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atrc, assistive, technology, resource, center, iqp, science, program, disabilities, disability, hands, hands-on, csiro, education, accessibility


The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia’s National Science Agency, has recognized that their hands-on science programming does not accommodate students with disabilities and seeks to make adjustments to existing programs. Present methods for teaching students with disabilities were investigated through a literature review and interviews with teachers at mainstream and specialist schools, special education coordinators, school administrators, visiting teachers, occupational therapists, teachers of the deaf, and Victorian Department of Education Officers. Additionally, several of the hands-on programs at the Victorian CSIRO Science Education Centre were observed to identify barriers for students with disabilities which are common in science programs. This information was used to develop a framework for adapting hands-on science education programs for students with visual, hearing, and mobility impairments. The framework contains a universal design section, as well as disability specific accommodations. The framework takes the form of a matrix pairing tasks with possible solutions for various degrees of the three disabilities which the framework focuses on.



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