All right everybody, time to put yourself in the position of a student with a disability. Imagine you are a bright, motivated student with physical disabilities so that the only thing you can do is move your head or eyes. How will you access the materials used to develop conceptual understanding in math? How will you use standard tools for completing procedures and recording your answers? How will you participate in discussions?
Many students with disabilities and their teachers face such challenges. Some of these students use Augmentative Communication Devices (AAC) which, when a selection is activated, speak. Many of these AAC devices can be used to send signals to a local computer, allowing a student access to accessible software such as Conceptua Fractions. The Conceptua Fractions software has built-in keystrokes for mouse movements, so it allows students who use alternate devices or switches the ability to participate and learn fractions.
If you go to the Accessibility webpage (or simply hover over the word "Support" and then choose "Accessibility"), you can see some of the different ways to use an AAC device to access Conceptua Fractions. In addition to the IntelliKeys alternative keyboard, the second and third pictures show the screen layouts for two common AAC devices that can access Conceptua Fractions. For example, the second picture shows a "page" we created on a student's PRC ECO-14 (AAC device) that allows her to use it to communicate and control the software at the same time. In addition to the various keys for input, note the buttons on the left side of the "page" that control the mouse movements in the software.
Not all software programs are designed with these features, which means that many students who are capable of learning math concepts and procedures do not have access to the materials often used to teach math. With the proper accomodations, students with physical disabilities can complete equations and record the answers even if they cannot hold a pencil. And most importantly, they can be independent!
Not all students require the use of an AAC device however there are many students that have physical limitations that impact their ability to access and use the manipulatives and tools found in math classrooms. But, if your student uses some type of mouse, keyboard, or two switches to access to the computer, then he or she can do fractions work using Conceptua Fractions! Ask me how!