Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mobility Experiences in the Community

This was another day where I learned a lot from the people I work with. One of the topics that came up which just made a lot of sense had to do with varied mobility options in the community. The staff talked about having the students who are able to walk with various pieces of equipment use them in the stores not as a part of traditional community based instruction, but as pure exploration through a different perspective. Many times we make the decision to use the student's wheelchair or stroller because the focus of the experience is on learning how to shop, make a choice, bank, apply for a job etc. Using the more supportive device allows the student to focus on different aspects of the experience. What we forget sometimes is we should flip this around. Why aren't we going to the stores for the sole purpose of exploration through a different form of mobility. The experience is so motivating for the student. This additional learning experience can only add to their understanding and knowledge of their world. It is a simple but incredibly important opportunity we should consider including on a regular basis.


  1. This makes me think about what I learned in a fantastic AAC class. The idea that communication devices should be available for free exploration, making errors and finding the icons through self directed exploration. With constructivism approach to learning students create their own meaning through contact with materials and ideas, but we frequently deny this to students with disabilities. We spend so much time focusing on the task or content to be learned that we may forget why it is important; to be able to use in daily life. Even with the best intentions, we have to look outside of our daily lessons, yearly goals, to see that the heart of any education is the student. Let's not deny them a valid and more "typical" school day, where mistakes get made, kids get silly or rude, disagreements occur and resolved, etc. Susan M

    1. Great point. Freedom to explore without making every moment an explicit part of instruction is essential. We need let our students just engage with their environment and materials without taking data on every move they make. Some of it has to be spontaneous interaction and learning. It is only through these experiences along with explicit instruction that sustained progress will be made. We are great with the explicit instruction. We need to give them a lot more opportunities to just explore.