Please call me Ting! I am in my 4th and final year of the Joint Doctoral Program for Special Education, and taught in New York City before coming to Berkeley. I am a teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) with twelve years’ experience working with students who are blind or visually impaired, deaf blind, or have multiple disabilities. I love technology because it is the ultimate game changer for these students who rely on it to equalize the field of access and opportunity. I advocate that as technology progresses, inclusive design and and teacher training must inform every innovation to ensure digital divides do not perpetuate inequalities of access. I currently teach (part-time) future TVIs in San Francisco State University’s graduate program, and k-12 students with visual impairments in Bay Area public schools.
When I’m not tweeting about accessibility and education (and working on my dissertation), you might find me tracking down an oyster happy hour, running and admiring all the flowers here year round, or planning my next trip (whether it’s just to Berkeley Bowl or somewhere out of town).
Given the role of technology in improving postsecondary and employment outcomes for students who are visually impaired, it is imperative that these students receive appropriate technology instruction from their TVI concurrently with academic instruction. Although guidelines for digital inclusion (such as web accessibility) work toward providing accessible infrastructures, students must also have the skills to access these environments. Over a decade of research continues to confirm that less than 40% of TVIs are using technology with their students who need it the most. TVIs’ underuse of technology is well-established, yet few solutions exist that have positively impacted these teachers’ practice in the classroom.
My work ultimately focuses on how to improve technology training and professional development for TVIs who often teach in isolation, and are challenged to apply their knowledge in variable environments as dictated by student needs (pedagogy), and subject matter. My greatest challenge is to develop and contribute research to a field that has traditionally been driven by best practices. I value translating research findings for functional applications, and prioritize building bridges between technology, accessibility, and education sectors to support equal access to information regardless of (dis)ability.
ysiu <at> berkeley <dot> edu