Our class is a special education “Life Skills” class that has students from grades 7-8. The students have multiple disabilities including intellectual disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, visual impairment, speech impairment, and communication impairment. They are an outgoing and fun group of kids who don’t let their disabilities hold them back.
Our school district is a low income, high minority district.
This past year, our town was hit by a devastating flood, caused by hurricane Harvey, and many students and teachers in our town lost everything. It was a difficult year, but life is slowly returning to normal.
My students are awesome, but they need hands-on and visual experiences to understand difficult concepts. The students understand best when presented with concrete objects that they can see and feel. They are always excited to experience something new. It is amazing to witness what they can do when given the right tools.
My students with visual impairments are in need of updated iPads to use in their lessons. The iPads students are currently using are the first iPads on the market. They are slow and cannot keep up with some of the newer programs. They were purchased over eight years ago. While this may not seem that old, the technology advancement since then has been tremendous. This updated technology will allow all students to participate in daily lessons and they will be able to participate more fully with other students in their classes. In addition, my students with autism will use the iPads to address sensory issues and motivate them to be more engaged in the lessons.
Technology is often highly motivating to students with disabilities and it enables them to become more involved in lessons.
They also look “cool” to the other students and they are able to fit in more easily with the other students on campus. There is less of a stigma attached to their use of these devices as all students their age use this type of technology.
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