Promoting inclusion through successful communications
AAC & Access Technology for children with special needs
The aim of this blog and video is to show successful inclusion strategies using contrasting communication strategies for pupils with special needs.
The school’s approach to learning and teaching has a “I can do” approach to developing progress. At Red Marsh School all staff have high expectations. All the pupils work is appropriate and challenging. In each class there is a wide range of abilities. There is a very strong focus on language development to enable pupils to successfully communicate.
The professional development opportunities for all staff is a real strength of the school. There is high quality support within school by Sarah Holyhead, the Communication Coordinator, subject specialists and the Lancashire CC. All staff are very supportive of each other in developing best practice. The school delivers training to ensure that all access technology is used to its full potential to support a wide range of outstanding learning and teaching.
The innovative use of these communication strategies is a significant factor in the achievements and attainments of pupils. It directly impacts upon children’s self-esteem, improved motivation, behaviour, engagement and in developing their creative abilities. Professional development and staff training.
Due to the large range of complex needs, staff are extremely adept and skilled in providing a wide range of customised solutions that allow young people to overcome their disabilities. This involves adapting switches, control panels, applying technological solutions, making/customising learning resources, programming and integrating high and low tech solutions into classroom pedagogy.
Throughout the school in different key stages, across subjects and classes there is a contrasting range of learning styles dependent upon these positive communication strategies.
Red Marsh School provides advice, guidance and support to mainstream school in this area. Staff are not afraid to embrace new technology and working practices that facilitate enhanced learning opportunities for its pupils. In the school’s organization there is an excellent range of inclusion roles and responsibilities to deliver this.
Success comes from actively using inclusion language intervention strategies. These develop the full potential of children’s cognitive, communication, emotional and social abilities.
Responding to Communication Impairment
Research shows that around 1.5 million people in the U.K have some sort of communication impairment and as many as 600,000 cannot communicate verbally at all without equipment. The ability to communicate is fundamental to a basic quality of life. Having access to the right equipment and support they need is the biggest barrier. Accessibility requires:
• The use of specialist communication aids
• Training and workshops Support is available to mainstream schools. Summary At Red Marsh School we can easily demonstrate that:
• Pupils from all backgrounds can make outstanding progress in the successful use of access technology, whatever their level of attainment.
• Communication aides are used to support the development of creativity in pupils.
• The use of alternative and augmentative communications has a significant and positive impact on pupils' attitudes and motivation.
• The use of high and low tech technology has a significant positive impact on pupil achievement, attendance and behaviour.
• As a school we measure the impact of communication and access technology activities on pupil progress.
• Learners are extremely competent in applying their expertise due to the skill and support of expert staff.
Red Marsh School - AAC & Access Technology for supporting Inclusion
The school encourages social interaction and participation in a wide range of curriculum and social activities, creating a positive communication environment.
Interacting and engaging by selecting a preferred motivational object. Increasing interaction and engagement with a familiar adult. Using a ‘Big Point’ switch to request more time on an activity.
Extending pupil’s vocabulary beyond a one-word level. Using symbols and words to make a three-word sentence. Developing turn-taking and speaking and listening skills.
Developing navigation skills using a communication book Finding the correct category page in the book. Building sentences with prompts.
Using hi-tech communication aids to request lunch. Using a voice output device to reinforce a vocal request. Communicating socially, for example telling a familiar adult a joke, using a hi-tech devise.
This is just a small snap shot of what we do.
Please contact Christine at Red Marsh School for further information regarding visits, and CPD support:
Holly Road, Thornton-Cleveleys FY5 4HH
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