2000 Conference Proceedings

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An interactive Educational CD-ROM developed for use in the Education Departments curriculum

Theo Schaftenaar Theo Schaftenaar
Information Technology Manager
Royal Society for the Blind of South Australia (RSB)
Email: tschafte@rsb.org.au

One of the main hurdles blind and vision impaired people face in fully participating in the community is the lack of understanding the general public has with regard to severe sight loss. The major cause of blindness in South Australia is the aging process with about 72% of people over the age of 75 effected.

There are currently more than 20,000 South Australians who are legally blind or severely vision impaired – and this number is expected to increase by about 40% in the next 20 years as the population ages.

The Schools CD-ROM Package.

In order to change the cultural perception people have with regard to those who are severely sight impaired, the RSB has developed a School’s Education Package, targeted at the Year 4 age group. The package, which takes the form of an interactive CD-ROM, teaches children about blindness and the various forms it takes. It also educates them about some of the difficulties severely vision impaired people may encounter and how they may be of assistance.

This education CD which I will give a short demonstration of in a minute, is different from other educational CD-ROMs in that it has been developed with the assistance of teachers (from both public and private schools) and meets the objectives of the Education Department’s curriculum in South Australia.

By using the CD-ROM as a teaching aid, teachers are able to successfully meet a number of their teaching goals by using blindness as a teaching tool. It also has the added advantage that children will become more aware of blindness and vision impairment and develop respect for the people who suffer from these conditions whilst at the same time being part of an enjoyable learning experience.

The Theme.

The CD-ROM theme is centred around three mice known as "the 3 VI" (vision impaired). This is a 1999/2000 version of the 3 Blind Mice and teaches students about various forms of blindness in a fun and interactive manner. Not only does the CD-ROM package provide information and fun for students but it also offers the teachers lesson plans, computer and physical activities.

What’s on the CD-ROM?

Title Content

How we see look at how the eye works.

Vision loss simulates for different eye conditions.

Eye care a quiz to highlight basic eye care issues.

Get moving explore a school with and without a vision impairment.

Survival skills meet a vision impaired child at home in the kitchen Personal best meet Anthony Clarke, he is blind and a world champion wrestler.

Cool Tools check out all the gizmos that assist people with vision Impairments.

How to help a series of videos show different ways people can assist.

Hello School yard blues comic strip about life in the schoolyard for a vision- impaired child.

Classroom Adobe Acrobat file with classroom

Activities activities relating to the content modules on the CD-ROM.

Conclusion.

At the RSB we strongly believe that the lasting impression this information will leave upon these children will lead to ongoing respect for blind and vision impaired people and we will be worth the time and effort in producing this product.


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