Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies

A 3D printer creates a small plastic house

The purpose of learning in Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies (ADST) is to support students in developing practical and creative ways to learn by doing. ADST includes established and emerging areas of inquiry including home economics, information and communication technology, and technology education

The BC K-12 ADST Curriculum offers students opportunities to extend their natural curiosity through innovation and design thinking to create and work in practical ways.

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Check out the Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies Curriculum category in #Outreaching - the blog of the PRCVI Outreach Team.

ADST - Students with Visual Impairments

Students with visual impairments can innovate, design, and problem solve alongside their peers with typical vision in both digital (e.g., programming) and physical (e.g., metal/woodshop) learning environments. Activities, materials, and environments that are designed with universal accessibility in mind from the outset decrease the likelihood that students with visual impairments will need to rely on specialized tools, devices, and software to achieve meaningful and equitable access to learning opportunities in the ADST curriculum.

Examples of Adaptations for Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies

Connections to the Expanded Core Curriculum

Knowledge and skill development in the Core and Expanded Core Curricula are mutually reinforcing and together enrich student learning. Below are examples of connections between Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies and the ECC. 

Career and Vocational Skills

Independent Living Skills

  • Effective use of talking thermometers and adapted measuring cups and spoons to plan and prepare a meal in a Food Studies class.
  • Learning and practicing precautionary and emergency safety skills/procedures in both physical and digital environments.

Access Technology

  • Using Openscad paired with screen reading software and a refreshable braille display to design 3D print files using code.
  • Exploring multi-modal data output using assistive technology (e.g., sonification for graphed data).
  • Using enlargement/enhancement and/or screen reading software to research new volunteer opportunities online. 

Resources to Support Instruction

PRCVI Library Catalogue

Code N' Go Robot Mouse. Adapted early coding kit for students with visual impairments [Resource Kit]
Early coding kit adapted by PRCVI for use with students with visual impairments to support the development of procedural thinking, problem-solving, orientation and mobility, etc.
Snap Circuits Jr. Activity set for constructing simple electronic circuits. [Resource Kit].
Kit for building simple circuits. The PRCVI library has un-adapted kits and adapted kits from APH. 
LEGO. LEGO Classic 1101Paired with a screen reader, audio, and refreshable braille display-friendly instructions [Resource Kit]
LEGO building set with print and braille labels to URL where students can access instructions in one of three access media.
San Francisco Lighthouse. Swift Playgrounds – Learn to Code 1 [Tactile Supplement].
Materials designed by the SF Lighthouse to align with the Swift Playground app from Apple. Tactile supplements feature diagrams of the app environment that pair with VoiceOver description. 

Web-Based Resources

Digital Accessibility Through #InclusiveDesign. Retrieved from
Resource page from PRCVI with content geared to TVIs on supporting inclusive design within an Assistive Technology workflow.
Forest, E. (2019). Leveraging blind woodworkers’ practices to develop inclusive instruction. (M.Des Thesis, OCAD University). Retrieved from 
Expert review of accomplished blind woodworkers, guided by ten principles of adapted woodworking. 
Jo, W. et al. (2016). Introduction of 3D printing technology in the classroom for visually impaired students. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 110, 115-121.
Overview article on making both the product and process of 3D printing accessible to visually impaired learners. 
National Centre on Accessible Educational Materials. Creating Accessible Educational Materials. Retrieved from:
Comprehensive, educator-focused web resource from CAST on both the promise and technique of inclusive design. 
Paths to Technology (2018, June 28). Accessible coding. Retrieved from:
Review of options and apps for accessible coding.
Woodworking for the Blind (n.d.). Manual for blind woodworkers. Retrieved from
Chapters from a comprehensive guide to woodworking from an accomplished blind woodworker. 


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