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Too busy/too cluttered for students with a VI/DB student?

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2 years 9 months ago #12 by Super User
Super User created the topic: Too busy/too cluttered for students with a VI/DB student?
Hi everyone,

I'm just wondering what your response is to comments from people about Active Learning environments eg. Little Room, SPG boards, MFA tables, Activity vests etc. being "too busy/too cluttered for students with a vision impairment or for students who are deafblind"?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts
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2 years 9 months ago #13 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Too busy/too cluttered for students with a VI/DB student?
Iris Responded:

"Hi Trish,
I also heard that the SPG board that I made for a student was "too busy", but as someone on this site told me, the SPG isn't neseccarily a visual activity - its more of a sensorimotor activity. Keeping that in mind, I do find that when a student finds something exciting on the board, like crinkly paper, they will look at it.
It's all about a student's independent exploration and building up spatial memory to remember where certain objects are located on the board. Cheers!"
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2 years 9 months ago #14 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Too busy/too cluttered for students with a VI/DB student?
Kate Hurst Responded:

"Trish,
When I had the opportunity to hear presentations from Dr. Nielsen before her death, she stressed having plenty of objects in an environment for the student. What I see frequently is people putting too few objects in environments. If you think about the number of objects a typically developing child interacts with during the course of one day, more is better than less. I think it is important to remember that the objects need to have a variety of properties such as things that make noise, vibrate, have different temperature, can change shape, have different color, etc.

I agree, though, the child working with an SPG board may not "look" at what they explore. They may primarily be using touch to find objects, and looking may occur at some other point. Like you said, if you make the object interesting to the child and keep in mind what visual skills are present when selecting objects, looking might happen as well as tactile exploration."
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2 years 9 months ago #15 by Super User
Super User replied the topic: Too busy/too cluttered for students with a VI/DB student?
Patty Obrzut Responded:

"Hi Trish,

In response to your questions about active learning items being "too busy or too cluttered for students with a vision impairment" here are some things to think about.

When working on a "vision" activity - yes you might want to de-clutter the environment to assist a child on "focusing" or "seeing" that specific item. You are encouraging vision responses. But remember, it is important to encourage activity for the child in all areas of development, not only vision.

Think about your world, It is filled with things to look at. If you look around an office, you probably have thousands of things to look at. Do you sit and stare at things all day not moving and only using your vision. No, you interact with those items through your other senses. You isolate one or a few things to use and interact with the object(s). We grasp, move, touch, push, explore, smell, listen, bang, etc. We use our strength - vision - to peek our interest, but then use the other senses to expand our knowledge of the world.

For a visually impaired child, we need to provide the same environment through other mediums. Their world should be filled with thousands of things that have tactile, auditory, gustatory and olfactory qualities to stimulate the child's activity. The world should be based on the child's strengths - and build on the strengths to impact the areas of weakness. Even though the world is filled with stimulation, the child will select one or two things to interact with at a time. The child has a world where he/she can make choices based on his/her likes/dislikes and motivation. The child can use the sensory inputs he or she needs to learn about the world, eventually using all of the senses to create a "picture" of the world and how to act in that world.

That is why it is important to have an environment that is enriched to promote Active Learning. Decide what the goal of the activity is, and provide the right environment for the child to be motivated to engage in that activity."
Moderators: Kate HurstCharlotte CushmanPatty Obrzut
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