Our classroom serves 7-12 grade students ages 14-22 with multiple special needs. The students are hard working and bright from a variety of ethnic, economic and family backgrounds. They are bussed from many surrounding cities and towns in two different states because local programs could not provide for their unique combinations of special needs. Most of the students are wheelchair users, many are hearing and/or visually impaired and all have some level of communication impairment.
Most of my students communicate by using alternative or augmentative communication (AAC) devices. These devices cost 3,000-8,000 dollars. They are generally highly specialized tablet computers running expensive communication software with built in assistive technology features like switch interfaces and head tracking options. With these devices students who cannot speak are able to have a voice. Unfortunately because the devices are so expensive we have nothing to use as an AAC device for students who are being assessed for AAC, are awaiting approval of a device or whose devices break. We also have no means for the programing the devices without taking them away from the students.
If we had a tablet PC in the classroom we could use it primarily to program student devices and then download the changes. However should we have a student being assess for AAC, awaiting AAC funding or with a broken device the tablet PC could become that child's AAC device while she or he waits.
Your donations towards a tablet PC would ensure that I am able to keep my student's AAC devices up to date and that students with access to AAC have a voice.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Ms. Ahern.
DonorsChoose is the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Ms. Ahern and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.