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Hardware Thread, Help - Which technology is appropriate in Technical; We have a child at school who has severe visual imparments. His main problem is that he has no control ...
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    Help - Which technology is appropriate

    We have a child at school who has severe visual imparments. His main problem is that he has no control over eye movements and find it very difficult to focus on an IWB no matter where he is situated in the classroom.

    From a schools point of view we are running Windows 7 and have Smartboards. We are thinking along the lines of some kind of tablet that is compatible with our system. Are we going down the right route or missing something complete obvious?

    Thanks for your help

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    Sorry to answer a question with a question (particularly as I have no idea what the answer is), but I wanted to ask if you've consulted your LA about this? Our has a visual impairment unit who specialise in supporting kids in schools, and I've known them come out and do an assessment of a child in her classroom and be able to make IT-relevant recommendations based on their observations of the child's needs.

    I've had a quick google and it looks like these guys (Hearing and Vision Support Service - dorsetforyou.com) are an equivalent bunch in your area.

    To throw an idea at your question - it looks like you're just wanting to view the classroom computer's screen on another device - something like VNC would work for this (looks like there's Android and IOS viewers now) so that may work - you might have a security concern about this tablet being able to view the computer only when appropriate though..... Or at lower cost, add a second monitor to the PC (though that would tie the student to a particular location in the room).

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    Years ago I set up a modified user account on a CC3 network that had highly contrasting colours, large fonts etc and changed the monitor on the class PC from a 15Ē crt to a 19Ē crt for a child that had problems with their vision.

    Something similar might help but your situation is different due to the problems he has focusing. You need to sit down with him and find out if he can focus better on things that are closer to him or if having bigger fonts etc would help or not.

    If it does help then it might be worth running a video splitter from the IWB feed to a large LCD monitor (or even a large screen plasma / LCD TV on the wall) mounted closer to his desk as the image quality would be a lot better than anything you will get from a projector. Iím assuming primary age here so they spend most of their time in one room if its secondary age and every lesson is in a different room then Iím not sure what you could do!

    If focusing is still a problem with objects that are closer then you need to consider some sort of text to speech software as any visual solution i.e. larger screens, tablet PC, laptop etc wonít really help. Obviously text to speech will only help with pre prepared work and he would need 1 to 1 help when the Teacher is working at the board otherwise he wonít have a clue whatís going on and will really struggle to participate in lessons.

    The child I created the modified account for had someone come in to help him that knew about his disability and they provided a laptop for him with specialist software. If he already has some one working with him then its worth talking to them as they will know whatís likely to help the most, if he isnít already receiving support then I would have a chat with your SEN coordinator as 1 to 1 support might be more appropriate than a technical solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theriver View Post
    Sorry to answer a question with a question (particularly as I have no idea what the answer is), but I wanted to ask if you've consulted your LA about this? Our has a visual impairment unit who specialise in supporting kids in schools, and I've known them come out and do an assessment of a child in her classroom and be able to make IT-relevant recommendations based on their observations of the child's needs.

    I've had a quick google and it looks like these guys (Hearing and Vision Support Service - dorsetforyou.com) are an equivalent bunch in your area.

    To throw an idea at your question - it looks like you're just wanting to view the classroom computer's screen on another device - something like VNC would work for this (looks like there's Android and IOS viewers now) so that may work - you might have a security concern about this tablet being able to view the computer only when appropriate though..... Or at lower cost, add a second monitor to the PC (though that would tie the student to a particular location in the room).
    Thanks for the idea's. We have already consultedour equivalent to the Vision support and we are waiting to hear from them. He is already supported by them so know about this difficulties. Second monitor is not an option unfortunately.

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    thanks for your idea's

    I have already set up a user profile for him which helps to a certain degree when he is using the machines generally around the school but it's more about being able to see the Smartboard.
    His biggest problem is that his eyes wander and some days they are fine and he does find it difficult to focus. Something handheld is going to be the option so he can hold it at certain angles departing on how his eyes are.

    Not only have we set up a special profile for him with a cursor that has a tail and a plain background desktop but we also have a mouse that can magnify certain things on the screen.




    Quote Originally Posted by ToyHeartsFan View Post
    Years ago I set up a modified user account on a CC3 network that had highly contrasting colours, large fonts etc and changed the monitor on the class PC from a 15” crt to a 19” crt for a child that had problems with their vision.

    Something similar might help but your situation is different due to the problems he has focusing. You need to sit down with him and find out if he can focus better on things that are closer to him or if having bigger fonts etc would help or not.

    If it does help then it might be worth running a video splitter from the IWB feed to a large LCD monitor (or even a large screen plasma / LCD TV on the wall) mounted closer to his desk as the image quality would be a lot better than anything you will get from a projector. I’m assuming primary age here so they spend most of their time in one room if its secondary age and every lesson is in a different room then I’m not sure what you could do!

    If focusing is still a problem with objects that are closer then you need to consider some sort of text to speech software as any visual solution i.e. larger screens, tablet PC, laptop etc won’t really help. Obviously text to speech will only help with pre prepared work and he would need 1 to 1 help when the Teacher is working at the board otherwise he won’t have a clue what’s going on and will really struggle to participate in lessons.

    The child I created the modified account for had someone come in to help him that knew about his disability and they provided a laptop for him with specialist software. If he already has some one working with him then its worth talking to them as they will know what’s likely to help the most, if he isn’t already receiving support then I would have a chat with your SEN coordinator as 1 to 1 support might be more appropriate than a technical solution.

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    How about a tablet with VNC showing the teachers pc/IWB screen?

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