Implementing Innovative Uses of Assistive Technology in the ClassroomBy Wright, Jessi; Hayhurst-Marshall, Jamie; Godbey, Hannah; Closing the Gap, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 19-20
Publication Date: June/July 2009
Article describes an initiative by the West Virginia Assistive Technology System promoting access to and acquisition of assistive technology for students with disabilities in public schools. The program provides mini-grants of up to $750 to fund new projects to improve outcomes for students with IEPs or 504 plans. Three of the six projects selected for funding the first year are outlined: (1) A Sensory Integration Room providing individualized sensory stimulation for elementary school students experiencing difficulties with sensory perceptions, utilizing tools such as a cuddle swing, a “cloud nine” foam-filled product used to increase safety and encourage motor planning, a tube swing kit, and a resistance tunnel. After six months of daily 30-minute use, students were reported to show significant improvements in classroom participation. (2) “Kid Connections,” a project using Boardmaker software and a digital camera to create communication activities incorporating assistive devices such as modified and teacher-created books, and a signing and reading board using sign language. The project included visiting students from general education classrooms who participated with the individualized-education students in cooperative learning and character building activities. (3) An Infrared Music Maker and 6 Infrared Headphones used in a special education classroom for children in grades K-5 to enhance pre-reading skills and social interaction. The headphones allowed students to complete tasks without auditory distractions, and were helpful in integrating children with autism who had difficulty working in close proximity to peers.
Assistive Products Discussed: BOARDMAKER (INTERNATIONAL)
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)