Diverse Teaching Strategies

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Understanding the Law for your Strategy

on March 4, 2013

This week’s readings center on the laws that protect and allow for diverse learners of all capacities in our communities, government, and schools.


These links above have an extensive amount of information relating to the laws and how they protect and allow for assistive technology for students that need or would benefit from the use.

The first link, includes links to eleven different laws enacted by Congress that discuss assistive technology and its potential users. As an educator, you should be fairly familiar with these laws and how they pertain to your classroom. This knowledge will help you devise teaching strategies that will allow the diverse learners in your classroom to succeed. An example is the Telecommunications Law of 1996, Title 3 that extensively covers the requirements of close captioning and video descriptions requirements for video program accessibility. So a great strategy would be to use the close captioning feature when presenting video programs. This feature is mandated on all material created after 1996 so all learners can access it equally. This is an assistive technology that has been a requirement for 17 years already!

It is important to read through these laws to be sure that you are providing a classroom that is accessible to all learners.

“Prior to 1988, several laws addressed the potential of AT use by individuals with disabilities, but none mandated its use. Since then, laws specifically addressing the AT needs of persons with disabilities have been passed.”
-excerpt from http://atto.buffalo.edu/registered/ATBasics/Foundation/Laws/atlegislation.php

With today’s technology advances and continuing creativity in the field of technology, teachers have more opportunities than ever to provide assistive technology to their students and know the laws guarantee these possibilities.

Some assistive technology strategies guaranteed by law can include some of the following items:

  • close captioning use
  • Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD)
  • Larger keyboard for computers
  • voice recognition software
  • iPads or tablets

There is more assistive technologies being created every day. The above is just a small list of ideas for you to get started! Designing your teaching strategies with universal design in mind will help accommodate all students.

Why not use assistive technology for all of your students?

One response to “Understanding the Law for your Strategy

  1. lawmaam says:

    I love the point about closed captioning especially. Thanks for drawing attention to that. Some people think the scrolling text is a distraction. I think that sometimes people overlook the benefit of such a tool not realizing that it’s akin to reading aloud in a classroom because the audio is reinforced by the transcription. More students are better served by including captioning.

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