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Exceptional Student Education (Special Education)

Exceptional Student Education (Special Education)

Accessibility for Students with Visual Impairment

Many resources are available to support online learning for students with Visual Impairments.

  1. Bookshare
    Bookshare makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, physical impairments, orthopedic impairments, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading.
    1. Visit
    2. Click on “log in” and sign in using your credentials (if you need assistance, contact your ESE teacher).
    3. Textbooks and literature selections related to classes may be found on this site.

  2. Learning Ally
    Provides an extensive library of human-read audiobooks that includes textbooks, literature and popular fiction.
    1. Visit or download the Learning Ally App for your smartphone or tablet.
    2. Enter username and password provided to you (if you need assistance, contact your Teacher of the Visually Impaired).

    You may search for literature books to read at leisure by searching for book by title or genre. Click to “add to bookshelf” button next to the book to add to your bookshelf. Selected audiobooks are accessed via the “Learning Ally Audiobook App”.

  3. Refreshable Braille Note
    Taking Device (i.e. “BrailleNote Touch” or “Apex”) Students who are currently using BrailleNote Touch for note-taking are advised to continue use for completing assignments at home.

  4. iReady
    Students with Disabilities who follow general education standards and access points standards who are regularly assigned iReady will continue to use iReady while at home.

    With a free account for educators and parents, has nonfiction and fiction books, videos and quizzes.

  6. Storyline Online
    Books are read aloud in a video format at

  7. Braille Students
    Parents will receive hard copies of braille materials addressed FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND. Once assignments are completed, they will return them in the provided addressed stamped (FREE MATTER FOR THE BLIND) envelope. Instructions for the assignments will be provided in both print and braille.
    • Live Reading Support: By Schedule for individual student needs, via telephone or web interface
    • Digital Materials: Provision of materials in digital format accessible to students through student Office365 accounts or Google Docs accounts
    • NVDA Software: Screen reading program for computers or laptops
    • ZoomText Software: Screen magnification software to allow full magnification, adjust of all features for best visual access
    • Low Vision Devices/Strategies: Magnifiers, other Low Vision Devices and strategies- based on student needs, prescriptions and Functional Vision Learning Media Assessments. To allow best access to paper materials for reading and writing. This may include electronic or non-electronic device/strategies.
    • Accessible Applications: A variety of applications and programs for students with visual impairment, including but not limited to Accessibyte,, Talking Typer, classes from Hadley School for the Blind, resources from Perkins School for Blind, etc

  8. Microsoft Accessibility Tools within Windows 10

    Ease of Access
    Windows 10 offers the Ease of Access center, with many built-in features to support people with disabilities. You can find the main accessibility related settings on the Ease of Access menu under Settings. You can also launch accessibility features like Narrator or Magnifier in the Ease of Access settings. To quickly open the Ease of Access pane, press the Windows logo key + U. Or type “Ease of Access” in the Search box.

    Narrator is a screen-reading app built into Windows 10, and Office 365 apps are optimized for Narrator. To get started, go to Get started with Narrator.

    High contrast color
    If you want more color to see text and items on your screen better and make it easier on your eyes, you can turn on the high contrast mode. For further instructions, refer to Use High Contact in Windows.

    Magnify the Screen Content

    • Magnify parts of your screen content with the Magnifier tool. You can set Magnifier for full screen or a Lens pane.
    • To quickly start Magnifier, press the Windows logo key + the plus key (+).
    • To zoom in, press the Windows logo key + plus key (+). To zoom out, press the Windows logo key + the minus key (-).
    • When the focus is on Magnifier, you can change its settings on the Magnifier toolbar. Press Tab or Shift + Tab to move on the Magnifier toolbar. To select an option or options list, press Spacebar. To exit an option or options list, press Esc.
    • To exit Magnifier and close the tool, press the Windows logo key + Esc.

    For more information, go to Use Magnifier to see items on the screen.

    Change text size
    You can change the size of text on the screen without adjusting your screen’s resolution.

    • In any view, press the Windows logo key to go to the Search box.
    • In the search box, type: "make text larger" and then press Enter to open the Customize your display page.
    • On the Change the size of text, apps, and other items slider, move the indicator tab in the right-hand direction

    Change the size of the mouse pointer
    You can change the size of the mouse pointer size and color to make it easier to use your mouse.

    • In any view, press the Windows logo key.
    • In the search box, type "mouse"
    • Click the Additional mouse options link.
    • In the Mouse Properties dialog box, choose the tab for the setting you want to change, then select options from that pane.

    Use Cortana, your virtual voice-controlled assistant, to carry out basic tasks. To learn more about Cortana and how to set it up, refer to What is Cortana?.

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