The New York Institute For Special Education

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· Serving Students with Special Needs since 1831 ·

Digital Learning Day

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Established in 1831, the New York Institute for Special Education (NYISE) is one of the first schools in the country to provide an educational program for blind and visually impaired children. 
 Two female students one using a book magnifier and the other using her iPad

 Currently serving 150 blind and visually impaired students, our Schermerhorn program focuses on providing the educational and life skills our students need to function independently and reach their fullest potential as proactive members of society.

Students taking a class at the Apole Genius Bar

Technology is an important part of the curriculum as it levels the playing field for students who are visually impaired or blind. Assess to material in print whenever an individual wants is available to all students without visual impairments. This is not the case for students with visual impairments. Today technology bridges the gap but the cost of assistive technology devices is often high. 

Student using Braillenote


NYISE has a robust network throughout the campus. The buildings have hard wiring to the Internet as well as wireless connections. We are set up with a guest network, two computer labs and a network for individuals to bring their own devices. All the classrooms provide student access to computers as well as two computer classrooms where students come to learn keyboarding, software programs as well as how to use specialized devices for children who are blind/visually impaired. The library also provides computer access.

Low vision student using her iPad adapted for her vision loss


Three years ago, NYISE implemented an iPad project to provide each student with an iPad or iPod to allow for increased access to material. The iOS platform provides access with voice over and zooms for immediate access to email files, book and other documents. The classroom uses Google Classroom for the students to interact with the teacher in sending and receiving documents. The iPad use has been helpful in gaining access to material in print.

Young student taking notes while listening to an ebook using his digital book reader.
 

Assess to material in print whenever an individual wants is available to all students without visual impairments. This is not the case for students with visual impairments. Today technology bridges the gap but the cost of assistive technology devices is often high. Our students are benefitting from digital books and specially designed devices for reading eBooks. Student have accounts with Learning Ally and Bookshare.org to gain access to textbooks and leisure reading materials.

A group of young students displaying various technologies
 

CBS News ran a national story
on the students of NYISE and our use of the iPad.

 
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