Accessibility for all

In This Edition:

How to take advantage of accessibility features to meet the needs of every learner —
Updates: PearDeck Google Chrome Extension and Seesaw messages.

Hello, Vampires, 🦇

We all know this to be true: Students in the same classroom learn in different ways, and good teachers adapt their instructional strategies to create a variety of opportunities for students to own their learning. 

With a different set of strengths, perspectives, and needs, every learner benefits from the accessibility features built into their tech devices, which can mitigate any number of challenges, from dyslexia to hearing impairment.

More importantly, by providing options for how students interact with the content and allowing them to take full advantage of the features available to them, we are effectively creating the conditions for students to pursue individualized pathways

 
Our tech devices offer a variety of options that may sometimes not come to the forefront of your teaching strategies. They can make a difference! For starters, take a look at what’s available to make learning more accessible for yourself and others, on both macOS and iOS.

Below, we will highlight a few of our favorites:

Speech to Text

Students with learning disabilities, such as ADHD and working memory deficits, benefit tremendously from speech-to-text technologies. They save time and help especially those students who may find it hard to transfer their ideas onto the page. Have a look at this example shared by the folks at KQED, which illustrates how a teacher took full advantage of this tool to support his struggling writers.

Check out this quick video to learn how to enable the voice-to-text feature on your Mac, or watch this tutorial for iPads instead.

Focus

Have you used the Focus feature on your phone, iPad, or Mac yet? If not, this tip is a game changer.

Do Not Disturb silences incoming calls and notifications. It also automatically turns on when your Mac is connected to a TV or projector.

To choose when Do Not Disturb turns on and off, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Notifications (or Notifications & Focus if you are using macOS Monterey). Do Not Disturb settings are also found on the top right corner of your mac (Big Sur and Monterey versions below):

Create accessibility shortcuts on iOS

Make your favorite accessibility features even easier to access. Add them to the Accessibility Shortcut, and you can turn them on and off whenever you need to. Here’s how to set up the Accessibility Shortcut on your iPhone and iPad:

PearDeck Users may like to know that the Pear Deck Power-Up Chrome Extension is a good one to have. And yes, we checked – it is GDPR compliant!
Seesaw has just introduced an exciting new feature that has been enabled for use on a trial basis at AISB. Take a look at messages for teachers and let us know if you have any thoughts to share!