Hudson ISD incorporates materials to help visually impaired students

Hudson ISD incorporates materials to help visually impaired students

HUDSON, Texas (KTRE) - October is Blindness Awareness Month. The goal is to teach people about blindness and focus on self-advocacy for people who are visually impaired.

Hudson ISD has two new materials to help students learn more effectively in the classroom.

Joan Ragland, the Instructional Technology Specialist for Hudson ISD, attended a Daughters of American Revolution conference last March. There she learned about braille and tactile materials and how school districts can benefit from them.

“I went to several sessions and got to know this lady really well,” Ragland said. “Then when I found out I could get the flag with the pledge and everything right there, I went ahead and ordered one.”

DAR focuses on providing braille materials to schools, says Ragland. The enthusiasm that the educators have is clear.

“She mailed me the flag, free of charge,” she said. “Of course as soon as I got it, I’m on the phone. ‘Megan, you’ve got to meet me, is this something?’ And Megan was going ‘gasp.’”

Megan Carlisle, who is a teacher for students with visual impairments, said, “She didn’t really tell me what they were and I opened them up and they are these tactile, visual instructional materials, with braille for the American flag and it had the pledge on it, and it was just amazing.”

Carlisle said with younger students they memorize the pledge and for students with a visual impairment, they can touch the flag or hold it closer.

“But as we get older and we start a curriculum that goes in depth as to what the word ‘pledge,’ ‘allegiance’ really truly means, vocabulary wise, we really need to be able to also read it, spell it, break it down,” Carlisle said. “So to be able to do that at an early age is wonderful.”

The school was also gifted a braille version of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States.

“Before it would have to be auditory, just listening,” Carlisle said. “But now we’re going to be able to hear it and read it at the same time, and again that just brings home that vocabulary and comprehension at the next level.”

Carlisle tells us that the students who have used the materials are benefiting from them and they plan to bring in new materials, when they can, to help.

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