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For October 2013:

How to make classrooms more accessible

I am going to focus on the physical classroom and how one can make it more accessible to Blind students. In many cases, classrooms are usually crammed with desks and chairs and in so many instances, they are crying out for room due to the need to pack as many students in a physical space. In many cases this cannot be helped but here are some pointers for consideration.

  1. There needs to be communication between the Blind student and the lecturer and/or the school's administration before anything else.
  2. The student needs to articulate what they would need in terms of physical space.
  3. In most cases, the student would probably need to have a seat that is at the front of the classroom so that they can hear more clearly and be able to tape their lectures if necessary without too much background noise.
  4. The student should be given a physical orientation to the layout of the classroom before hand.
  5. If any changes are made to the physical layout after this orientation is given then the student should be told and given the chance to have a new orientation.
  6. Care should be taken to make the physical layout of the classroom as simple and uncomplicated as possible. That is, the least amount of clutter and obstacles in the way.
  7. Garbage cans should be placed in out of the way spots but at the same time in spots that are easy for a Blind person to find.
  8. Blackboards and overhead screens should be positioned in areas that are convenient for the rest of the class to access but at the same time in spots where a Blind student would not bump into them.

I hope that these pointers are a good start for you.

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your freelance writer and roving reporter wishing you a terrific day.

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