Jonathan Stricklen teaches Spanish at the Ohio State School for the Blind. He holds master’s degrees in Spanish and Special Education and is a certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Combining his specialized knowledge and skills with his lived experience as a person with visual impairment, an assistive technology user, and a braille reader, Jon is uniquely positioned both to teach and to be a role-model for his students. During the month of May, in recognition of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), OSERS has been highlighting challenges and successes related to digital accessibility. We met with Jon to learn more about his experiences with accessibility as an educator.
By Rebecca Sheffield, Education Program Specialist
From educational games to online libraries to our school lunch menus, everything has gone digital, and everyone should have access to these digital educational materials and experiences. On May 18, the world recognizes Global Accessibility Awareness Day to draw attention to innovations, expertise, changes, and change-makers in digital accessibility.
The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights defines accessibility as “when a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally integrated and equally effective manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.” To learn more, visit What is Accessibility? from the Office of Special Education Programs’ (OSEP’s) National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM Center).
In the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), we strive for accessibility in all we do. Additionally, we support numerous projects, centers, and resources to help agencies, schools, educators, administrators, families, and students meet and exceed standards and best practices for digital accessibility. Here are just a few highlights of resources and centers funded by OSERS!
NOTE: October is Blindness Awareness Month
When typical textbooks don’t meet the needs of students with reading disabilities, visual impairments, or physical disabilities, the OSEP-funded National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC) helps ensure that these students can obtain the accessible formats they need to engage and contribute alongside their peers.
By Kristen Kushiyama
Public Affairs Specialist, OSERS, U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education held the seventh annual ED Games Expo at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, Jan. 9.
“The ED Games Expo is the department’s annual public showcase and celebration of educational learning games as well as innovative forms of learning technologies for children and students in education and special education,” according to the ED Games Expo site.
The expo had almost 150 learning and technology games that covered topics such as early learning, science, engineering, making, math, reading, social studies, English learning and social skills for all students — including students with disabilities.