GEOLOGIC FIELD STUDY EXPERIENCES FOR PEOPLE WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS: WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T
During the summer of 2005, the College of Charleston Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences had the opportunity to include a student with a visual impairment in a three-week summer field course in Utah, Nevada, and California. The Center for Disability Services at the College of Charleston hired a member of the geology faculty to serve as a sighted guide and field instructor for the student.
A variety of methods to assist the student in understanding and mapping the field geology were employed. It was determined prior to the course that many of the methods that were successful in classroom environments would not adequately translate to field work, therefore a variety of different instructional techniques were explored. Some of the methods used in the field included: photography; drawn illustrations; tablet PCs for field work and mapping; specialized software for viewing and listening to digital versions of assignments; and verbal descriptions of the geology of the area. Some of the methods proved quite successful, while others were found to be inadequate for the particular field tasks.