Exploring and reflecting on meaningful pathways to inclusive and personalized learning and living for students with complex needs because education should prepare all students for a lifetime of inclusion, connection, growth and learning.
I'm currently reading the book When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Mate. Over the past couple of years, I have becoming increasingly more fascinated with the mind-body connection as my job has expanded from working with students who have "disability" labels to those with "social/emotional/behavioural" labels. When I was taking my Masters and studying inclusive practices for students with "significant disabilities" I would often come across statements about the two categories of students who experience institutional discrimination and then would quickly skim over the material related to this second group so that I could get to my group of focus. I was looking for any material that would embrace the social model of disability.
The social model of disability is a civil right based approach to disability developed by disabled people. It focuses on challenging and removing barriers which prevent disabled people from living full and ac…
Last week I traveled to Pittsburgh to attend a Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar (PALSS) to learn more about core vocabulary, descriptive teaching, language development and the use of Minspeak language systems. The seminar itself was held in the Semantic Compaction Systems (SCS) office in Pittsburgh and all seminar attendants stayed in SCS guest houses. The days were filled with learning and the evenings with time to process, socialize and connect. It was both an incredibly learning and a wonderful social experience.
As with any learning experience, it will take me some time to piece together what all this new information means when converted in to practice. There was definitely a lot that applied specifically to Minspeak but there was also much that can be applied more generally to thinking about language development for students with complex communication needs.
The Goal is Language Acquisition
The emphasis throughout the seminar was about focusing on language acquistion when working …