Name(s) of students(s):

Age and grade level:

Goal from IEP connected to lesson:

Objective from IEP connected to lesson:

Objectives for student learning: 

After completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Search AccessWorld for desired information about access technology.
  2. Search AccessWorld for product evaluations on the assistive technology the student uses to access printed and electronic information at school.
  3. State the purpose and usefulness of a product evaluation.

Materials needed: notetaking device, Internet access


“During this lesson, you will continue to learn about AccessWorld. We will be looking at how to use the AccessWorld search function to seek out information about technology. One goal of the AccessWorld team is to publish product evaluations so readers can make informed decisions about the technology they use. You will have the opportunity to read a product evaluation for one of the tools you use at school. As you move towards graduating from high school and attending college or tech school or entering the working world, you will need to become self-aware of your technology needs. You will need to make sure you always have efficient ways to access printed information (at near and far distances), access electronic information, and produce written information.” defines the word ‘efficient’ this way: ‘Performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.’ Think about your typing speed. Are your keyboarding skills efficient? The minimum average typing speed is around 40 words per minute (wpm). However, many professionals are required to have a typing speed of 90 wpm. When it comes to producing a report, is keyboarding or dictation with speech recognition most efficient for you? You want to use tools which help you do things efficiently! From this point forward in the lessons, assistive technology tools will be referred to as your efficiency tools.” 

Activity: Searching AccessWorld

Teach the student how to search AccessWorld for various product evaluations. After completion of the guided search activities, instruct the student to search AccessWorld for a product evaluation of another efficiency tool of his choice.

  1. Instruct the student to search AccessWorld using the keyword “ZoomText.”
  2. Ask the student to identify how many results the search yielded.
  3. Ask the student to identify the month and year of the issue and discuss why the date of the issue is important to recognize.
  4. Instruct the student to read ZoomText Reinventing Itself: A Review of ZoomText 10 and Its New Features, by John Rempel.
  5. “Has ZoomText expanded its capabilities for users? What is one new feature you learned about that you previously did not know about?”
  6. Instruct the student to search AccessWorld using the keyword “magnifier.” Ask the student to read A Comparative Review of iPhone Magnifier Apps, by John Rempel
  7. “Are magnifier apps recommended for spot reading or extended reading? Six magnifier apps were reviewed in the article—what is the price of the most expensive app reviewed? Did you find this evaluation helpful? Why or why not?”
  8. Instruct the student to search AccessWorld using the keywords “Victor Reader Stream.” Ask the student to read An Evaluation of the HumanWare Victor Reader Stream (New Generation), by Aaron Preece.
  9. “Could a consumer learn how to use the basic functions of the Victor Reader Stream from reading the AccessWorld product evaluation?”


  • How can you use AccessWorld as a student?
  • If you were an adult reading the AccessWorld Magazine, could you make an inquiry about an efficiency tool to determine if it would meet your access technology needs?
  • Could you share a link from AccessWorld with your teachers to educate them about the technology you use in the mainstream?

If the student plans to seek higher education at college or technical school, further discuss how AccessWorld can continue to be a valuable resource since she will be in charge of her own technology needs (and will not have a teacher of students with visual impairments for guidance).

“The next time you encounter a new piece of technology or software, advocate for the opportunity to explore it first —just as your friends do when they get a new game or cell phone. When you graduate high school, you will not have a teacher of students with visual impairments to teach you how to use new access technology, nor will there be special classes you can immediately take to learn how to use those tools. When you have a job, you will need to know how to access Help files and how to troubleshoot fixing your efficiency tool if it breaks. Start preparing yourself now and take the challenge!”

Search Activity for Students in STEM Courses

For students taking STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes:

Progress notes:





Goal of next lesson: