Covid-19 and Digital Equity for Deaf-Blind Learners: My Experience and the Importance of Self-Advocacy

Summarized by Hannah Le

In an article on the National Center on Deaf-Blindness website, Ava Bullis introduces us to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways in which the pandemic held her back from properly transitioning to high school. She tells us that she has Usher syndrome which means she is deaf and is slowly going blind. She also writes about how learning online during the pandemic was a challenge and how she and her mom figured out the best assistive technology to give her auditory and visual access. She admits that there should have been deaf-blind professionals with expertise in technology who could provide guidance for her and others like her. Bullis’s mom worked in the field of technology, so as a Deaf-Blind learner, Ava was able to get access to accommodations that would help her. Her toolbox to succeed in school at this time consisted of technology training, which included receiving weekly braille lessons. Ava Bullis has learned the importance of self-advocacy and has learned to speak up for herself, which allows her to learn more about the resources that help her succeed.

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