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EPSE 410

Scenario Implementation Assignment:

(Case Study #1)

By Jennifer Stieda Due February 28, 2006

EPSE 410 Implementation Assignment

Jennifer Stieda p. 1 of 6

Areas for Further Assessment 1. It would be useful to find out more about Saras cognitive abilities. Since she is unable to participate in formal assessments, this would likely take the form of observation and generally getting to know Sara better. She is able to answer yes/no questions and much can be learned from these types of questions. Her support team could probably fill in some gaps with respect to her cognitive skills. With more information, the team could better define where Sara needs help with and which of her strengths can be further developed. There is a risk of boring a child with limited communication abilities if we are not clear on how much she can comprehend. The team needs to pay close attention to her cognitive abilities and keep excellent records about what is observed. 2. It would be helpful to know how Sara has been communicating with those around her up to now. Does she have some non-verbal signals that the team could use right away? A meeting with her parents would probably be especially fruitful. Of course, Sara and the other members of her support team should be asked as well. 3. A meeting with Saras OT and physiotherapist would help determine if her motor skills, including eye movements might improve over time or with therapy. This would be useful information for planning Saras AT needs in the future. AT Solution Proposed Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro Single switch such as Ablenet Big Red or BASS Switch o Both come with colour options to help the AT mesh with Saras personal style o Both come with large surface areas which Sara can reach out to hit Laptop computer (best case solution) for portability from classroom, around the school to home OR computer on a moveable trolley for in-class use Steps to Implement AT Solution 1. The first step to implementing this AT solution would be to meet with Sara and those who will be working most closely with her. A presentation should be made about what Boardmaker looks like when it is used and what it can accomplish. a. A sample board should be made in advance of this meeting to facilitate the explanation. If the board were to involve one of the three IEP goals, it would make it easier to sell to the interested parties. i. For example, a board for being Special Helper at the calendar could be made. The sequence of calendar is always the same, so a series of boards could be made into a book. Perhaps Sara could lead the days of the week song by using a scanner and switch to activate the phrase Ready to sing the days of the week song? 1 2 3! The next board in the sequence could have yesterday, today, and tomorrow on it. Sara could use the scanning device and switch to activate the phrase Yesterday was Thursday, February 16 th. Later, she could lead the pattern on the calendar by selecting the two shapes (e.g. Hearts and Circles) in the correct order. b. The possibilities should be outlined to everyone. This AT would help Sara move toward more independence and help her work toward all three of her IEP goals.

EPSE 410 Implementation Assignment

Jennifer Stieda p. 2 of 6

c. Sara should be asked if she thinks she could make this work. At a minimum, Saras support worker, teacher, and parents should be at this meeting. Their input into the feasibility of this AT solution should be asked for at this time. If a portable computer is not an option, the family may have a computer available at home for Sara to use. 2. An introductory overview to Boardmaker is available on the following website in Power Point format. The presentation is the first one on the list called BM 5 Presentation. This could be used to show the Support Worker and whoever else might be programming Saras boards how easy it is to accomplish. It may also give them some inspiration about what might be possible for Sara. a. Other websites can be referenced that have ready-made materials or ideas for programmers to make life easier. For example: has an excellent idea about how to use Boardmaker for sequencing a story. There are other ideas there that could be used to help facilitate Saras IEP goal of supporting her interest in literature through creating opportunities to develop literacy skills. b. has some downloadable boards for things like Do you want to play and practicing conversations. 3. Once everyone is on board (pun intended!), Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro, the switch and possibly a laptop computer should be sourced from SET BC. This involves getting a purchase order for the equipment to include with the order form to SET BC. 4. Assuming that the school staff can overcome their apprehensiveness about learning new technology and dealing with the challenges that Sara presents, the next step would be to train everyone, especially those who will be doing the programming. It must be made clear who will be doing what for Sara with regard to her AT, although it would benefit everyone to know how the software works. a. SET BC has some online courses through their Provincial Software Acquisition Plan. The next set of courses on Boardmaker for Windows is on April 3, 5, and 6, 2006 for an Introduction, Using the Symbol Finder Effectively and Managing Graphics in the Symbol Library. b. The teacher and support worker may appreciate some suggestions about how to integrate Sara and her AT into the classroom setting. Some ideas on how to guide their thinking in terms of planning adaptations to lessons might also be welcomed. For example: i. What can the other children do that currently Sara cannot do? How might her AT be able to allow her to do some of those things? ii. What are some common phrases Sara might need to communicate on a daily basis with her peers? iii. What might she need to communicate regarding centre time choices and activities? c. We could make a board for Sara with the programming group. Together, given a specific situation, we could brainstorm what she might need to communicate and where she could make choices independently. Build the board, add the speech and try it out with the group. i. Emphasize that Sara would need just a few icons per page; probably up to four due to the difficulty she has controlling her eye movements. ii. Remind everyone to include Sara in the programming process. Since she can answer yes or no questions, she can definitely be part of this process. For example, she could choose the voice when the AT arrives.

EPSE 410 Implementation Assignment

Jennifer Stieda p. 3 of 6

iii. Sara cannot and probably should not use her computer for every situation. Partner assisted scanning will be an option for some situations as will yes/no questioning. 5. Saras peers would also have to be introduced to the technology. a. They would have to learn to wait for her answers while she uses her scanning device. b. Sara may even want to record their voices for her voice output occasionally. c. They may have to learn to shape their questions carefully to make sure she has an answer in her digital phrase bank. Since children are generally very flexible in their thinking and often quite computer savvy, they will probably catch on quickly and be very interested in what Sara can do. d. They may even have suggestions about what should be included on her boards! e. However, they will also need to be taught that it is Saras computer program and her equipment needs to be respected. f. Since Sara is very social and happy, her attempts at being friendly and part of the class will probably be met with enthusiasm from her peers. 6. Once things are underway, a few check-ins will be necessary to facilitate the transition to Saras AT solution. Being available for questions from the programming group will be especially helpful in getting this technology up and running effectively. Sample Lesson Plan to Teach Sara How to Use Boardmaker Objective: Materials: To introduce the software, Boardmaker using a scanning device and single switch to make selections. Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro Single switch Pre-programmed board with weather sequence Books with weather in them (see attached sample bibliography) Name all the pieces of equipment. Check understanding of names by asking yes/no questions. Practice hitting the switch in response to low-tech, but more familiar, partner assisted scanning. Explain that this is basically how it will work on the computer. Weather: Open the pre-programmed board with the weather sequence used during calendar time. This board will have several weather options for Sara to choose by scanning (4 of sunny, snowing, cloudy, windy, or raining). Explain how to start and stop the scanning by doing it while she watches. Show her a page from one of the books and talk about what the weather looks like on the page. Then ask her what the weather is like in the book and help her to respond using the board. Get her to try the scanning herself. After her selection, ask Is it (whatever she chose) in the book? Get her to answer verbally yes or no. Practice different weather situations using the list of books in the attached bibliography. If her timing is off, make it fun! High five her successes. If Sara is still interested, try different voices for the voice output. See if there is one she prefers over the others. Try two or three and leave the rest for another time.



EPSE 410 Implementation Assignment

Jennifer Stieda p. 4 of 6


Ask another student to go over to the window with Sara to check the weather. Have the student ask Sara what the weather is like right now. Have Sara respond using Boardmaker scanning and her switch. Celebrate her efforts! In a day or two, have Sara be the weather checker at the window. When the Special Helper asks her what the weather is like, she can respond.

Sample Weather Bibliography Sunny Big Red Barn. Margaret Wise Brown, Felicia Bond. 1956 Harper Collins. Counting Cows. Dyan Sheldon, Wendy Smith. 1994 Random House, UK. Eyes, Nose, Fingers & Toes. Judy Hindley, Brita Grandstrom. 1999 Candlewick Press. The Grizzly Bear Family Book. Michio Hoshino. 1992 North-South Books. The Happy Book. Diane Muldrow, Patty Ann Harris. 1999 Scholastic. March of the Penguins. Jordan Roberts, Jerome Maison. 2006 Bonne Pioche/APC.

Cloudy Franklins Bad Day. Paulette Bourgois, Brenda Clark. 1996 Kids Can Press. The Grizzly Bear Family Book. Michio Hoshino. 1992 North-South Books. The Grouchy Ladybug. Eric Carle. 1997 Harper Collins. Look to the North. Jean Craighead George. 1997 Harper Childrens A Mountain Alphabet. Andrew Kiss, Margriet Ruurs. 1996 Tundra Books. My Mothers Love: Stories and Lies from my Childhoods. Stephane Poulin. Annick Press.

Snowing The Biggest, Best Snowman. Margery Cuyler, Will Hillenbrand. 2004 Scholastic. The Dreaming Tree. Alan Brown, Claire Fletcher. 2000 Harper Collins. Franklins Bad Day. Paulette Bourgois, Brenda Clark. 1996 Kids Can Press. From My Window. Olive Wong, Mark Bellerose. 1974 Ginn & Company. Look to the North. Jean Craighead George. 1997 Harper Childrens

Windy Franklin and the Thunderstorm. Paulette Bourgois, Brenda Clark. 1998 Kids Can Press. Hamlet and the Enormous Chinese Dragon Kite. Brian Lies. 1994 Houghton Mifflin. The Tiny Seed. Eric Carle. 1987 Scholastic. Toot and Puddle: You Are My Sunshine. Holly Hobbie. 1999 Scholastic.

Raining Franklin and the Thunderstorm. Paulette Bourgois, Brenda Clark. 1998 Kids Can Press. The Magic School bus at the Waterworks. Joanna Cole, Bruce Degen. 1986 Scholastic. Miss Spiders Tea Party: A Counting Book. David Kirk. 1997 Scholastic. My Mothers Love: Stories and Lies from my Childhoods. Stephane Poulin. Annick Press. A Pacific Alphabet. Margriet Ruurs. 2001 Walrus Books. Toot and Puddle: You Are My Sunshine. Holly Hobbie. 1999 Scholastic.

EPSE 410 Implementation Assignment

Jennifer Stieda p. 5 of 6

Measurement and Reporting Progress on the Use of the AT Solution The goals of the IEP are: 1. to ensure appropriate social interaction opportunities during centre time 2. to facilitate participation in circle time activities and 3. to support Saras interest in literature by creating opportunities to develop literacy skills. For the first goal, it might be useful to count social interactions during centre time both before and after the introduction of the AT. Once the AT is in place, it would be appropriate to count social interactions at various intervals after that time. Observation will also be important for measuring the social interaction opportunities. Do other students come to Sara with questions or to ask her to work with them? Can Sara make herself understood? We could even count these items in the same way. A record could be made as follows: Observed Behaviour Peer initiated interaction Sara initiated interaction Sara made herself understood Failed to make herself understood DATE: TIME OF DAY: Total # of interactions: Comments: Count

OBSERVER: LENGTH OF OBSERVATION: Total # of interactions/min:


By comparing the results, we could determine if the AT is improving Saras social connection with her peers, at least during centre time. We should also be able to see if there is even more social interaction once everyone gets used to using the technology in the classroom. Again, for participation in circle time activities, we would have to take some baseline data prior to the introduction of the AT. This could take the form of observations recorded about how Sara is involved in circle time. Does she sit passively, watching and listening? How does she participate? Verbally, partner assisted scanning, yes/no answers, AT device? Can she communicate independently? Can she show the teacher that she has something to add to the activity? Is she able to access her support workers help to participate during this time? Where is she in relation to the other children? How do the other children react to her compared to other children? We will want to observe before the AT has been introduced, and several times afterwards in order to give a fair report of progress. If we answer the above questions at each observation session, we will have a good idea of whether or not the AT has helped Sara toward her IEP goal of participating in circle time activities.

EPSE 410 Implementation Assignment

Jennifer Stieda p. 6 of 6

We want Sara to participate, not sit passively. We want her to be able to communicate her ideas. We have to ask ourselves several questions. Has her participation improved as a result of the AT or not? If not, are there ways that we could make it work better? We want her to be able to communicate independently and of her own volition as much as possible. Have we programmed her boards well enough so that she can reach this goal? Have we included Sara in the programming process? Is she able to say what she wants to say? Creating opportunities to develop literacy skills can be done in many ways other than the computer. However, many of the prescribed learning outcomes for K-1 in Language Arts are attainable through Boardmaker. For example, Language through Literacy has many lesson plans, some free, that work on exactly these ideas. It might alleviate much of the stress of learning something new from the programming groups life knowing that such resources are available. In order to report progress on the use of the AT solution for literacy skills, we could ask several questions: Is the AT being used to teach literacy skills? Which skills are being taught this way? How often is AT being used to teach literacy skills? Does Sara respond better to learning literacy skills on Boardmaker, other lower-tech AT, or regular classroom methods? Of course, we want to know if our efforts are being successful. Like any other child, we can ask Sara comprehension questions after reading a story and give her options to respond on Boardmaker. Boardmaker can also assist her with making choices about which sound is being made in a given word and test her responses. There are many creative ways to check Saras abilities using Boardmaker.