Answer: My level of access to digital resources is quite good. First of all, my download speed is 14.61 Mbps and my upload speed is 5.72 Mbps from my home. It is even quicker at my workplace. Using the National Broadband Map I found that our home internet service is the fastest offered in our area. The county I live is ranked 23rd for broadband availability among the other counties in Georgia. Secondly, I have the ability to see, hear, operate a computer, and have the cognitive ability necessary to combine all these things to access digital resources.
I am one of the lucky ones that has no barriers keeping me from digital resources, but not all students are that lucky. Some do not have access due to where they live or the cost of internet. These are things that can be handled through school outreach and other community services.
There are four main categories of disability that can keep students from accessing digital resources:
Visual: blindness, low vision, color-blindness;
Hearing: Deafness and hard of hearing;
Motor: Inability to use a mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control;
Cognitive: Learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information.
As a teacher there are things that can be done to work around these barriers:
- screen readers
- closed captioning
- possibly lip reading or sign language
- Mouth stick
- Head wand
- Single-switch access
- Sip and puff switch
- Oversized trackball mouse
- Adaptive keyboard
- Eye tracking
- Voice recognition software
- How a website is set up
- structural organization
- visual organization
- white space
- Use clear and simple writing