by Daniel Parker, RDPFS Intern
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has released a Digital Inclusion Toolkit, a collection of free resources for school administrators, teachers, families, and students. These resources focus primarily on how students with vision loss can best interact with classroom digital learning tools, almost all of which the AFB found to be inaccessible. Specific technology challenges cited included such barriers as videos lacking text descriptions; devices, like Chromebooks, where screens are too small for the student with low vision; and programs that need to be controlled by a mouse rather than a keyboard. The toolkit stems from a June 2022 AFB report, the third in a series studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning outcomes for students who are blind and visually impaired. Among other statistics from the study: “Nearly 60% of educators reported that their blind and low vision students could not access at least one classroom digital learning tool.” The resources are organized into several sections, including “planning tools for educators and administrators; information and resources for families and students with visual impairments that are designed to help them connect with others; advocacy tips; and lists of support organizations, hotlines, and other helpful resources.” You can read more about these toolkits in the press release: American Foundation for the Blind Announces Free Digital Inclusion Toolkits for School Administrators, Teachers, Families, and Students. The press release and the main toolkit page contain links to the entire list of resources as well as to the specific toolkit for each target audience.