Our student population is incredibly diverse, but no matter the level of ability, technology plays a critical role in providing a successful education and a rich quality of life. Whether it’s a speech-generating device or customized grips for a pencil or a mobile app that makes it possible for a student—for the first time—to enjoy reading Call of the Wild, at Crotched Mountain School innovation breeds independence.
The I’s Have It
Mobile tech like iPads and speech-generating devices have become a key factor in giving our students the ability to interact with their peers, staff, teachers, and surroundings. Book reading, scheduling, text-highlighting, Smart Board interaction, basic communication–if there’s an app for that, we’ll find it!
Remember those? We understand that for some students, music can offer a much-needed therapeutic benefit that helps with anxiety and sensory issues. And instead of a phone, which can open up a host of distractions, the iPod—in all its prehistoric glory!—delivers music, and music only.
- Eye Tracking
For students with profound disabilities that limit movement and communication, the groundbreaking Eyegaze assistive technology tracks their eye movements, allowing them to interact with a screen, communicate, or even use Bluetooth to close the curtains!
On-campus, we have a rehab engineering department that can make repairs, create environmental modifications, and individualize technology to a student’s needs. Whether it’s an iPad key-guard fabricated specifically for someone’s finger size or big red buttons built for functionality and accessibility or custom safety equipment, what they produce on a daily basis is something you probably won’t find anywhere else!
A Digital and Analog Experience
Sometimes you need the cutting-edge. Sometimes you need the tried-and-true. In our technology classroom, we have a 3D printer to manufacture tactile cues for students with visual impairments or perhaps to generate custom models for science class (what does a molecule look like? Let’s just make one!)
But advanced circuitry isn’t always needed. We use communication boards and books filled with symbols and pictures, we create simple, paper-based social stories to help prepare students for upcoming events, and we’ll work with our Occupational Therapists to outfit our campus with things like utensil grips and adaptive tables. With us, it can be as simple as putting tape on the floor to help guide a student’s vacuum pattern.