Assistive Technology And Eportfolios Can Create Opportunities For Students With Disabilities

Assistive Technology And Eportfolios Can Create Opportunities For Students With Disabilities

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Assistive technology and ePortfolios can pair together perfectly to assist disabled students and assist in creating and maintaining an environment for learning that will promote respect for and appreciation of human diversity. Consequently, as time and technology progressed, there have been impressive strides in integrating the blind into society on a basis of equality, ensuring full access to information technology and resources.
College or university students with disabilities could employ the ePortfolio to showcase the characteristics of their learning strengths, styles, and needs. Therefore, an ePortfolio developed with accessibility for the visually impaired could provide students with the opportunity to participate along with other students as team members and thus inclusion for class projects, senior capstone courses or for several other targeted purposes intended for digital portfolios. Similar to other students, an ePortfolio that equips the visually impaired through assistive technology can be a valuable tool in conveying that student’s interests and abilities. As assistive technology improves and various multimodal technologies integrate, an ePortfolio can create opportunities for students with disabilities.
Currently, several accessibility issues face digital portfolio projects for disabled students and the need for improved technical support, and according to Oswal (2013), “besides ensuring the accessibility of the ePortfolio system, making use of only accessible tools for content development is central to disabled students’ success with their portfolio projects.” Once the challenges of accessibility are overcome, the prospects of success in ePortfolios for disabled students, and particularly for the visually...

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...rvices, facilitation and oversight, student workshops including the training and support for creating accessible materials. With the resources in place, students with disabilities maximize their opportunity to achieve social justice and equity, inclusivity and academic and professional ambitions. Additionally, faculty interested in using ePortfolios, not only in a class, but also for a department, or in an administrative function should automatically use guidelines that incorporate the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Accessibility matters and technology exists to ensure that it happens. This thinking lines up with Oswal (2014) who states, “I argue for integration of accessibility features in the design and pedagogy of electronic portfolios so that disabled instructors, students, and workers could avail of the benefits of these portfolios as well.”

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