Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Accessibility in the Demonstration Garden

Context: Working outside with 8, 12-13 yr olds in the SYL Central Y Gardens

Influenced by H Gardner, Five Minds for the Future [2006] discussion of development of the ethical mind.

Intro: After pointing out the windchimes in each corner of the garden and explaining their purpose as orientation devices. Who has someone in their family or among their friends who is blind?

Responses: 3 knew someone well who was blind.

Exercise: Ok everyone get a partner and we'll meet in the center of the yard. Each pair gets a blindfold. One of you will wear the blindfold the other will be the guide. Remember that the person who isn't sighted is the leader and will take the arm of the guide. The guide's job is to steer clear of danger but help their partner explore the garden. Try to visit all the stations in the garden. You will take turns.

Results: The guide nearly always took the lead, during feedback both parties complained that the partner didn't listen. Some of this is developmental age-appropriate. Also the barometer was dropping because of coming storm.

Conclusion: So you can see that navigating and enjoying our garden without sight will be challenging. Until we see each other again be thinking about what we might do to make our garden safer and more fun for blind people.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Autism Social Connection meets thunderpuppets

Beginning in April  the thunderpuppets players will work with ASC to explore social learning and collaborative narrative building. 10 year olds.

BART feature survey for vision impaired

Here is the start of a new and fascinating thread: with Lighthouse for the Blind I'll work to assess BART stations features for their accessible mapping of transportation systems.

QR encoded gardening

The last few weeks of gardening have shown me new sources of inspiration including initiation of gardening classes for 3 & 4 yr olds "KinderGardening" and the book club asynchronous reading different donated books and discussing online. Tonight I ran across the missing link to bring the garden collection online and allow read-aloud of labels literally hardlinking through QR code "Quick Response" 2d reader and generator.
Now for a taxonomy and a method for notifying the blind user that a label or bulletin board exists so they can allow their phone to access it.
I can tie a GIS to physical place this way.