Google TalkBack: An Overview of Android’s Free Screen Reader — from


TalkBack is Google’s free screen reader for Android devices. The software responds to familiar touch and swipe commands, allowing users to interact with websites and apps. When activated, TalkBack announces where the user’s focus is located, enabling people to control their phones, tablets, and other Android devices without using visual cues. In certain apps, users can input other touch and voice commands.

As part of our series of articles on assistive technologies, we’ll review some of TalkBack’s unique features — and provide tips for using the software to evaluate mobile accessibility.


Some Colleges Are Ending Hybrid Learning. Students Are Pushing Back. — from by Adrienne Lu
Daily Briefing: Is the End of Hybrid Learning Leaving Disabled and High-Risk Students Behind?


Some students, though, want their colleges to make hybrid learning permanent. They argue that scaling up remote learning during the pandemic made higher education more accessible — not only for students with disabilities and the immunocompromised, but also commuter students, those balancing schoolwork with jobs, and students with caregiving responsibilities — and helped to protect vulnerable faculty members.


Learning Disorders and Law School: Strategies and Resources — from with thanks to Allegra Balmadier for these resources


Law schools across the country with all kinds of students and faculty could fairly be described by a single word: rigor. Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree programs are traditionally known for copious amounts of required reading and semester-end exams that count for a student’s whole grade. A legal education is an intensive course of study that would challenge any student.

A student with a learning disorder or disability (LD) may struggle for a particular reason—not for lack of effort but because of the conventional structure of class, assignments and tests. LDs can cause difficulty with processing information, a problem that is exacerbated when universities and colleges fail to offer support.

However, with appropriate strategies, students with LDs can succeed in law school and in the legal profession. Learn more about learning disorders and find resources below.


Best Deaf Awareness Lessons & Activities — from by Diana Restifo
The following free deaf history and awareness lessons and activities highlight the accomplishments of deaf people in the arts, education, sports, law, science, and music.


The 20 best dyslexia resources for homeschoolers — from Colleen Kessler


Homeschooling a child with dyslexia can be a challenge, especially when you are struggling to find resources. I believe homeschooling is the best possible educational choice for your dyslexic child. You just need to right education and support. These are 20 of the best dyslexia resources out there for homeschoolers.

Also relevant/see:


How Virtual Reality Can Be More Accessible with WalkinVR — from by Meryl Evans


In another scenario, you can’t reach up high. Or maybe you can’t hold the virtual reality controllers or press the buttons.

WalkinVR Driver  fills in the gap. It’s a free driver that enhances virtual reality to work with the person’s abilities and preferences. One option is the Xbox Controller Move , which allows you to connect a standard Xbox video game controller to the game.

Also relevant/see:

Which Types of Colleges Have the Most Undergraduates With Disabilities? — from


Here’s a sector-by-sector look at the percentage of undergraduates who reported a disability to the campus’s office of disability services, or a similar office, in the academic years 2016-17 to 2019-20. Undergraduate students with disabilities are those who reported that they had one or more of the following conditions: a specific learning disability, a visual impairment, a hearing difficulty or deafness, a speech impairment, an orthopedic impairment, or another health impairment. The diversity and related offices provide these students with such services as note-takers and American Sign Language interpreters.

Addendum later on 3/17/22:

Assistive technology personalizes the learning environment — from by Matthew Lynch


We talk a lot about personalized learning and how it can benefit learners by providing them with more detailed instruction catered to their needs. It helps them overcome learning challenges and achieve their educational goals.

We’ve also discussed assistive technologies – technologies designed to aid students with learning difficulties and other disabilities, understand and retain knowledge to improve their learning outcomes. The two can go hand-in-hand, as assistive technology can help all students receive a more personalized learning experience.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways that AT is used in the classroom and its personalized learning.


Nurturing Non-STEM Gifted Kids and Meeting Their Needs — from by Colleen Kessler


But what about that kid who doesn’t want a new chemistry set or microscope for Christmas? What about the gifted kid who doesn’t really get your science puns? What about the brilliant child who isn’t into STEM at all?

They’re rare, but they’re out there. Artists, chefs, readers, writers, dancers, musicians, linguists, all of the above. Kids who like space just fine, but like nature even more. Gifted kids who can crush their math work but would rather crush pigments. Gifted kids who can learn to code, but whose heart swells when guitar strings strum. Brilliant babes who appreciate the arts, the stories, or are just filled with curiosity that isn’t subject-specific. You see, intelligence isn’t a stereotype. An IQ score isn’t like a horoscope. Scoring a few standard deviations above the norm doesn’t dictate your personality, your likes, dislikes, talents, passions, or hobbies. It means your brain processes information differently than the majority of the population. That’s really it. Intelligence and brilliance are as likely to be found on a stage as they are in a lab. For every Einstein there is a Beethoven, for every Musk there’s a Spielberg.

What Can You Recommend For Students Who Finish Their Work Early? — from


How to respond when students finish their work early is a classic teacher challenge.

Most of it boils down to lesson design–creating learning opportunities where students are naturally funneled toward extending, improving, and sharing their work so that ‘stopping points’ are more of a matter of scheduling than learning itself.

Motivating your child with ADHD: 7 tips for your homeschool — from by Colleen Kessler


This series is all about homeschooling a child with ADHD. Today, we are discussing 7 of our best tips for motivating a child with ADHD.

Preparing Kids With Real-World Skills via Ed-Tech — from by Kelly Walsh


Educational technologies enable children to learn things on a whole new level, broadening their minds and their capabilities. The practical applications alone make ed-tech a highly valuable tool in the classroom setting, but these technologies also can enhance kids’ skills as well as their emotional and cultural awareness and intelligence, which can better prepare them for real-world situations and scenarios.

Edumilestones Has Launched Career Lab™ For Progressive Schools — from


Edumilestones, a pioneer in career guidance platform has now launched a next-generation Career Lab™ for schools. Based on 11 years of experience in career counselling industry, this technology is set to help students to identify and execute their career goals with clarity and confidence.


A couple from Barcelona built A.I. smart glasses to help their son see — from by Chris Young
Showing visually impaired people the way with their A.I. smart glasses.

Biel wearing the Biel Glasses


He and his wife, Constanza Lucero designed a pair of smart glasses that use artificial intelligence and augmented reality to indicate oncoming obstacles to wearers.

The couple drew from their respective fields — Puig is an electrical engineer and Lucero a doctor — to build smart glasses that overlay text and graphics over the real-time video feed of their users’ surroundings. They use A.I. algorithms that detect obstacles, signaling them to the wearer as they approach. Users gain added independence, and parents’ and loved ones’ peace of mind.


A Podpourri of Learning Options: Pods, Hubs, and Microschools in the Wake of the Pandemic — from by Tom Vander Ark


The Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) recently published a report, Pandemic Pods and the Future of Education, based on a survey of families and educators who organized or participated in a pandemic pod. While it was challenging to collect representative data on pods, CRPE concluded that pods were an important pandemic response with long-term implications for education.

The CRPE defines pods as an in person or intensive virtual support that meets multiple times per week. While a broad definition, it is more narrowly defined than many of the previous attempts at categorizing small group learning experiences.

Despite the “moment” that pods had during the pandemic, once in-person learning became more available there was a snapback of about 85%, with the numbers of students shifting from pods to classroom attendance. Those students remaining in pods, typically counted as homeschooled, are part of what is likely to be a 1-2% long-term enrollment shift (perhaps 1 million students) away from traditional public schools.

Addendum on 3/2/22:

Along the lines of learning options, see:


Universal Dyslexia Screening: What You Need to Know — from by Erik Ofgang
Universal dyslexia screening can help school districts identify students who are at risk and provide additional support, even though it is not required in every state.


Dyslexia affects approximately 20 percent of the population and accounts for 80 to 90 percent of learning disabilities, according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. Early recognition of the risk for dyslexia and other word-level disabilities through universal screening in kindergarten, and then providing those students with intensive intervention, is a key early literacy strategy, says the National Center on Improving Literacy in a white paper.


What Do We Mean by Accessibility, Inclusion & Belonging? — from by Jeffrey Howard
Accessibility, also referred to as a11y, is about ensuring systems are designed so everyone can fully participate in public or professional life, while inclusion means everyone has the resources and opportunities they need to realize that. Belonging goes one step further, fostering a culture where everyone feels accepted and supported.


In this spirit, “a11y” has become a globally recognized rallying cry for greater accessibility—the 11 referring to the software engineering convention of shortening long words to the number of letters they use. A11y has transformed into a symbol for increased accessibility, inclusion, and belonging.

So, if accessibility ensures everybody has the means or tools to reach the table, and inclusion guarantees a seat and relevant opportunities, belonging encourages an emotionally and socially supportive space where each person feels welcome and valued.

It’s easy to tell the difference between when you feel merely tolerated and when you belong.


ADHD and your homeschool: An overview — from by Colleen Kessler


This series is all about homeschooling a child with ADHD. Today, we kick it off with an overview of ADHD, and how it impacts your child and your homeschool.


How I use Minecraft to help kids with autism — from by Stuart Duncan; with thanks to Dr. Kate Christian for this resource


The internet can be an ugly place, but you won’t find bullies or trolls on Stuart Duncan’s Minecraft server, AutCraft. Designed for children with autism and their families, AutCraft creates a safe online environment for play and self-expression for kids who sometimes behave a bit differently than their peers (and who might be singled out elsewhere). Learn more about one of the best places on the internet with this heartwarming talk.


Below are two excerpted snapshots from Stuart’s presentation:

Stuart Duncan speaking at TEDX York U

These are the words autistic students used to describe their experience with Stuart's Minecraft server


Jenna Mancini Rufo on Reimagining Special Education — from


On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Rebecca Midles is joined by Jenna Mancini Rufo, co-author of Reimagining Special Education: Using Inclusion as a Framework to Build Equity and Support All Students alongside Julie Causton.

Jenna is the CEO of empowerED, an education consulting firm specializing in inclusion, special education, and equity.

What if, instead of focusing on the challenges our students face, we focus on their strengths? We call this re-storying our students.

Jenna Mancini Rufo

Also from, see:


How to manage slow-working students in your classroom — from by Diana Z


If you have slow-working students in your classroom and want to help them catch up and reach milestones, you should first make sure to rule out any possible psychological barriers that could affect their processing speed or other cognitive issues.

Next, you should devise an intervention scheme that is structured on the three A’s principle:

  • Accepting means that the students need to feel accepted in the learning environment and teachers can provide them a safe place for growth;
  • Accommodating refers to the due diligence a teacher has to exercise to provide a suitable learning environment for all students;
  • Advocating implies the support teachers offer slow-working students throughout their learning journey. It also involves other stakeholders, such as parents and the community, who can also support students.

From DSC:
This is an important topic, because not everyone can work with the (often) fast pace of the current train. One of our daughters has experienced this first hand, and I continue to learn from/through her experience.

K-12 education in America is a like a quickly moving train that stops for no one.

© 2022 | Daniel Christian