Volume V Number 1-2, June 1998

Welcome to EASI's second special K-12 issue of "Information Technologies and Disabilities" Journal. When we began planning this offering, we had anticipated a Journal that would focus solely on the non-technical aspect of providing access and accommodations to K-12 students who are learning about math, science and technology. However, we received so many excellent papers focusing on the technology, that we decided to combine both the technical and non-technical articles in this issue.

An interesting theory occurred to us as we read the more technology-driven papers. There's a very human element to teaching and learning, and no matter how technical the material is or how technology-driven the class or teaching methodology is, teaching and learning strategies that focus on the person must be incorporated into the mix or the technology will not be successful.

And so we have an interesting range of papers that focus on the high-tech, low-tech, and no-tech. They range from concept-mapping theories to the experiences of a woman who determined that a blend of home schooling and public schooling was the best recipe for ensuring her son's educational success.

This edition of the journal is partially supported by EASI's National Science Foundation grant to compile and disseminate information about K-12 science, math, engineering and technology.

Featured Articles

CD-ROMs for Math and Science

Madeleine Rothberg and Tom Wlodkowski
CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media

Abstract: This is a useful article that looks at various pieces of math and science software to evaluate their usefulness for people with vision impairments. The article also makes suggestions on how to make the programs more accessible for individuals with vision impairments.

Instructional Design that Accommodates Special Learning Needs in Science

Bonnie Grossen and Mack D. Burke
University of Oregon

Abstract: this paper addresses six important teaching strategies for "diverse learners," students who have backgrounds, foundations, or abilities that differ from most students. While it encompasses a wide variety of students, an important segment of this population is students with disabilities. The ideas presented here have definite value for teachers, service providers and others who work with students with disabilities. There are also some valuable program evaluations at the end of the article.

"Hitting the Books:" Accessible Textbooks for K-12 Math and Science Education

Stephen L. Noble
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic

Abstract: his article is a comprehensive overview of the problems that K-12 students encounter using textbooks and some accessible text formats that are currently available. In particular, the article looks at the special problems posed by math and science texts for K-12 students with disabilities.

Math and Science from a Home-School Perspective

Pat Guthrie
Home School Teacher

Abstract: This article is different from most that are published in the ITD. It is a very personal account of a woman who has chosen to home-school her son who has several disabilities due to a brain injury. She has worked with the school system to put together a program that combines her home-schooling with a couple of classes at the high school. For the most part this woman uses low- tech strategies, but she has included work on the computer in her son's curriculum. This is a very human look at many of the issues that we often view only from the practical, institutional or technological perspective.