Historically, students with severe physical impairments and complex communication needs were educated/undereducated in segregated, isolated environments or were totally excluded from the public educational system. In many countries, legislation has greatly improved the opportunities for students with disabilities by mandating appropriate, inclusive educational programs for all students. Other countries have legislated that ALL students with special needs be educated in general education classrooms. This legislation rarely addresses how this is to be accomplished nor does it provide funding for or specify the qualifications necessary to meet the specialized needs of these students. When inclusion is regarded as a placement rather than as a process, students with special needs, their classmates and their teachers are faced with significant challenges. Unless they are able to be active participants in the classroom, students with severe physical impairments and complex communication needs find inclusion to be isolating rather than inclusive. This presentation will discuss the process in place at The Bridge School to ensure our students develop the communication and self determination skills necessary to be active members in their educational and social environments.
In this presentation, Dave Gilbert will explore some of the versatile and imaginative ways in which Pretorian Technologies AAC devices may be used to help non-verbal and minimally-verbal users to develop their language skills. Methodologies such as Conversation and Choice Making are discussed in the context of AAC devices and also the opportunities for engaging younger users by providing audible and visual rewards for good outcomes.
In addition to having a sound educational curriculum and a systematic approach to developing communication skills, a successful program addressing the needs of children with severe physical and communication impairments must employ a wide range of tools, materials and strategies that address ALL aspects of every student. This presentation will demonstrate successful strategies in use at The Bridge School through case examples and videotaped illustrations that demonstrate specific components of the program highlighting factors related to mobility, functional vision, literacy, communication and AAC/AT. Our educational model employs transdisciplinary teams consisting of SLPs, special educators, instructional assistants, AT specialists, OTs and other consultants, who value their ability to work collaboratively, provide access to the core curriculum, cultivate social supports, develop effective AAC system components and create a classroom culture that enables them to educate a heterogeneous group of children.
In this presentation you will:
• Learn about Grid AAC software for iPad and Windows devices
• Explore key resources in Grid for symbol and text communication, controlling Windows, accessible apps and interactive learning
• Find out about existing Grid users and how they have succeeded with AAC