Student Desk and Storage
If you have already wondered about desk placement and size, you have begun to understand that braille-reading students have a great deal of equipment and books that are larger than typical materials. Because of this, it is unlikely that they will be able to effectively and comfortably use regular classroom furniture.
Braille-reading students have a great deal of equipment and books that are larger than typical materials and are unlikely to be able to use regular classroom furniture. Your student’s TVI will help you create an efficient system that will include desk space and a storage area for special equipment, materials and volumes of braille textbooks. Listed below are some suggestions that you might find helpful as you consider your student’s desk and storage needs::
- Consider the students equipment and construct a desk that allows him or her to have easy access to the equipment needed for class. Most braille-reading students use a variety of equipment to access the variety of class materials presented during a lesson. The student will likely have a device that produces braille (e.g., a Perkins Brailler, Mountbatten Brailler, braille notetaker) and also access to a computer. The student may need access to both more than one piece of equipment during class and having a desk with plenty of room will be important.
- Pay attention to the physical comfort of the student. A braille-reading student will need a desk with a flat top to accommodate equipment that can’t be used when seated at a slanted desk. A swivel chair may be helpful as the student moves from one piece of equipment to another. Make sure that the desktop allows the students forearms to be roughly parallel to the floor when the student is working on equipment on the desktop.
- Make sure that there is enough access to electricity. Since most of the equipment used by a braille-reading student is electronic, the student will need plenty of access to electrical outlets.
- Place the student’s desk in the room so that the student can have the space necessary but can also have a feeling of connection with his or her classmates. There is a danger in allowing the physical aspects of the student’s workspace to isolate the student from class peers. It may be difficult to find the appropriate space that provides appropriate support for the student’s equipment and materials but also encourages social interactions. The student may be able to help you brainstorm what he or she needs.