[Athen] Your experiences accommodating students with combined physical and visual disabilities

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Wed Jan 30 08:47:14 PST 2019

I've been asked to look around for resources for accommodating a new student. He is severely visually impaired, so cannot use magnification. He is speech-impaired so cannot use Dragon. He is also physically limited, permanently reclined in a wheelchair.

We've served other students with these limitations but not usually one person with all these disabilities. For example, one of our students worked with JSay to more independently read, write and take exams.

The student's counselor is concerned about him taking notes and tests, reading and participating in class.

I think I have the reading part figured out. The NLS player can be switch-controled and I have a puff and sip switch that will do the trick. I can convert any text-based book to play on the NLS player. Also it will play Learning Ally, which really helps.

But I don't know of any augmentative communication device that can be used without vision, nor do I know of a hands-free recording device. You can of course use an iDEVICE with switch control but I don't know how well VoiceOver would play with that.

I wish there was a clearing-house for this kind of information; does anyone know of one?

Here's the info about what I do have:

Sip Puff Switch

(you can search the web for sip puff switches and find many competing brands)

Bite Switch

(also there are tongue switches and many competing brands to choose from)

NLS Digital talking book player:


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