by Randy Pierce
While we provide presentations to students in grades 1 through 12, we frequently adjust the material to emphasize preferred points and better target the level of a particular group. One common theme in our talks is “Ability Awareness.” This topic often begins with a question to the group regarding what they think a blind person is unable to do. Various suggestions come in from the students, and these suggestions lead to great discussions about problem solving. We demonstrate various ways that many of their suggestions can, in fact, be accomplished. They are often surprised at the many tasks that can be accomplished, despite their perception of a blind person’s limitations.
Recently, at the Oyster River Middle School, a clever student provided the following answer to that opening question, “Appreciate a Silent Movie!” It was thoughtful, creative, and a bit playful. This suggestion came after our audience realized that the ultimate answer is ‘see’ – though even that answer could be argued, considering some of the creative processes available today. After getting full credit for their creative answer, we had the chance to talk about a creative solution called Descriptive Video Service (DVS), in which a narration is provided with a movie to share the visual information essential to the story, while not interrupting dialog or key sound effects. Whether such a solution exists for any silent movies is unknown to us, but the possibility is definitely there. This is a great example of how a thoughtful response from the students led to more quality problem solving.
In our regular weekly blog articles, we hope to have a section on school presentations every month. We hope that some of the significant value we bring to area schools can be shared here for you to appreciate. Let us know what you think, and perhaps what you might like to learn more about!