The successful online educator:
Adheres to laws and/or mandates related to accessibility and recommends assistive technologies to meet mandated needs and learner preferences.
Analyzes learner progress and provide reasonable additional supports to all learners, paying particular attention to learners with identified disabilities or those representing underserved groups.
Communicates with appropriate school staff regarding specific accommodations, modifications, or needs and works in collaboration with others to address learner needs.
NSQOT: A9, F1, F2, F5
Reflection: Explain what you have done in your professional experience to address these indicators and include reasoning for why you chose this evidence.
A9 – F1
Learner support includes resources and strategies for the well-being of students and to give everyone equal opportunity for success, breaking down barriers, helping students connect. This includes classroom approaches, interventions and, family and community engagements.
An IEP (individualized education plan) is a special plan for a student that needs extra assistance. A 504 plan is a plan for how schools assist a student with a disability.
The family meets with a school team at the beginning of the year to update the plan. Meetings will include the class teacher, a district coordinator familiar with IEP/504 procedures and other members like a school psychologist, interventionist and counselor. There could be a healthcare provider. The team will put together a plan that will include accommodations, modifications and special instruction, giving the student support for classroom learning. The goal is to give the student an equal opportunity to learn.
In my previous virtual position I occasionally had students with an IEP/504 plan. Before the virtual course begins, the face-to-face school team would review the plan then discusses with me modifications for the student. Records were kept and shared with the team every two weeks for further review and update. See sample documentation form below. For my virtual students, plans would include extra time, modified and shortened assignments and individual meetings with the student. Some student plans were anxiety-related and unable to speak with me. This instruction included frequent calls with the parent in place of the student to gather more information on the student’s needs and updates.
One school was a school of hearing impaired students. For this particular group of students I worked first daily, then weekly with a teacher for the hard of hearing, delivering French instruction and making recordings. The course was high school French and the teacher was from a French speaking country. I wasn’t really sure how that worked on the school end though I provided resources for him to work with the students in the classroom. I have also had students that were visually impaired. Students would rely on software from their school. I am aware of the different colors of text, font size and type of font are important in the course. All font should be relatively consistent, avoid colors in written text, use the alternate text option when inserting images and use the accessibility checker when creating an announcement, for example. Communication is documented and includes frequent phone and video conferences. I still need to learn how to communicate with stakeholders and document within Maestro.
I am aware of accessibility functions within canvas as in Announcements and the ‘checker’, making sure content is legible to students. Also, when adding images you can add the Alt text screen reader function so that text in the image may be read.
For my courses since they are in two languages the ‘speech’ tool is not an option though screencasts and audio recordings are one solution. I am aware there is technology for the visually impaired (outside of the speech tool) though I do not know what these tools are.
Where are you now in reaching mastery of these indicators? Explain your reasoning.
Approaching / Meeting / Exceeding
I am approaching mastery for Learner Support with the awareness of processes though I am not confident in communication and documentation within Maestro. I have always worked closely with the school support team to meet student needs as specified in the IEP/504 plans. In the virtual setting these meetings would mostly take place by email and phone to agree on an alternate plan for the student.
Analytics in Canvas
Sample IEP/504 Report
Image of Accessability Checker in Announcements and Alt Text within Images