Archive for the ‘Discussion’ Category

Understanding Learning Disabilities: How Difficult Can This Be?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

I invite discussion of the video and the issues around learning disabilities.


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

Wow! I thought class today was amazing. Share your responses here.

Through Deaf Eyes

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

THROUGH DEAF EYES is a two-hour HDTV documentary that explores 200 years of Deaf life in America. It will take us most of 2 classes to watch it. I hope it will further illuminate the discussion we began after Sound and Fury.

If you could make your deaf child hear, would you?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

We’ll discuss the video on Thursday in class but we can begin the discussion here while it is fresh on our minds.

Also, look at this story over at MSNBC on “ Babies with made-to-order defects ”.

Thinking about accessible Guitar Hero

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Also, let’s think about ways to make Guitar Hero accessible. Or something like Guitar Hero. Perhaps we could do Drum Hero on the DDR pad with a child sitting in the middle? Maybe we pick some tunes with obvious and repetitive drum parts to start. Then your goal is to hit the pad on the beat? Maybe with with two obvious drum instruments you have to hit both at the right time. I’m thinking of something with a back beat.

Thinking about generalized DDR

Friday, September 21st, 2007

I’d like a separate discussion of how we might generalize DDR to make it more accessible. Who says that the steps have to be given? Suppose the goal was to move creatively to the music? I bet some of you could have looked a lot cooler if you were making it up rather than trying to follow that rote drill. Discussion starters:

  1. Suppose part of the fun is figuring out how to get the highest score?
  2. Maybe the score is some simple function of timeliness and energy?
  3. Maybe the score depends on how different your pad selections are?
  4. Maybe simply moving to the music is the goal.
  5. Using the pad is cheap and simple but we could imagine pointing a web-cam at the player. How does that change things?
  6. Remember Pete’s suggestions about collaborative play (included below to remind you).


Thinking about accessible DDR

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Last class we played with DDR (and Guitar Hero but I’ll ask about that in another post). I’d like us to have a discussion of how an accessible version of DDR might work. For this discussion I want you to limit yourselves to DDR with prescribed steps. That is, just like the game we saw in class. You need to press the correct pad at just the right time.  Let’s discuss ways that could work for people who are blind.

Some ideas to get you started:

  1. How about 4 speaker stereo sound with something (speech, beeps, ?) coming from the corresponding speaker?
  2. How about speech instructions that are some fixed distance ahead in time?
  3. How about a training mode that is (say) slowed down with steps described and a separate play mode without speech?
  4. Other ideas?

Navigating Blind

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Today you all got a chance to navigate around the building with a cane while blindfolded. Tell us about your experience. You were a much bolder group than I have seen before. I noticed that several of you went outside, down stairs, and even into the bathroom. What did you learn? Did anything funny or interesting happen?

Karen Erickson on literacy for kids with disabilities

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

I think you will all agree Karen’s talk was really interesting today. Brainstorm about things we might do and be prepared to talk about them in class on Tuesday. Begin by sharing ideas here. I’ll send Karen the link so she can comment if she likes.

I think making a book would make a cool project. Look over the examples at Route 66 site and especially the demo link . I bet you could make a book that their readers would find really interesting. Making the tactile aids she described could be fun too.

If you have questions (or thanks) you want to direct to Karen send them to

Freedom Machines

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

Today we watched the video POV: Freedom Machines , a film by Jamie Stobie and Janet Cole. Post your reactions, questions, and discussion as comments on this page.