Education

New US National Education Technology Plan criticised by disability groups

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The United States draft National Education Technology Plan 2010 has been criticised by disability groups for not going far enough to ensure that accessibility needs are met.

The plan's mission statement  is to address the inequity in educational achievement. Although the draft plan is to be commended for its vision and timeline, it fails to note ‘disability’ as a minority group in a commitment to ensure that students are ready to graduate from high school to go on to further study or careers “regardless of race, income, or neighborhood”.

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School captioning solution wins 'New Inventors'

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Australian access company Ai-Media triumphed on the ABC’s New Inventors television program last night with its Ai-Live school captioning solution. Three years in development, the Ai-Live product is several generations ahead of conventional  live speech recognition solutions used in general TV captioning. It has been extensively road-tested in pilots with the NSW Department of School Education and includes a student interface to allow direct communication between student and captioner.

MAA CEO Alex Varley said, “Ai-Media deserves all of the accolades for its in-school solution. It has been carefully thought through, properly tested and is an affordable, robust solution for Australia’s ten thousand Deaf and hearing impaired students. MAA has been involved in a steering group and is developing its Classroom Access Project with some input and crossover with Ai-Live.

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Building resilience in Deaf and hearing impaired students

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EDSA (Educators of Deaf Students Association) and the Deafness Centre, Children's Hospital Westmead, hosted a conference last week entitled ‘Building resilience in students and teachers’ at Rydges Hotel, Parramatta. Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf (ITODs) and other teachers working with Deaf and hearing impaired students were in attendance. The keynote speaker was Professor John Luckner, Visiting Fellow and expert in the field of deaf education from the School of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado, USA.

The focus on resilience for both students and teachers was of keen interest to the conference. The development of resilience in students who are Deaf or have hearing impairment has many positive and lifelong benefits. The conference presentations looked at these issues from several angles.

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Media Access Australia reviews the Draft National Curriculum

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Media Access Australia’s (MAA) education team has completed a review of the Draft National Curriculum, and Education Manager Anne McGrath recently spoke with Vision Australia Radio about the lack of accessibility considerations for students with sensory impairments.

The Federal Government’s Draft National Curriculum was released last month for public viewing and feedback, and will remain open until 23 May. The draft is comprehensive, covering the subjects of English, History, Maths and Science, and is available online.

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