We don’t often think about what education means, but when you consider its impact, education is fundamentally about accessibility — to information, to new experiences and to future opportunities. Unfortunately, as we all know, not every student has access to those very important gifts. Geography, timing and circumstance (to name just a few obstacles) can sometimes get in the way.
This week, we’re celebrating the educators and innovators who are making education more accessible for students with learning challenges. Whether they are hearing or vision impaired, or struggle with any number of learning or physical disabilities, all students deserve a robust education. And today, as at no other time in history, technology is enabling these students to enjoy the same benefits of education as any of their peers.
Back-to-school is a great time to personalize technology to prepare students for learning.
And all this week, we’ll be highlighting people, ideas and tools to help make it easier for you to do just that. You’ll meet some inspiring educators who have made a tangible difference for their students, and find links to Microsoft’s guides, workshops, and curriculum resources to help you personalize PCs for students with different learning styles and special education needs. If a student has trouble seeing, hearing, or concentrating, personalizing the PC can make it easier for that student to see, hear, and use it more comfortably and effectively.
Today, we’ll talk to recent Microsoft Partners in Learning U.S. Forum winner Robin Lowell. Lowell and her colleagues have found an effective (and affordable) way to provide distance learning to visually impaired students all across my home state of Washington.
Also this week, we’ll talk to two winning Imagine Cup teams, from the Philippines and Mexico, who are working to change the way students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and autism learn. Not only have both teams built tools for students, but they’ve also made it easier for parents and teachers to modify and customize those tools. There’s even more on accessibility all this week, and don’t forget to look through our archives for other inspiring stories of teachers who have fought to make learning possible for all their students (like Qatar’s David Banes).
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about accessibility at our Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague on November 28. In the meantime, be sure to join the Microsoft Partners in Learning network now for access to tools, resources and an unparalleled worldwide community of educators working to ensure every child receives the education he or she deserves.
Have a great week, and I hope you’ll join us in celebrating education for all!