In this video, Ira Padhye presents a calendar system developed for one of her students with low vision. Ira discusses the transition from whole to partial objects as well as the construction of the calendar system. In addition, Ira also talks about how she incorporates choicemaking in the calendar system.
PADHYE: Hi, my name is Ira Padhye and today we're going to be talking about calendar systems.
Now, this calendar system in particular was developed for a student in my classroom. She is totally blind, with a severe to profound hearing loss.
She's on a calendar system that is comprised of partial object symbols.
NARRATOR: Ira displays an example of a partial object symbol.
It is a head of a white plastic spoon that has been mounted on a durable, black card, about 2 inches by 3 inches.
The card also has a Braille tape label that reads "lunch".
PADHYE: And when she was younger, she used to use whole objects, which means, for example, for lunchtime she used to have a whole spoon that represented meal times.
And now, we've scaled it down to only part of the object, which means we've only used the head of the spoon. We mounted it on a solid backing, so that she can distinguish between the actual object and a symbol, which is used for communicating. Now, each symbol has a partial object and a Braille label.
This student in particular is not comprehending Braille right now but I try to label as much of her symbols with Braille as possible to give her as much exposure to language as possible. Everyday, she comes to school and we put together her schedule for the day. We work on locating the appropriate symbol.
So first, I sign to her what her first activity is going to be.
For example, "It's time for a snack." I give her a choice of two symbols, and she has to identify the appropriate symbol for the sign that I just presented to her.
NARRATOR: The partial object symbols are presented to the student on a long, rectangular board, covered with black Veltex.
In this case, the student chooses between a plastic fork (the correct symbol for snack) and a piece of blue paper with a yellow, fabric, letter "M" that symbolizes "Meeting".
PADHYE: She'll pick her snack symbol and she'll mount it up on the schedule system.
NARRATOR: The schedule system, which sits on a desk to Ira's left, is a long board, perhaps 4 feet that is separated into 12 vertical sections, each of which has a strip of Velcro tape from top to bottom.
The symbols at the top of the sections denote the activities of the day, in chronological order.
For example, the symbol for "leisure activity" is a puzzle piece, the symbol for table-top activity is a piece of duplo block.
PADHYE: After she's picked her first activity, I try to incorporate as many choices as possible.
Now, choices give our kids a sense of self-advocacy and gives her a sense of control that, oftentimes, people with disabilities feel like they don't have. So, for example, for "snack", she gets to pick what she is going to have for a snack.
NARRATOR: On the Veltex-covered board, three partial object symbols are presented: a small, yogurt container that has been cut in half, vertically; the cover illustration from a single- serving box of Rice Krispies; and the wrapper from a cereal bar.
PADHYE:"Do you want yogurt? Do you want some cereal? Or, would you like a cereal bar?"
She picks her choice and so she mounts it up. So, she gets as much information as she can about her/each activity, so, "For snack, I am going to be having a cereal bar."
So, we go through this for all of her activities and in places where she can make a choice, I give her her choices.
So, in terms of her leisure-time activities, I give her three choices:
"Do you want to play with your buttons?"
"Do you want to play with some moon sand?"
"Or, do you want to play with your blocks?"
She picks her choice and she'll mount it up.
NARRATOR: In this case, Ira moves the symbol for "moon sand" into the column topped by the puzzle piece, or leisure activity. The next activity will be a "table top" activity.
PADHYE: Same with her table-time activities.
So, she has three table-time activities during her day and these are her choices. So, this way, she can pick when she wants to do each activity. Now this schedule system is located in the same place, in her area so she can refer back to it anytime she wants.
She can review her schedule by herself or with a staff member and then, after each activity is finished, she can refer back to it and take off her completed activity and put it in a little "finished" bucket if she would like.
Now, the schedule system can also be transportable, so she can load it up into a little book if she is on the go.
NARRATOR: Ira is transferring some of the symbols from the permanent system to a portable system. The portable system is a folder with several Veltex pages and a pink, fabric pouch on the outside. It also has a shoulder strap.
PADHYE: So, after each activity, she can take her symbol and put it in her "finished" pouch and she can take it with her, on the go.
In terms of construction, this is made mainly of wood, mainly for its durability.
My student needs something that's a little bit more sturdy. It has wooden dividers that divide each activity, and it has a Velcro tape from top to bottom, so we can add as many symbols to each section.
And that is today's Teachable Moment!