Student Ability Profile: Rocky


Student Abilities Profile 

Narrative:

Rocky is an 18-year-old junior. He is outgoing, tells funny jokes, and teases other students. Rocky is blind and uses a cane for mobility. He reads Braille. He is embarrassed by references to his blindness. His self-advocacy skills and self-esteem are low. He prefers to work without much assistance.

Task/Assignment:

Actively participate in chemistry lab experiences, including manipulating equipment and materials.

Equipment: (lab equipment, furniture, protective clothing, chemicals, etc.)

Typical chemistry lab equipment and chemicals are used in this class. Computers are used for data entry and manipulation and report writing.

Environment: (facility, fumes, odors, dust, temperature, noise, lighting, etc.)

Lab work is typically performed in groups of two or three students.

Physical Challenges

  1. Locating equipment, materials, and other physical objects in the lab.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Provide a thorough lab orientation that includes all safety aspects of the lab and emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Keep lab layout constant.
  • Keep room uncluttered.

Resources

  • Obtain curriculum suggestions from special education teacher and/or therapist.
  • Get information on accessible lab furniture and equipment from local vendor; request purchases as needed.
  • Purchase speech recognition and screen reading software or other adaptive technology.
  • Talk with the student about accommodations.
  • Explore AccessSTEM site at http://www.washington.edu/doit/Stem/ for information on accommodation and adaptive equipment.

Sensory Challenges

  1. No usable vision.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Provide a room orientation.
  • Put Braille labels on equipment and Braille handouts.
  • Provide tactile models.
  • Provide verbal descriptions of visual objects.
  • Have Rocky partner with another student.
  • Give extra time to complete assignments because of slower Braille reading speed.
  • Provide assistance with manipulatives.
  • Equip computer with Braille and speech output.
  • Purchase equipment with speech or tactile output.

Resources

Cognitive Challenges

  1. Low self-esteem.
  2. Poor self-advocacy skills.

Potential Strategies / Accommodations

  • Talk to Rocky about learning conditions that work best for him, try his suggestions, and together evaluate the results.
  • Hold expectations high and praise accomplishments.
  • Support on-task behavior.
  • Encourage self-advocacy.

Resources

Physical, Sensory, and Cognitive Issues and Challenges 

Physical Issues

Think of the required physical aspects of the task. What will make the environment accessible, keep the student safe and allow him/her to be an active participant? What lab equipment must be manipulated?

Physical Challenges

  1. lift / carry
  2. stamina / endurance
  3. push / pull
  4. kneel / squat
  5. reach
  6. repetitive tasks
  7. fine motor: pinch / grasp
  8. fine motor: manipulate / maneuver
  9. gross motor
  10. sit in chair
  11. walk / stand
  12. balance
  13. bend / twist
  14. stoop / crouch
  15. other

Sensory Issues

Think of room temperature, noise, fumes, dust, odors, and allergies. Also consider the ability to speak and/or communicate, and the visual aspects of the task or assignment.

Sensory Issues

  1. vision
  2. hearing
  3. touch
  4. smell
  5. taste
  6. oral communication
  7. temperature
  8. fumes
  9. external stimuli
  10. lighting
  11. other

Cognitive Issues

Is the assignment done with a group, partner or individually? What memory and communication skills are needed? What is the level of complexity of the task.

Cognitive Challenges

  1. short term memory
  2. long term memory
  3. task complexity
  4. reading
  5. writing
  6. spelling
  7. string of numbers (math)
  8. paying attention
  9. visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner.
  10. self-esteem / advocacy issues
  11. behavior issues / acting out
  12. other