Thursday, June 7, 2007

Tactile Schedule Book

A few days ago I wrote about how I made a tactile/texture schedule board. Well, in preparation for sending my student to summer school, where he will have a different teacher, I transfered the board to a book. Our summer school is outdoors and more like a camp. If the materials my students are using aren't clear and understandable to the summer staff they don't get used. However, things frequently get dirty, nearly destroyed or totally annihilated at summer school, so you don't want to send anything priceless or that cannot be remade.

I wanted to make the tactile schedule easier to use as learning or looking up the meaning for every tactile symbol and then arranging them daily on a Go! Board is not the type of thing that works well at our summer school. I also wanted a more portable system.

Using Boardmaker, I printed full page black and white PCS symbols on white heavy card stock, and slipped them into heavy duty pocket protectors. I attached the correlating tactile/texture symbol to each page using plastic ties or hot glue (depending on the object). I made sure the tactile symbols were really well attached by yanking on them full force and even dangling the binder by the various attached symbols. All of the schedule pages were then put into a big white binder with those see through covers. In the clear cover on the back I typed out instruction for use and the front cover I adapted to be tactile, so the student can distinguish his binder from others.

To my delight, after just four days using the binder instead of the old tactile schedule the student is able to flip through it and, using touch only, find the page that represents what is next in the day. In fact, today he sat down in his seat and the paraprofessional showed him (hand over hand) that the book was open to bathroom, which was next on his schedule. He reached out and flipped through the pages, finding the tactile symbol for life skills group and opening the binder to that instead. What was interesting about him doing that was he only has life skills group on Thursdays, and has only been in the group for a couple of months, so it was surprising that he was right. He has had a continuously difficult time adjusting to Thursdays being different because of life skills group. Today he showed us the symbol for life skills group first thing in the morning, on the right day, and then, for the first time, made it through the group without a problem.

It was practically miraculous.

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