[blindkid] idea for research topic

Sally Thomas seacknit at gmail.com
Fri Sep 18 00:39:15 UTC 2009

It seems like you are putting the cart before the horse.  I don't think that research starts with the answer (unless the people who want the answer are paying for the research).  Not all blind kids need all the technology right away.  I think it should be available when they are ready for it but we need trained professionals who can help the kids learn the technology too.

Getting the right technology for the right task is important.  I don't think every blind kid needs a Mountbatten at home and at school when they are in preschool.  I'd rather have a slate and stylus and a competent teacher!  Throwing technology at things can make it more difficult rather than easier if it's not done correctly.

Sally Thomas
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Grace Sato 
  To: blindkid at nfbnet.org 
  Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 3:55 PM
  Subject: [blindkid] idea for research topic


  I would like to see research done on blind children and adaptive technology, something that ultimately concludes that getting a Mountbatten for preschoolers to use at home is a best practice.
  Or that issuing a BrailleNote to kindergarten-aged  kids  learning to read and write is  appropriate. Perhaps do a five-year study of the literacy levels of kids who got technology to use at home when they were two and those that didn't? What is the different in their reading rates by fifth grade, for example?

  Getting AT in the hands of  blind kids ASAP supports literacy initiatives and helps a family support their child with concrete, tangible steps. AT should be in the home by preschool when (sighted) three and four year olds are scribbling their first letters. But most of us live in a world where we (parents) are the lone advocates for AT for our kids and the administrators only obsess about the cost. Then when you ask they buy "one for home and one for school" it gets really hilarious. 

  That's my suggestion. Questions? Please write me off list. I'm a technology professional in California's Silicon Valley, mother of a blind second grader, and this is my hot button....can you tell? :-)

  Graciela Tiscareño-Sato
  Author of "Letting Your Child's Wild Side Out: Raising the Wild and Confident Blind Baby, Toddler and Preschooler"



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