Volume V Number 3, September 1998

This issue continues the focus on strategies and tools to help students with disabilities in K-12 succeed in math and science. All the articles in this issue were originally presented at the California State University Northridge conference in March 1998. For se veral years EASI has presented a track of related topics at CSUN.

Featured Articles

K-12 Web Resources for Science, Engineering, and Math

Dick Banks
EASI Electronic Resource Manager

Dr. Norman Coombs
Chair: EASI Equal Access to Software and Information

Abstract: The World Wide Web holds the promise of being the most powerful tool for accessing information in a wide range of subject areas. Because our nation places a high value on education, particularly in the areas of science, engineering and math, knowledge of k-12 Web-based resources in these areas is essential for students, teachers and parents of children with disabilities. The areas of science, engineering and math in elementary, middle and high schools needs to be considered in the overall context o f education. Technologies like screen magnification voice recognition and speech syntheses are essential for many special needs stu dents. Science, engineering and math offer a special challenge to students with disabilities because of content structure like math equations and graphs. Both general K-12 resources and specific SEM sites will be discussed. Those resources offered are those tha t are frequently updated and stay current.

Internet at Summer Camp? An Opportunity for Children and Youth with Disabilities

Sheryl Burgstahler, Ph. D.
DO-IT, University of Washington

Abstract: Some things never seem to change. There's something timeless about kids and summer camp. There's the hot sun and cool water, the green trees and blue skies, the outdoor games and public showers, and the rustic cabins and raucous dining halls. But, most of all, there are the grinning faces of friends gathered around the table, the pool, and the campfire. However, summer camps these days are changing. Added to the chirps of crickets, splashes of water, clangs of dinner bells, and peals of laughter are the clicks of computer keys and the hum of hard drives. Summer camps are going electronic to give kids, including those with disabilities, experience with new tools for learning and fun, including challenging campers to learn to use the Internet.

EASI Street to Science and Math for K-12 Students

Carmela Cunningham

Steve Noble
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic

Abstract: providing children with disabilities a solid foundation in basic skills is the single-most important aspect of ensuring that they can enter and succeed in college and the work place. This is especially true in the math and science fields, as students must fully understand the fundamentals before they can move on to advanced study or work. Children who are not properly prepared, children who do not build strong foundations, children who are moved along when they have not mastered the basics, are almost certainly doomed to failure.

MathPlus Toolbox, A Fully Accessible Math Teaching Environment

Carolyn Gardner
Linn-Benton Community College
Corvallis, OR

Randy Lundquist
Oregon State University
Physics Department
Science Access Project
Corvallis, OR

Abstract: The MathPlus Toolbox is being developed because of the scarcity of mathematical materials available for students with disabilities. Computers often enable these students to have access to information that is otherwise not available. Though this computer application was developed to help students with disabilities, its universal design makes it appeal to all students learning math.

In this paper, some background will be given about the reasons why the MathPlus Toolbox was developed. The tools included in the Toolbox will be described along with some of the reasoning that was behind the design. The development process will be explained along with a look at our plans for the future.

Project Smart - Science and Math Access: Resources & Technology

Diana Muldrow and Mark O'Shea

Abstract: Project SMART (Science and Math Access: Resources & Technology) has evolved into a multi-year professional development effort that includes components for all adults who regularly have contact with children with disabilities. The common goal of each of the components is the development of both efficacy and capacity to inspire children with disabilities to overcome challenges in the pursuit of excellence in math and science education. While the emphasis area of our program has been in-service teacher education, components have been developed for the following groups that support the efforts of children:

  • general education teachers
  • special education teachers
  • parents of children with disabilities
  • guidance counselors.

Curriculum Development in Teaching Science to Students with Disabilities

Greg P. Stefanich
University of Northern Iowa

Abstract: If we are to improve instruction for students with disabilities, and probably for all students, science teachers must be willing to accommodate instruction and adjust the learning environment. Many students receive sub-standard science instruction because teachers and teacher educators are unaware of services and opportunities for students with disabilities in science. All students should be active participants in all facets of the educational program. All students should have the opportunity to achieve success in the learning process. Teachers must become accustomed to teaching fewer concepts with richer insights, to facilitate greater student understanding, and to present opportunities for students to apply what they learned to real-life situations.