Inclusive Education Center School No.1 Sibiu
One of the special schools that had the opportunity to implement alternative and augmentative communication program designed by Widgit.
No.1 CSEI Sibiu is a special school that provides education for pupils with special educational needs aged 7 to 14 years and have various organic or psychological disabilities.
What is Widgit ?
A project for accessibility in communication through symbols,wich came to support disabled people with language learning difficulties to gain independence in communication.
Widgit in our school.
Widgit has been used in our school to help students with learning difficulties to engage in learning tasks, for raising accessibility of information both in teaching and curricular materials and the therapeutic activities and class management.
And here is the story told in pictures, how the programs helped to increase involvement in learning tasks and improved attitudes towards learning.
"C" is a student trained at home, due to particular medical condition. Because reading and writing skills are very limited, in conditions of severe mental deficiency, knowledge of appropriate reading experience is achieved with difficulty. In support of this difficulty, Widgit comes with a wonderful collection of stories told by symbolized pictures that can be presented in a variety of ways that emphasize students' ability to detect information. Oral presentation of the story followed by exercises of nomination-recognition of images created an extremely stimulating environment for the student.
Widgit symbols, grouped very well on sensory knowledge units, allowed the development of sensory stimulation activities (an activity centered on the concept of form, illustrated above) which may take the form of the game (game of dominoes, in the picture above, on household objects, the personal autonomy).
Using accessible and illustrative images offered by Widgit resulted immediately increasing interest in reading and enrichment sensory experience activities.
Writing and reading is an area where many of our school pupils are experiencing difficulties as a consequence of present deficiencies (students with cerebral palsy, severe mental disability students, students with very weak reading-writing skills due to social and educational reasons, and other deficiencies) and most times are accompanied by manifestations of negativism and lack of interest in activities that involve writing, reading.
The symbols and images that accompany text is a strong support for increasing the accessibility of information transmitted. For student "A" with cerebral palsy, who writes and reads in a very slow pace for his age (13 years) Widgit symbols and images that accompany the text were a valuable intuitive support and a means to increase motivation for reading and writing .
In our school we have made lots of prints for class management like visual timetables, stories displaing board and materials for sensory stimulation activities, chips, flashcards, etc.. More accessible information on the timetable with the Widgit symbols had a noticeable effect among students.
InPrint is a valuable resource for teachers, due to its simplicity of use, in making worksheets and other materials for the class (in the image above is shown the realisation of a student book for the English class).