Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies
The purpose of learning in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) is to support students in developing practical and creative ways to learn by doing. ADST includes established and emerging areas of inquiry including home economics, information and communication technology, and technology education
The BC K-12 ADST Curriculum offers students opportunities to extend their natural curiosity through innovation and design thinking to create and work in practical ways.
ADST - Students with Visual Impairments
Students with visual impairments can innovate, design, and problem solve alongside their peers with typical vision in both digital (e.g., programming) and physical (e.g., metal/woodshop) learning environments. Activities, materials, and environments that are designed with universal accessibility in mind from the outset decrease the likelihood that students with visual impairments will need to rely on specialized tools, devices, and software to achieve meaningful and equitable access to learning opportunities in the ADST curriculum.
Examples of Adaptations for Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies
- Promoting student independence in implementing a digital workflow to capture inaccessible content (e.g., hard copy print) and convert it to digitally accessible learning content.
- Tangible activities for teaching students with visual impairments to navigate digital environments built for users with typical vision (e.g., tactile representation of files and file folders to teach concepts of digital content organization and storage).
- Selecting resource kits and activities to teach coding and promote design thinking that are accessible, meaningful, and connected to learning in the Expanded Core Curriculum
Connections to the Expanded Core Curriculum
Knowledge and skill development in the Core and Expanded Core Curricula are mutually reinforcing and together enrich student learning. Below are examples of connections between Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies and the ECC.
- Learning about careers in web design and data architecture, and in web accessibility testing and compliance.
- Connecting interested students with professional programmers with visual impairments. According to one estimate, one in every 200 coders has a visual impairment.
- Effective use of talking thermometers and adapted measuring cups and spoons to plan and prepare a meal in a Food Studies class.
- Learning and practicing precautionary and emergency safety skills/procedures in both physical and digital environments.
- Using Openscad paired with screen reading software and a refreshable braille display to design 3D print files using code.
- Exploring multimodal data output using assistive technology (e.g., sonification for graphed data).
Resources to Support Instruction
PRCVI Library Catalogue
Code N' Go Robot Mouse. Adapted early coding kit for students with visual impairments [Resource Kit].
- Early coding kit adapted by PRCVI for use with students with visual impairments to support the development of procedural thinking, problem-solving, orientation and mobility, etc.
Snap Circuits Jr. Activity set for constructing simple electronic circuits. [Resource Kit].
San Francisco Lighthouse. Swift Playgrounds – Learn to Code 1 [Tactile Supplement].
- Tactile supplement to the Swift Playgrounds coding app from Apple, available in the App Store.
National Centre on Accessible Educational Materials. Creating Accessible Educational Materials. Retrieved from: http://aem.cast.org/creating
Jo, W. et al. (2016). Introduction of 3D printing technology in the classroom for visually impaired students. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 110, 115-121.
Paths to Technology (2018, June 28). Accessible coding. Retrieved from: https://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/accessible-coding
Woodworking for the Blind (n.d.). Manual for blind woodworkers. Retrieved from http://ww4b.org/ww4b_manual/