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revisiting the drawing issue

This is a slightly expanded and edited version of something I sent to my professor to accompany my homework. I've added some description for the reader's benefit since my homework is not reproduced here; and I rewrote my final paragraph a bit because what I sent to my professor was a bit hasty and disjointed. I hope this makes my thoughts about the drawing issue a bit more clear.

We had an assignment due today in my educational ministry class which I had to modify significantly. The modification itself was not a difficult thing to conceive. Putting it into practice took a very long time. It may have taken less time if I had done it with sighted help; but no sighted help was available, and doing it with sighted help would have significantly raised my frustration level because I would have needed to describe the placement of items in a chart. Since I could do the chart completely on my own using Excel, there was no reason not to. It was just very time-consuming; and time-consuming things frustrate me greatly.

I had to list out certain types of things that had occurred within the activity of my church over the past year. I thought that I should be able to consult the church calendar for information. It was available online. I created a 12-month chart in Excel and placed items into the chart in certain positions so that I could group them together according to similarity. In this way, I supposed, I could show that an event was seasonal because it would appear in a few consecutive columns; ongoing since it would appear across all months; or one-time since it would appear only once. This information in my classmates' chart was supposed to be color-coded.

My church's calendar is extremely "busy," and Wading took a tremendous amount of time for me... That's not a complaint. It's just a piece of what I faced in modifying this, and it set me to thinking a lot about the issue of modifications in general. In the interest of streamlining time and making this a true learning process for me, I need to make sure that I'm doing modifications with the right goal in mind. In other words, am I modifying something in order to present it in a way that makes sense to a person visually; or am I modifying it in a way that gives it meaning for me; or am I modifying it so that I can access my answers in class discussions (which assumes that it also has meaning for me); or am I trying to be "just like everyone else?" These are questions that enter into the modification process anytime a teacher is working with a student with disabilities; but most often what gets done is the quick and easy thing and the philosophical questions are not dealt with in much depth.


Sarah Blake LaRose
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August 2016