-recorded instructional videos from general education teachers
  • Coordinate interpreter assignments for live and pre-recorded sessions
  • Use Boardmaker or other picture communication symbol systems to provide additional instructions for students and/or parents who need additional help with reading
  • Help TODHHs breakdown assignments to meet the needs of specific students
  • Provide real-time support during Zoom sessions to help make sure the interpreter is able to be seen by all students, that captioning is working correctly, and to facilitate questions in the chat box

Collaboration:

  • Maintain regular communication with teachers and related service providers
  • Check-in with students as determined by classroom teacher
  • Follow up with parents on assignments, ARDs, etc
  • Document progress monitoring

Materials:

  • Support classroom teachers with preparing assignments, content, and paper-pencil activities
  • Research websites, videos, and links for accessible activities that teachers can incorporate into lessons

Student/Family Support:

  • Support families and students in accessing and participating in distance learning
    • Paras can be added to online classes as co-teacher
  • Provide review and practice for students 
  • Provide additional instructions or expansion when necessary
  • Provide 1:1 supports as students work on assignments
  • Teach sign classes to parents, siblings, and students (if paraprofessional is fluent in sign)

Participating in Training:

Information compiled by the Division for Communication, Language, and Deaf/Hard of Hearing in collaboration with the Texas Sensory Support Network, Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services. For additional information about providing virtual services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, visit our Virtual Learning Livebinder.