2001 Conference Proceedings

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What's Up In Ohio: Literacy Software for Diverse Learning Needs Project Follow-up and Eisenhower Project - Enhancing Math and Science Materials for Students Who are Visually Impaired or Blind Through Professional Development Activities and Local Braille Production Centers

Jeff McCormick
Paula Mauro
Jerry Whittaker
ORCLISH
www.orclish.org

The first part of this session will provide follow-up statistical data on the Literacy Software for Diverse Learning Needs Project that provided Co:Writer and Write:OutLoud software to every school district in Ohio. The second part of the session will focus on Ohio's Eisenhower Project that is providing a comprehensive professional development plan as well as setting up eleven local Braille Production Centers to provide accessible math and science materials to students who are visually impaired and blind.

Ohio's Literacy Software for Diverse Learning Needs Project Follow-up

In the state of Ohio, local school districts are increasing their efforts to provide students with successful literacy experiences and to provide modifications and accommodations that enable all students to share and succeed in these experiences. Ohio educators realize the importance of engaging students in a variety of reading and writing activities in order to reach high levels of proficiency.

With the birth of technology and computer-based learning, reading and writing instruction has taken on a multisensory format as students are able to integrate their own personal learning styles with individualized activities.

This statewide initiative, funded by the Ohio SchoolNet Commission, provides educational technology agencies; Special Education Regional Resource Centers (SERRCs); the state schools for the blind and deaf; k-12 public school districts; the joint vocational school districts; and boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities who serve k-12 public school students with training, training materials, and software to meet individual learning needs. The SERRCs and the Educational Technology Agencies are collaborating to provide literacy training as well as training on Co:Writer and Write:OutLoud developed by Don Johnston, Inc. to their service areas. Districts and agencies that attend the training will receive a free copy of the software programs to use with students in their districts.

The statewide training effort began in August of 1999 using training materials developed by the partners. In addition, procedures for additional purchases of software at reduced rates was implemented. The partners for this grant are ORCLISH; the Ohio SchoolNet Commission; the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children; the sixteen SERRCs; the eight Educational Technology Agencies; and Don Johnston, Inc.

The 'Literacy Software for Diverse Learning Needs' project exemplifies Ohio's commitment to provide a successful learning opportunity for all children.

Eisenhower Project - Enhancing Math and Science Materials for Students Who are Visually Impaired or Blind Through Professional Development Activities and Local Braille Production Centers

The goal for Ohio's Eisenhower Project is to assist teachers in providing accessible math and science curriculum materials for students who are visually impaired or blind.

Students who are visually impaired or blind have difficulty accessing math and science curriculum due to the lack of accessible materials including Braille, large print, and tactile graphics. The teachers of these students need specialized knowledge and equipment to provide the adaptations that will allow these students to access math and science curriculum.

Ohio's solution to this problem has been to:


Ohio will focus on the following outcomes for the Eisenhower Project:

As part of the Eisenhower Project, participants have been required to complete a baseline survey, two interim reports, and a final survey. Statistics and outcomes of the first year of the project will be presented


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