Learning Media Assessment for Blind and Low Vision Students
Literacy is important for all people of all abilities.
What is a Learning Media Assessment?
A Learning Media Assessment is a way to find the best format for a student with a visual impairment to learn. A learning media assessment (LMA) evaluates the learning style of the student. The LMA can assess the way the student uses their senses including vision, hearing, and touch. The process helps in the choice of appropriate assistive technology (AT) for learning.
What is the goal of the Learning Media Assessment?
The goal of the LMA is to assist IEP teams in determining how a student will access the curriculum.
Who performs a Learning Media Assessment?
The assessment is usually done by a certified Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI).
What is literacy media?
Literacy media may include large print, magnification, Braille, and audio formats or a combination of all these things. It may also include handheld optical or video magnification devices, screen magnification, text to speech (screen reading), and refreshable Braille displays and keyboards.
Which students should learn braille?
According to authors Koenig and Holbrook, a student may be a good candidate to learn braille if they prefer to explore the environment with their hands rather than their eyes. A potential braille learner understands that braille has meaning. Also, braille learners may have eye conditions that are unstable or vision that will decrease over time.
You can learn more about this in the book “Learning Media Assessment of Students with Visual Impairments” by Alan J. Koenig and M. Cay Holbrook.
What is the school responsible for?
The school is responsible for evaluating the needs of the student with a visual impairment. If the student uses the device in school, then the school must buy or get the assistive technology. The school is required to train the student to use the device. They must also train the family and appropriate team members (teachers, therapists, etc). Finally, the school must maintain and fix assistive technology.