Per Ardua Ad Astra

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Perpanjangan SIM C di Kebumen

Seseorang sedang mengisi form perpanjangan SIM di ruang tunggu. 
Halo gaes, hari ini saya mau berbagi pengalaman dalam memperpanjang SIM C di area Kebumen. SIM saya expired pada 27 Januari 2020, dan saya melakukan perpanjangan pada 24 Januari 2020. Sebelumnya saya tidak tahu jika SIM C saya expired bulan ini tanpa adanya operasi kendaraan di area Prembun, Kebumen. Sisi baiknya dari operasi tersebut yaitu memberi tahu informasi terkait surat-surat berkendara dan info mengenai persyaratan perpanjangan SIM. Berikut sedikit yang bisa saya bagikan mengenai pengalaman dalam memperpanjang SIM C di Sat Lantas Polres Kebumen di Jalan HM Sarbini, Mertokondo, Bumirejo, Kebumen. Sebelumnya, untuk lokasi perpanjangan SIM di Kebumen bisa dilayani di Sat Lantas Polres Kebumen dan Gedung Haji beralamat di Jalan Veteran No.22, Kebumen. Perlu diingat ya, di Gedung Haji hanya melayani perpanjangan SIM saja, tidak termasuk pembuatan SIM baru. Adapun persyaratan beserta detailnya terkait perpanjangan masa berlaku SIM tersebut diantaranya;

  1. FC KTP 2 lembar dan bawa KTP asli
  2. SIM Asli yang masa berlakunya akan segera berakhir atau expired
  3. Surat Keterangan (SK) Sehat dari Asrama Bhayangkara Kebumen di Jalan HM Sarbini No.83, Kebumen. Untuk mendapatkan SK Sehat, pemohon bisa antre di bagian pintu masuk (tanya ke petugas karena biasanya tempat ramai dan antrean panjang). Setelah mendapatkan nomor antrean, pemohon menunggu di ruang tunggu sampai dipanggil nomornya dan harus mempersiapkan KTP asli. Kemudian petugas akan mengecek tinggi badan dan berat badan. Setelah itu, pemohon harus membayar Rp.40.000,- untuk biaya cek kesehatan tersebut dan akan mendapatkan (secarik kertas) detail dari hasil cek kesehatan tersebut. Dan tahap terakhir, pemohon menunggu di bagian komputer dan petugas akan mengecek detail, KTP asli, dan pengambilan foto kemudian akan diproses untuk SK Sehat yang akan digunakan untuk perpanjangan SIM. Jam operasional Asrama ini mulai pukul 07.00 s/d 15.00 WIB. Untuk menghindari antrean yang panjang, pemohon sebaiknya datang awal.
  4. Form Perpanjangan SIM. Form tersebut dapat didapatkan dari petugas yang ada di gardu depan di dekat pintu gerbang. Sebelum masuk ke gedung utama, pemohon lapor ke petugas di gardu depan dan sekaligus diminta untuk menunjukkan FC KTP 2 lembar, SIM asli, dan SK Sehat. Kemudian akan diberikan form untuk diisi setelah memenuhi persyaratan tersebut. Pengisian form bisa dilakukan di dalam gedung yang menyediakan pulpen. Apabila mengalami kesulitan dalam mengisi form, sebaiknya tanyakan ke petugas yang berjaga di loket. Setelah mengisi form tersebut dengan lengkap, kemudian pemohon menyerahkannya beserta FC KTP 2 lembar, SIM Asli, dan SK Sehat di loket nomor 1 serta menyiapkan biaya administrasi Rp.75.000,-. Setelah itu, pemohon menunggu di kursi tunggu untuk dipanggil namanya oleh petugas. Saat dipanggil oleh petugas, pemohon akan mendapatkan form cetakan sekaligus diminta untuk ke ruang foto. Saat di ruang foto, pemohon menyerahkan form tersebut dan bisa merapikan diri serta disarankan untuk berpakaian rapi. Petugas juga menyediakan baju lengan panjang berkerah dan batik apabila pemohon tidak memakai pakaian yang laik. Setelah siap dan rapi, petugas akan mempersilahkan duduk, melakukan verifikasi data sebelum diproses lanjut seperti data pribadi, dan mengambil sidik jari dari tangan kanan dan kiri, serta melakukan tanda tangan. Setelah itu, petugas akan mengambil foto pemohon. Setelah foto, petugas mempersilahkan pemohon untuk menunggu pencetakan SIM di luar ruangan dan akan dipanggil saat SIM sudah dicetak. Jadi untuk total biaya perpanjangan SIM C di Kebumen sebesar Rp115.000,-. Semoga membantu dan segera melakukan perpanjangan SIM sebelum expired untuk menghindari pembuatan ulang. Terima kasih!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Seorang perempuan sedang menunjuk sesuatu di layar kepada seorang anak.
Berdasar pada Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (EBIP), sebuah website yang fokus pada praktik instruksi pada anak dengan autisme dan disabilitas lain, pengertian AAC dikutip dari American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) yaitu “all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. It enables the individual to communicate effectively in a variety of settings”. Dari pengertian tersebut dapat diartikan bahwa AAC merupakan bentuk komunikasi selain berbicara atau komunikasi lisan yang ditujukan untuk mengemukakan pikiran, kebutuhan, keinginan, dan ide-ide, yang memungkinkan seseorang dapat berkomunikasi secara efektif dalam berbagai situasi. Contohnya, seorang anak menarik baju ibunya dan menunjuk ke arah toko mainan dengan tujuan menyampaikan keinginannya si anak untuk pergi ke toko tersebut. Contoh lainnya adalah, si anak menggambar sesuatu dan menunjukkan ke ibunya untuk mengkomunikasikan apa yang diinginkannya.
Hal yang dilakukan oleh si anak adalah contoh penggunaan gesture atau bahasa tubuh untuk berkomunikasi. Hal tersebut berkaitan dengan fungsi AAC yang terbagi menjadi empat tujuan, yaitu:
  1. komunikasi untuk kebutuhan dan keinginan dasar, yang memungkinkan pengguna AAC mengatur perilaku pendengar seperti memberitahu atau menjelaskan kebutuhan
  2. komunikasi untuk transfer informasi, pengguna AAC dapat menyampaikan informasi melalui berbagi, menceritakan kembali, dan berdiskusi mengenai isu tertentu
  3. komunikasi untuk interaksi sosial, yang memungkinkan pengguna AAC untuk tetap terkoneksi atau terhubung dengan masyarakat seperti bercanda, simpati, dan menghibur orang lain
  4. komunikasi untuk tata krama kesopanan di masyarakat, pengguna AAC dapat menyesuaikan diri dengan komunikasi yang sopan sesuai nilai masyarakat setempat 

AAC digunakan oleh seseorang yang mengalami keterbatasan dalam komunikasi lisan dan berdampak negatif pada proses penyampaian pikiran, kebutuhan, keinginan, dan ide-ide secara efektif. Oleh karena itu, AAC menjadi perhatian penting mengingat bahwasannya setiap orang mempunyai hak untuk mengekspresikan pilihan pribadi atau perasaan, hak untuk mendapat pilihan atau alternatif, serta hak untuk mengakses informasi laiknya masyarakat umum. Sepadan dengan American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), asosiasi yang terdiri dari orang-orang yang berkecimpung di bidang pendengaran dan bahasa, deklarasi hak-hak untuk berkomunikasi untuk orang dengan disabilitas berat mencakup 15 poin yang diantaranya;
  1. hak untuk berinteraksi sosial, memelihara kedekatan sosial, dan membangun hubungan sosial
  2. hak untuk mengajukan barang, aksi, kegiatan, dan orang yang sesuai dengan keinginan
  3. hak untuk menolak pilihan yang tidak sesuai dengan keinginan
  4. hak untuk mengekspresikan pilihan pribadi dan perasaan
  5. hak untuk membuat pilihan dari alternatif tertentu
  6. hak untuk membuat komentar dan mengemukakan opini
  7. hak untuk meminta dan memberi informasi termasuk informasi mengenai perubahan kebiasaan dan lingkungan
  8. hak untuk diinformasikan mengenai orang dan kegiatan di lingkungan sekitar
  9. hak untuk mengakses dukungan dan intervensi yang dapat meningkatkan komunikasi
  10. hak untuk memiliki regulasi berkomunikasi yang diketahui meskipun hasilnya tidak dapat dicapai
  11. hak untuk mendapat akses ke AAC, Assistive Technology (AT) dan alat bantu lainnya
  12. hak untuk mengakses konteks, interaksi dan kesempatan di lingkungan yang mempromosikan partisipasi sebagai mitra komunikasi dengan orang termasuk teman sebaya
  13. hak untuk diperlakukan dan disapa dengan hormat dan santun
  14. hak untuk disapa secara langsung dan tidak melalui orang ketiga ketika berada di posisi hadir
  15. hak untuk mendapat komunikasi yang pantas secara bahasa, kultur, arti dan kejelasan.
Communication Bill of Rights
for Persons with Severe Disabilities
Secara sederhana, AAC bisa didefinisikan sebagai cara berkomunikasi secara efektif selain berkomunikasi lisan dan bisa dilakukan dengan alat bantu ataupun tidak. Selain memberikan keadilan untuk berkomunikasi, penggunaan AAC bagi orang yang mengalami keterbatasan dalam komunikasi lisan mempunyai dampak positif pada perkembangan bicara dan pengguna dapat mengembangkan kemampuan bicara dengan lebih cepat. 

Sumber:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Retrieved from https://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/NJC-Communication-Bill-Rights-Poster.pdf on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
Evidence-Based Instructional Practices. Retrieved from http://ebip.vkcsites.org/augmentative-and-alternative-communication/ on Tuesday, October 8, 2019.
Sumber Gambar:

Monday, October 7, 2019

Apple Picking di Abbott Farms


Pohon Apel
Minggu, 6 Oktober, adalah kali pertama saya ikut kegiatan Apple Picking di Abbott Farms yang berlokasi di Baldwinsville, New York, yang diadakan dari kegiatan rekreasi Syracuse University (SU). Hal ini sudah menjadi kegiatan tahunan rutin oleh SU karena musim gugur (Fall) merupakan masa yang tepat untuk Apple Picking. Untuk mengikuti kegiatan ini, mahasiswa bisa registrasi online melalui Wellness Portal dan dikenakan biaya $6 atau sekitar Rp.85.000,00 yang termasuk biaya transportasi pergi-pulang, satu plastik apel, masuk ke corn maze dan animal farm, naik gerbong barang mengelilingi perkebunan, dan mencoba apple canon.

Satu gerobak apel.

Beberapa hal yang perlu diperhatikan setelah registrasi kegiatan adalah datang tepat waktu di College Place, tempat pemberhentian bis di Syracuse University, pada jam 12.20 siang. Di sana, ada beberapa bis sekolah berwarna kuning (School Bus). Untuk check in, volunteer dari mahasiswa SU akan meminta kita untuk menunjukkan Student Identity dan memastikan bahwa nama kita ada di list. Pada saat hari itu, cuaca agak mendung jadi setiap peserta dihimbau untuk membawa payung atau rain coat untuk jaga-jaga. Obat pribadi juga disarankan untuk dibawa. Untuk makan siang, peserta juga dihimbau membawa sendiri karena panitia tidak menyediakan makanan. Kemudian, bis akan balik ke SU jam 16.00 sore.


Pumpkins sudah dipanen sebagai persiapan Halloween. 

Hal-hal seperti inilah yang menjadi wawasan tambahan selain menjadi mahasiswa internasional di Amerika. Kegiatan non-akademik yang memberikan kesempatan untuk mengunjungi perkebunan di Amerika dan berinteraksi langsung dengan pengelola kebun menjadi pilihan alternatif di sela kesibukan tugas akademik. Selain itu, hal ini juga menambah pertemanan dengan mahasiswa lain.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Another Reflection on the Science Class

One of the classrooms that I am in.
On Thursday (2/28), I went to the Science class for grade 8 and observed the whole class activity started from 08.00 to 08.57 in the morning. The class was taught by the main teacher, a co-teacher, and a consultant teacher. The objective of class activity was to deliver academic materials about animal and plant cells, sexual and asexual reproductions, and internal organs. The class was divided into three stations in which every station would discuss one particular material. The class disposition was arranged by the teachers, so that, when the students came in, the teacher let them notice the group division posted on the projector in order to know in which group they were. It was also an advantage for the teacher to check the student’s presence. After being familiar with the group division, the students sat down in the tables fraught with learning tools such as colorful markers and a set of internal organ pictures, and the teachers shared the goal of the class activities and explained what the students do in every group. Section 1 would discuss animal and plant cells by demonstrating puzzles. They were instructed to color scattered fragments printed on a paper, and then, they cut and glued it on another paper. The result would be two puzzles showing pictures of animal and plant cells.
For section 2 talking over internal organs by matching pictures to its function, the students worked with a consultant teacher on it. The teacher checked actively the students in terms of making sure that they matched the picture and its function correctly. The black and white pictures of internal organs were so many and took time to match. Lastly, the third group presented the reading of sexual and asexual reproduction with a co-teacher. In this activity, the teacher and the students read the material. The teacher took a turn first and asked the students to read it alternately and voluntarily. After doing the reading, the teacher took some vocabularies from the passage and searched its synonyms such as “same” is similar to “identical” and “equal”. Then, when the teacher explained about the reproduction by pictures, the students filled out the individual worksheet.
Given the aforementioned one-hour observation, I think the class activity was good enough to accommodate all students.  By looking up to the UDL checklist, the class included the three principles of UDL, which are representation, expression, and engagement. Firstly, the class provided multiple means of representation in which the teachers used visual prompts to help students such as pictures and highlighted important points in salient colors. Then the teacher used gestures or auditory cues every time. To me, the teachers tried so well to elaborate on the visual and auditory prompts to give a broad range of learning styles. But, I think it would be better if they use a video with caption aired in front of the class and give the students a choice in what group they are. It will let the students select their group based on their preference and experience or previous learning. What is more, it would be a barrier for two ELL students if the class offers all English texts in readings. I guess it would be great if the class supplies native language texts in materials and/or facilitates them with an ELL teacher in the class. Other than that, I really agree with the class setting grouping the students into small sections with a certain focus. It allows them to learn about both academic knowledge and social skills.
For the second principle, the class set multiple means for action and expression in which the students could co-opt the way of presentation of their works. For example, the student that had done with their project informed the teacher that she wanted to demonstrate it outside of class, then the teacher followed. Other than that, teachers maximized the learning devices such as powerpoint, Quizlet, and Mindmap, and I assume that puzzles and pictures are also low assistive technology to help the students in understanding. Despite the fact that these learning types of equipment feed visual prompts only, the teachers often use spoken and body language to explain it more. The teachers repeatedly checked the students whether or not they already understood and allowed the students to express their comments, questions, and feedback of the class activity. My reflection on this is that learning tools mostly serve particular learning styles. It would be a barrier if the visual prompts are only used as it is without being equipped with verbal explanation and/or body language.
The last is about how to provide multiple means of engagement. For this one, the class activity was truly engaging for the students. They were encouraged to participate in the class lively. And, the small sections triggered social interaction within groups. The objective of class activity was easily understood and the rubric was also delivered through the class, so students knew what they did exactly. Besides, the teachers offered additional time to complete the project during lunch or intervention sessions if the students needed. I believe that the class was so impressive, and it would be more impactful if it also provides more positive behavior support because there were some students in needs of that based on the IEP student program.
To sum up, If I practice this in my class, I would rather play a video with a caption related to the topics in the class and let the students get involved in opting their own small groups with given themes in the classroom after watching the video. It is important to the students because what they perceive based on the video and individual prior experience would be diverse, and by choosing their own small groups, they would be persistently comfortable with that. Afterward, I can spread the rubrics and certain subjects like the teachers did above. Other than that, I would ask the ELL students on what their preferences whether they need an ELL teacher or alternative native texts or what works for them, and I would like to put positive behavior support by using a token economy system to meet their needs. In consequence, the students would be a part of decision makers in the class activities.
Thank you for reading, I hope you can get the points what I am trying to deliver. Feel free to comment below if you need something to talk about. Have a halcyon day!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Achieving Inclusion in Schools


It has been 15 years since inclusive education came to the fore in 2003. Related policies include the 2003 Education Law, the national education standard of 2005, the 2009 Education and Culture Ministerial Regulation on inclusive education, the 2016 Disabilities Law and the 2017 Presidential Regulation on sustainable development goals (SDGs). The government also launched a Baseline Report of SDGs 4 focusing on inclusive education, claiming to be the first country to initiate it. Provincial and regency or municipal governments also have established regulations to implement inclusive education. Despite such policies and measures, a myriad of challenges remain.
The first challenge is the discrepancy between the policies and what is actually practiced in schools, one being the obligation of inclusive education. The above 2009 regulation instructs the local government in each city and regency to designate at least one elementary school and one junior high school in a district to establish inclusive education, meaning the school must accept disabled students, with assistance from the local government if needed. However, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) records 7,024 districts in 2014 while in 2016 inclusive junior high schools officially numbered 3,817, almost half the minimum commitment. The ministry in 2017 also stated that only 18 percent of disabled students were studying in inclusive schools. If the commitment to build a minimum numbers of schools cannot be met, how can the government address other complex problems such as human resources, learning tools and a curriculum to create inclusive schooling?
The second challenge is visible and invisible barriers. Visible barriers include inaccessible environments such as stairs, restrooms and language. Many schools claiming to be inclusive lack a ramp or an elevator, making it difficult for wheelchair-bound students to move and to access narrow restrooms. Students with impaired vision could go nowhere independently because of a lack of guiding blocks and rails, for instance. Announcements in schools lack Braille or sign language. Instead of nurturing independence, the school creates dependency as students must rely on others.
On the contrary, invisible barriers are hidden or hardly noticeable. They include a rigid curriculum, which hugely impacts the learning process. In most schools, teachers focus only on subjects or classes that they are assigned to. In a classroom with disabled students, the main teacher handles the subject matter while at least one special teacher is responsible for students with special needs. Yet often the disabled student is pulled out from the class to study in a separate room with the special teacher. This “integration, but still segregation” system is far from the real meaning of inclusive education.
Also, school principals and teachers are acknowledged as the only responsible parties to determine the learning process without involving parents and students. We should no longer be stuck in the “banking model” of education already criticized way back in 1972 by education practitioner Paulo Freire, where teachers are subjects imparting knowledge and students are the objects. Students should be involved in developing the curriculum because they can perceive and express what they need and how they can improve themselves. Schools should initiate collaboration with parents and students to discuss plans, needs, challenges and solutions. Schools can ask for assistance from the local government to collaborate with professionals/experts, private companies and society as resources to establish inclusive education. 
The final challenge regards social constructions of “disabilities”, which are mainly associated with “incapability”. This labeling is often also created by the school officials, categorizing students with special needs as the struggling students and separating them from other students. A disabled student who gets low scores will be treated differently by the teacher from other students who get the same low scores by placing him/her separately. The teachers also blame the disability for their lack of understanding, rather than reflecting on the learning process. This will perpetuate the assumption that it is correct to place the disabled students separately. Yet the effect of “othering” is a step to marginalization.
Although we started inclusive settings in schools 15 years ago, “how do we get there?” remains the long-term question. Thus, we need to reflect what schools should do to create and promote inclusiveness. We recommend some actions. First, monitor and evaluate the policies and practices in inclusive education. Second, improve collaboration between schools, policymakers, experts/professionals, society, students and families. Lastly, empower school principals, teachers and staff members to have a good understanding of what makes an inclusive setting whereby schools can make all students feel a sense of belonging and awareness of inclusion. 

Estu and Adi

Monday, December 3, 2018

What are your take-aways?

This written page is a self-reflection from the class of equity and inequality in schools. Some of the following issues may be similar to what's happening in my country and can be my homework to deal with promptly.

1.     Deficit thinking
What I learned from this material is that deficit thinking accounts for student’s academic and social failures at schools by blaming on the students, student’s family lack, and student’s lack of traits necessary for academic success. Consequently, the students are at risk of bullying or not confident. By acknowledging this term, I think teachers should stop this thinking by realizing that every student has inherent strength and value and try to learn more about the life of a student outside of school. I believe some students are good in outside activity in which the teachers can bring it to adapt the learning in schools.
2.     Social construction
As one of the foundational terms for engaging with areas of difference, social construction is important to note. We as a society commonly make the meaning of what happens around us, and its consequence is socially constructed. It can be either advantages or disadvantages. So that, we need to understand better the diversity of difference and create the meaning that can lead to equity in a society because I believe that social construction can be changed as we want to.
3.     Brown at 60
What I want to point out here is that it is critical to report what the government should do for creating equal opportunities in public schools. According to the data provided by Brown, the South made impressive progress on reducing segregated school rate from 1968 to 2011 because the South was targeted for the implementation of Brown v. Board Education and Civil Rights Act. This report contains data that we can use to gauge the progress of it and what works and what does not work, so that, we can improve as needed. Here, the data is really important to reflect what do’s and don’ts on the issues of students, and we can use it as accountability for creating and promoting equal opportunities.
4.     NPR interview or conversation
What I take away from this activity is that we need to involve parents as a collaborator in schools. Based on this conversation, the parents were worried about their children in schools in the name of racial discrimination. It is critical for schools to create equal services by inviting student’s parents to discuss what happens in the schools and what the parents and schools should respond to it. Regardless of that, I think the schools should engage students and student’s parents in planning and evaluating the learning programs.
5.     The book of The Story of American Public Education by Sarah Mondale & Sarah Patton
What I gained from this is that it is noteworthy to historize the story of public schools. By learning what happened in the past, we can learn how the public schools grow and impact on society. We also know the progress of the education from the racial era to segregated schools to integrated schools. We know that the practice in schools seems like an experiment in order to know which the best programs for desegregating the racial issues. Then, I learn about how the society or an activist tries to campaign the justice in schools. There is a big role in society, community, or an activist on improving the integration.
6.     Racial disparities in special education: how widespread is the problem?
This article highlights a standardized yardstick that should be used by all states to investigate the districts for identifying and punishing minority students at markedly higher rates than their peers. However, it could be done since every state has different results. So that, the U.S. government lets states develop and promote their own guidelines. In this case, I agree with that because we cannot generalize that what a state needs would be not similar to others.
7.     The book of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
What I reflect on this activity is about justice and how we can uphold it for the Black people who are oppressed. This leads me to think that the justice that we need covers more than in court but all elements such as in schools. As Bryan’s dedication of doing the right thing to help those who were in unsupported or restricted conditions is to justify the justice in the U.S. In schools, teachers can hold up the justice for their students by providing equal opportunity and treatments without looking at their race, gender, or categories of disabilities.
8.     LGBTQ
What a tough material! Many issues follow the existence of LGBTQ such as discrimination, harassment, gender facilities, gender activities, and policies. Interestingly, there is a LGBTQ community, but we have no legal laws either prohibiting or allowing this community to exist. On the other hands, as the God-believing population, we have cultural mores and religious rules banning the activity of the LGBTQ community. So that, there is still no place for LGBTQ youth to express in schools or society, and for LGBQ adults, they have to keep their identities or they will be expelled from society. Then, transgender lives in a hard situation and discrimination, especially in employment. What I want to point out is that the issue of LGBTQ still remains, and I think the government in my country should enact the legal laws for LGBTQ whether or not they are accepted. 
9.     Opening activity: untie the chain of hands by Wenjie
This activity is interesting for me. Initially, I thought it was not really possible to deal with the chain of hands. By tying the participant’s hands, it felt so complicated, and I nearly gave up. However, it was solved by working together. In this case, I reflect on the issues in schools such as racial disparities, segregated programs, and unfair services. I think if everybody sees the issues individually, it would be impossible to solve. However, if we collaborate with others, it would be not easy but it is possible to grapple with together. This connects to the ELL student material whereby when the academic material teachers and ELL teachers worked jointly, the achievement gap between ELL and non-ELL students was decreased. This activity emphasizes that we are in need of collaborating with others in regards to solve the issues and to create an equal environment.
10.  Programs for students with disabilities and English learners
A term that I want to highlight is “integrated but still separated” for students with disabilities and English learners in schools. Despite the fact that they are schooled in integrated schools with their peers, the system still removes them from the regular class. I think the schools need to eliminate the self-contained program, pull-out program, and other separated program. It is important for schools to encourage the academic materials teachers and special educators or English teachers to work jointly and be responsible for the student’s progress altogether.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Three Lenses Blog (Blindness or Visual Impairment)

Hi everyone,
Here, I want to share my findings about blindness or visual impairment through medical model, social model, and autobiography view. Please enjoy your reading and make comments or questions. Thank you.

Medical Model Lens
In this model, I gleaned definitions related to blindness, its causes, and its treatments from several resources of medical model of blindness. In the end, I relate the way of medical model to the application of reducing the number of infants with lacking of vitamin A that might cause blindness in Indonesia.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are some terms, which are: blindness, legal blindness, and vision impairment. Blindness is defined as a severe vision impairment that is not correctable by standard glasses, contact lenses, medicine, or surgery. Legal blindness is defined as vision with best correction in the better eye worse than or equal to 20/200 as a result of visual acuity. Visual acuity is a number that indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision. For example, a person with a visual acuity measurement of 20/70 means that a person who stands 20 feet from an eye chart can see the letters or things in which a person with unimpaired (or 20/20) vision can see from 70 feet away. Then, vision impairment is prescribed as having 20/40 or worse vision in the better eye even with eyeglasses, however, they can experience challenges in their daily activities. For example, people with vision less than 20/40 cannot obtain an unrestricted driver’s license in most states. By referring to medical model, these terms connected to visual impairment are focus on the function of seeing with eyes as a problem, and this condition influences a person’s ability to perform everyday activities.
In addition to the meaning of blindness, Healthline accessed from www.healthline.com posts that blindness is the inability to see anything, even light. However, there is a term of partially blindness or limited vision for those may have blurry vision or the inability to distinguish the shapes of objects. Another term is complete blindness which means that you cannot see at all and are in total darkness. This blog also defines legal blindness as a term referring to vision that is highly compromised. What a person with healthy eyes can see from 200 feet away a legally blind person can see only from 20 feet away.
Given the view of what causes blindness provided by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are major blinding eye diseases namely cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which causes vision to become blurred or dimmed because the light cannot be transmitted properly through the lens of retina. Age-related macular degeneration affects the part of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that affects the tiny blood vessels in the retina of people with diabetes. Glaucoma is a group of disease usually associated with increased pressure within the eye. They are common causes of blindness. In addition to that, www.healthline.com also states that the following eye diseases and conditions can cause blindness, among others:
  • Glaucoma refers to four different eye conditions that can damage your optic nerve, which carries visual information from your eyes to your brain.
  • Macular degeneration destroys the part of your eye that enables you to see details. It usually affects older adults.
  • Cataracts cause cloudy vision. They’re more common in older people.
  • A lazy eye can make it difficult to see details. It may lead to vision loss.
  • Optic neuritis is inflammation that can cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa refers to damage of the retina. It leads to blindness only in rare cases.
  • Tumors that affect your retina or optic nerve can also cause blindness.

All in all, these eye diseases and conditions are mostly major causality that made people blind, vision impaired, legally blind, or partially blind.
According to Healthline accessed from www.healthline.com, blindness is diagnosed by following a series of tests by eye doctor that measures the clarity of the vision, the function of eye muscles, and how pupils react to light, and examines the general health of eyes. In the same way, Medicinenet retrieved from www.medicinenet.com says that the diagnosis of blindness is made by examination of all parts of the eye by an ophthalmologist, a medical doctor who specializes in eye and vision care, by testing each eye individually and by measuring the visual acuity and the visual field, or peripheral vision. Regarding to the treatments for those with blindness, www.healthline.com states that some of the following may help them to restore their vision: eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery, medication. Moreover, they sometimes require approaching life in a new way and learning new skills. For example, they need to learn how to: read Braille, use a guide dog, memorize the keypad on your phone, organize your home so you can find things easily, fold money in distinct ways to distinguish bill amounts, use a magnifying glass to read, increase the text size on your computer, and use audio clocks and audiobooks. What is more, Democracy Disability and Society Group through http://ddsg.org.uk exposes the medical model seeing the problem is focused on body impairment. It should be rehabilitated or healed, so it would help them in minimizing its consequences in activities of daily living. For example, the blindness is a problem that needs to be fixed or corrected. When someone is diagnosed as having vision impairment, s/he would be recommended by an eye doctor to use eyeglasses or take an eye surgery in order to help her/himself in adaptation.


Picture 1. The Medical Model of Disability


Based on the the aforementioned explanations about the definitions of blindness, its causes, how to diagnose it, and treatments that they may need, I think that this medical model of disability focuses on the condition of blindness. This condition is considered as a problem and needed to be fixed or cured in order to reduce its impacts on their daily life, so they can be more capable or “normal”. Regardless of that, I also think that medical perspective on the state of vision impairment could influence the betterment of health services in my country, Indonesia, especially for the prevention for lacking of Vitamin A that frequently happens in rural areas. According to the www.depkes.go.id, the Indonesian government has a program in terms of reducing the lack of Vitamin A and preventing from eye diseases for infants. They will be having supplemental capsule of vitamin A in every February and August in health services, and it is free.


Social Model Lens
In this social model of blindness, i would like to combine some definitions from several resources and try to connect them into the application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that leads to inclusive environments for all people.
David Bolt (2005: 1) notes that the social model of disability holds that persons are impaired for a number of reasons, and they are disabled because of society. This means that it is socially constructed when the disabled is segregated from a community. Another resource, Aaron Carter Bates, states that organizations primarily engaging in advocacy for the social model of disability seek to create a more inclusive society instead of putting the onus to change on individuals with disabilities. For example, the National Federation of the Blind formulates this model of disability by framing the problem as the misconceptions surrounding blindness, not blindness itself. These are organizations who presume the competence of people with disabilities and then set out to change the world to get the accommodations necessary to achieve equal treatment.
Regarding to the statements described by David Bolt and Aaron Carter Bates, http://guides.library.illinois.edu adds that the social model of disability posits that disability is constructed by society and is caused by the way society is organized. Our society made by and for non-disabled people and anyone who cannot fit into that model is disabled. This site also provides a picture showing that the social model considers the barriers are outside of the disabled such as environments and attitudes. In accordance with people with blindness or vision impairment, they will face challenges in environment, attitudes, an/or organisations. Take for example of environment, they may face inaccessible building services such as there are no guiding blocks and dot blocks in sidewalks, and they grapple with the obtainable materials in schools. The example of attitudes is that society believes that the blind could not do their best compared to their peers. Then, organizations would be social barriers when there are several inflexible procedures or practices limiting the blind to get involved.


Picture 2. The Social Model of Disability


Here, attitudes are really important to come together with people with blindness in positive and meaningful ways. As stated by Susan Baglieri (2017: 111), there are some common-sense responses to interact with them, among others;
  • we need to communicate verbally,
  • using common words to refer to experiences will not be received offensively,
  • we need to consider to use least movements or gesture cues,
  • we need to support in guiding them properly by verbalizing specific directions, to help them in orienting surroundings, and to guide other’s hands to objects that could be useful.


For environments, social model brings the society to create an inclusive settings by implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) that allows general education students access to multiple ways of learning and making it be accessible for all users. Given that Anne Meyer, David Rose, and David Gordon (on page 18), there are Rubik’s cubes developed for the blind and all users. Initially, Konstantin Datz, a German university student, developed a white cube for the blind with words for each color in Braille. Although this is so interesting, but there are some flaws such as the blind users do not know about the Braille and this cube is significantly designed for a single user. Consequently, given the the extensive cuber’s community, the white cube is re-designed with more options, which are with colors and tactile information. The symbols that align with colors are easy to identify through touch, and it is more usable for all Cuber’s users. This design provides additional benefits enabling users to inspect the sides of each cube without turning the cube to look. This example of the application of UDL shows that supporting user variability is critically important. As stated by Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol (page 4), universal design means the design of products, environments, programmes and services to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. So that, the universal design is designed environments more accessible for all users including particular groups of persons with disabilities.


       
Picture 3. A white Rubik’s cube with Braille
  
Picture 4. A tactile Rubik’s cube


In educational settings, Anne Meyer, David Rose, and David Gordon, (page 3), UDL uses the flexibility of digital technology to design learning environments for diverse learner needs, not just students with disabilities. The purpose of UDL is to reduce the barriers and impediments that interfere their ability to make optimal progress. Take for instance, CAST showed that how technology could alter the curriculum itself by developing digital book that was accessible and flexible to all students. This e-book was created with different features depending on what students needed. This book had an option page such as the audio, its speed, and its scan. These options enabled all students to use such as text read aloud for those with reading challenges and blindness, linked definitions for those with limited vocabulary,  large buttons that voiced their functions for students with low vision, and single-switch interface for those with physical challenges.

Picture 5. Digital books created by CAST


Autobiography View
Here, I would like to present the autobiography view from Mimi Mariani Lusli who wants to share the way she experienced as a blind person in Indonesia. Given the information provided by https://id.wikipedia.org, Mimi realized that when she was a fourth-grade student in elementary school, she could not keep her achievements up due to her vision. Her eyesight began to blur gradually. This situation made Mimi have to stop going to school because her condition was increasingly difficult to understand the lesson. At that time, her parents began to seek healing for her, ranging from ophthalmologists and neurologists to alternative medicine. During the process, Mimi finally went to school for students with intellectual disabilities. Later, the more day Mimi dreamed of healing even more felt far away, the condition of her eyes became worse and could not be cured, and the doctor diagnosed that Mimi had total blindness because of genetic retinitis pigmentosa. About a month after that, she chose to isolate herself from the outside world, and she was self-confident. However, this condition actually encouraged her family and relatives to give support, so that Mimi tried to get up.
Mimi continued her study in public middle school and high school. Many friends gave support to her. These schools motivated her to pursue her higher education in universities. However, the materials were not really accessible for her, she used a tape recorder to record courses, and she was assisted by friends and relatives when she had to complete assignments and move to other new places. Now, she can prove to herself that she is a lecture at Atma Jaya University in Jakarta. Moreover, she has concern about the blind or children with special needs that brings Mimi had the initiative to establish a disabled counseling place called the Mimi Institute in 2009. This institution is aimed to familiarize the issues of disability, so that she hope that it would make environments more inclusive or friendly for all people.
Based on Mimi’s life, she experienced that she could not accept herself labelled as having total blindness. This medical model led her to be more frustrated when it could not be cured, and she withdrew herself from society. What is more, the social model was not supportive for her when the elementary school could not give what she needed at that time causing her to move to a segregated school for students with intellectual disabilities. Not only that, she also dealt with the challenges during study in public schools and universities such as inaccessible environments and unobtainable materials. Consequently, she needed a tape recorder to help herself in supporting her way of learning. Moreover, the social model was getting better when friends and relatives assisted her in understanding the materials or assignments and in guiding to new places. She was motivated by them because they were concerned with her, and it was inspiring Mimi to initiate the institution in order to make environments more inclusive.
All in all, based on the three blog lenses explained above, I believe that the medical model and social model are similar to a double-edged sword in which the taken action has several effects both in positive way and negative way. That is why these models are important to understand people with vision impairment or blindness. Take for example, by measuring the eye condition, an eye doctor can give some inputs to a teacher such as the visual acuity, so the teacher could develop legible letters and materials for students with visual impairment. Therefore, I think that all the aforementioned lenses should be used to design a individual centered approach for people with blindness or visual impairment by considering the strengths and weaknesses of the lenses.


References:
Bolt, David. (2005). From Blindness to Visual Impairment: Terminological Typology and the Social Model of Disability. Retrieved from https://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/library/bolt-Bolt-From-Visual-Impairment.pdf (accessed on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 09:16 PM)
http://ddsg.org.uk/taxi/medical-model.html accessed on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 11:40 PM
http://guides.library.illinois.edu/c.php?g=549817&p=3774566 accessed on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 10:40 PM
https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimi_Mariani_Lusli accessed on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 11:43 PM
http://udltheorypractice.cast.org/reading?3&loc=intro.xml_l1969951 accessed on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 07:37 PM
https://www.healthline.com/symptom/blindness accessed on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 11:20 PM
https://www.medicinenet.com/blindness/article.htm accessed on Monday, October 29, 2018 at 09:31 PM
Baglieri, Susan. (2017). Disability Studies and The Inclusive Classroom: Critical Practices for Embracing Diversity in Education (Second Edition). New York: Routledge.
United Nation. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf accessed on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 10:13 PM


Sources for the pictures:
Picture 1. The Medical Model of Disability
Picture 2. The Social Model of Disability
Picture 3. A White Rubik’s Cube with Braille:
Picture 4. A Tactile Rubik’s Cube:
Picture 5. Digital books created by CAST
http://udltheorypractice.cast.org/reading?3&loc=intro.xml_l1969951