EC&I 833 Week 4 – Assistive Technologies

The blog topic for our final week of class is on Assistive Technology. As stated by Young & MacCormick, “assistive technology refers to the devices and services that are used to increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of a student with a disability” (2021, page 1). Many of the devices that we learned about in this weeks presentation were new to me, but after reading the articles, I realized that I do use assistive technology on a daily basis. In my classroom, we use many low tech devices to assist not only the Inclusive Education students, but to accommodate all learners. Devices such as electric pencil sharpeners, color coded baskets, alphabet and handwriting strips, white board tables, portable whiteboard, alternate seating plan, and beanie bags are included in classroom planning. Technological devices we use are interactive smart board, document scanner, headphones, tablet/chromebook, laptops, mobile devices and digital cameras.

Universal Design for Learning principles support the inclusion of all students in our school. Inclusive accommodations include a culture room that is circular with a platform for tiered seating, outdoor tipi classroom, hallway with a skylight that provides natural light, circular tables in the hallway, extra wide hallways, wheelchair accessible doors, and an elevator. In terms of our cultural programming, “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people” (ACCESS Project, 2011), has been considered when planning takes place. Where and when to host cultural programming for all students is highly considered. The use of a large space to host workshops is essential for freedom of movement. Most of our cultural space is circular with the instructor/facilitator in the center. This allows for enhanced hearing and speaking ability. Cultural protocols are sensitive to each learner and their unique abilities.

The impact of using assistive technology in the classroom must be considered. I like how Cranmer summed up inclusive education as “inclusive education is based on the assertion that all children should be enabled to access an equivalent education to that of their non-disable peers” (2020, page 317). We can incorporate daily practice with assistive technology by creating a classroom that supports all learners, that is inclusive of all abilities, by providing assistive technology as part of daily learning.

Ekosi. Thank you for reading by blog!

Ramona

7 thoughts on “EC&I 833 Week 4 – Assistive Technologies

  1. Thanks for your post Ramona. Your cultural space sounds amazing and well utilized. Daniel spoke of Ermine’s ‘Ethical Space of Engagement’ in his post, having a physical space in your school where community and school can meet may assist in building the bridge between the two.

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    1. Thank you for the comment Janelle. Our Culture Room was designed specifically for cultural inclusion. This is the physical space were community meets with school. Lots of good things happen. Community engages with our students and offer Cree language, learning workshops, ribbon skirt projects, cradleboard teaching, feasts, drumming…to name only a few. Inclusive to all students! Thank you again

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ramona, the passion you have for teaching and your students are very evident in your posts. The many different things your school is doing to get students engaged, involved in their learning, all while building a sense of belonging within the community is quite admirable. It is refreshing to know how hard you are working to make learning and school more inclusive, and you are willing to try new things to get students comfortable. The many experiences you shared with us this semester have been so interesting and thought-provoking. I feel very fortunate to have been able to listen to your stories, and I would love to see your school in action someday. Thanks for a great semester of learning!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I feel very encouraged from everyone in this group. My teaching experience has been from an Indigenous perspective as I have only been teaching at First Nation schools. I have learned so much from our Professor and fellow grad students. I am always available to share and hope to keep in touch with some of the class. Thank you

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  3. The cultural room sounds awesome. We have one as well that I am hoping to utilize more. We just started this past year doing smudges with the staff and students. I would love to see some photos if you have any.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Summary of Learning has lots of pictures. Please view and enjoy. Thank you for the wonderful semester of learning.

      Like

  4. Thank you! I feel very encouraged from everyone in this group. My teaching experience has been from an Indigenous perspective as I have only been teaching at First Nation schools. I have learned so much from our Professor and fellow grad students. I am always available to share and hope to keep in touch with some of the class. Thank you

    Like

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