Liam, a grade 8 student in Chilliwack, is a great example of how thoughtful planning for the future can ensure successful use of complex technologies. Liam is visually impaired and has just returned from an exciting week in Alabama where he attended Space Camp with other visually impaired students from around the world. Liam’s vision has changed over the past few years, so he has developed a great deal of experience with vision technologies. Liam started using video magnifiers to read teacher-prepared print material, textbooks and to view what was written on the board. He also used a computer with screen magnification to enlarge what was on the screen.
Knowing that his vision may change, Liam’s Vision Teacher started teaching him Braille when he was in grade 1. He is now a proficient Braille reader and finds that to be his most efficient way of reading. Liam uses a computer with the JAWS screen reading software a refreshable Braille display so that he is actively reading and not just listening to his work. He also has a Braille notetaker which he mainly uses in the classroom as it is lighter and starts up much more quickly than a computer.
Liam is well supported by his Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and his Braillist. His TVI coordinates services and works with Liam’s teachers so they understand his learning needs and the adaptations necessary for him to be successful. Liam’s Braillist prepares materials for him using a scanner and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software so materials are available in Braille at the same time his peers are doing their school work.
Success for Liam is a team effort that involves integrated services, a reliance on technology and most of all, the determination of a skilled young man!