Our classroom is a special place where a small group of high school students with multiple or intensive special needs come to learn every day. The students are bussed in from two states to our room where their educational and therapeutic needs can be met in a public school setting with time to spend with typical peers.
Our students stand out from the crowd no matter what, from wheelchairs or walkers to hearing aids and sighted guides for low vision the first thing people see is often related to the students disability. It doesn't help that in the age of gameboys and iPods my students still listen to CDs and sometimes even cassette tapes for both education (books on tape) and entertainment (music) because that is all we can afford in the classroom. Also my students rely on bulky specialized computers for communication.
If our class had an iPod the students could use it for their books on tape and also for entertainment, both of which are essential for a balanced life. The iPod could replace our duct taped walkman and our skipping CD player.
The first thing we would do is download specialized communication software called Proloquo2go which would let students use the iPod to talk. The next thing we would do is fill the iPod touch with books from the teacher's personal Audible.com account, books like To Kill a Mockingbird and Harry Potter. Next we would add some age appropriate music, perhaps our students would bring in CDs from home we could burn to iTunes and copy to the iPod. The most importantly it would let our special needs students be just like all the other kids - with ear buds in their ears and an iPod in their hands.
When you are a teenager nothing is more important then fitting in. Your donation of an iPod would make that more possible for some students with significant special needs. Add to that the benefit of students access texts and music on the iPod and it is a great solution for our classroom.
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