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A confession of professional incompetence was Re: Feeling Ashamed

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 04:04:15 -0000
Message-ID: <005701c1602e$c68128c0$e2917bd5@btopenworld.com>
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>, "Jim Ley" <jim@jibbering.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Anne Pemberton" <apembert@erols.com>
This is written with the aim of encouraging every reader to find someone
with cognitive difficulties and spend time with them.
Also to explain why usability and accessibility testing needs to be very
long term. Apologies to Joe that its taken me a few days to get this

I've taught a few students from a fairly fixed group of 50 adults for 1.5
days every week for 6 years.

- Recently I discovered that one student who is easily our best reader has
virtually no arithmetic, ie knows numbers 1-6 and really needs more.
- Another with relatively limited verbal communication is one of our most
talented draughtsmen, I knew once and forgot.
- Another is desperate to read, and frequently asks for extra tuition, she
know her letters. Over all this time we've only recently been able to ensure
that she can now separate letters into words, when copying from set books,
and then only when given plenty of immediate support.
- Many students have profound and multiple learning difficulties, I find it
very difficult to spare time to create any web resources for them, they have
very set routines, and it takes a long time to learn what they enjoy, and
imagine how IT might inspire them. Human interaction is needed.
- I have poor personal relationships with a number, and this interferes with
my attempts to help these individuals, I just cannot work out how to regain
their respect.
- I'm meant to be teaching a multi-media and IT class this year, yet we have
no working computers on site, no web connection, a state of the ark digital
camera, and no microphone or recorder;  the video camera is poor quality and
not digital, and we no longer have any sensible way of editing; the
photocopier is old, B+W and jams frequently; we have virtually no published
teaching materials designed for our students. I've not yet managed to get
management to do more than: promise it is ordered, being considered, will
get installed.....

So that is a flavour of the problems I like to face, of course to set
against this, I have a few minor successes that give me great joy, however I
shan't boor you with those.


jonathan chetwynd
IT teacher (LDD)
http://www.peepo.com         "The first and still the best picture directory
on the web"
Received on Sunday, 28 October 2001 23:02:47 UTC

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