Active in AccessWorld
This series of 10 lesson plans is designed to provide professionals with a guideline to plan instructional activities for the purpose of empowering teens with vision loss to assume responsibility for their technology needs now and in the future as employed adults. The lesson plans are structured around AccessWorld, an American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) online publication that focuses on technology for people with visual impairments. The lessons include activities that will guide students in learning about the range of technology available for meeting their social, independent living, career, leisure, and fitness needs. Implementation of the lesson plans will provide the professional with an opportunity to teach skills from many areas of the expanded core curriculum for students with visual impairments, with an emphasis on the skills needed to successfully obtain and maintain employment. For instance, students who complete the lessons will have the opportunity to practice and learn efficient Internet research skills through the use of their own assistive technology tools (important skills required for any job). Through completion of Internet research, students will incidentally learn about such things as National Disability Employment Month and efficiency tools and resources available for running a small business from home. Students will also learn how access technology can support them in leading an active and social lifestyle that can, in turn, increase productivity at work. The lessons can also be used to teach efficient listening skills through the use of a text-to-speech program, as students will be instructed to search AccessWorld for information. Students will need to research and read or listen to articles within the publication to master the learning objectives for each lesson. Prior to beginning instruction, students should have a basic understanding of the mission and vision of, and the programs and services offered by, AFB. In addition, students should understand that most of the product evaluations, guides, book reviews, and app accessibility reviews published in AccessWorld are written by people with visual impairments. These lessons are free and can be printed, saved, and revised to meet the unique instructional needs of individual students.