Sunday, July 16, 2017

Maximizing Abilities - July 16, 2017

Sun., July 16, 2017

Taking five (5), yes five, grad classes this summer has been a challenge, but it's easier to overload when there aren't student's in the building.  Working as a principal and teacher and taking grad classes at the same time is more challenging.  I'll still have to take classes in the fall, but not as many hopefully because I'm "doubling up" now.

Two of the grad classes have had similar topics - accessibility for all.  With 504's and IEP's, equal access should automatically happen.  Needless to say, it doesn't because with those you have to have a diagnosed, documented disability that's affecting your ability to learn.   One of my classes had us watch a video about "Virtual Ability Island's" founder, Gentle Heron.  It's an uplifting, inspirational real life example of how to embrace diversity in the real world.  Gentle Heron said that she deals with "TABS" or Temporary Able Bodies, which we all know change as we age.  Real innovation about such an important topic.

In my other class, we talked about universal design and how all websites, etc. are to have access to all disabilities, known as Section 508.  There were several informative YouTube videos from Portland Community College called "To Care and Comply."  They pointed out that disabilities are barriers to learning, so it's to us as educators to open the door, NOT shut the door.  It's important, but more importantly is the RIGHT thing to do.  That's what VAI does as well.  There is no success without access virtually or in real life.  It's all about maximizing our abilities, no matter what they are.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cathy,
    Yes, equal access to all should be the norm all the time. It is easy to legislate, but way harder to implement in many ways. Over the years I have seen students wo clearly needed a "change of scenery" in order to function better, but were denied a different space by admins as the idea was for the students to remain in the classroom at all costs....even for their learning. Like any learner, sometimes we need a place to process what we are learning, so why would this be different for 504's or IEP students. In any case, adaptability by teachers is a better choice...and that is not always easy. Mike