Imagine not having the ability to communicate at all. That means the inability to communicate such simple terms as, "yes," "no," "bathroom," or even "frustrated." These are the challenges my students face on a daily basis.
My students range from Kindergarten to fifth grade.
They all have an intellectual disability that inhibits them from learning with their same-age peers. Some students are in wheelchairs and will never learn to walk or talk; some students can walk and talk but not appropriately express their emotions or accurately respond to questions. The students in my classroom work hard to learn how to appropriately communicate. The majority of the students are non-verbal, meaning they do not speak to answer questions or even tell me what they want or need. These students attend a Title 1 school where very little, if anything, is handed to them. School is a place of learning, nurturing, and nutrition.
Nowadays, a color printer is a norm. However, in a classroom that has no extra funds, a color printer is gold. The children in my classroom learn and practice communication on a daily basis. They learn through communication books which are pictures that show others how they feel, what they need or want, and also allows them to participate in their academic and social lessons. They learn through stories with pictures. These students, even in fifth grade cannot read without pictures of seemingly simple words such as "boy" or "run." However, because they are in fifth grade, I teach them grade and age appropriate curriculum. My students read novels. They are adapted novels with pictures above a majority of the text, but they read these novels and answer comprehension questions. The color printer would allow all students in my classroom the ability to communicate, the ability to read and understand a book, and the ability to take these resources home so they can communicate across settings.
My students are happy.
They love school. They love their family. They cannot however tell me or their parents this. When I show a communication page in black and white, there is no difference from "happy," "sad," "frustrated," or "excited." The least I can provide my students is a fair chance to communicate and learn from a book written in color, just like all other students without disabilities learn from textbooks, which always happen to be in color.Read More
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