Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Case Study...

Here is a very interesting case.  We have a young woman who was enrolled in our school this year.  Let's call her Poe.  She is from Burma, and speaks very little English, however she does have some functional comprehension skills.  Poe also has some physical issues which result in small stature, (she is approximately 4 feet tall), and because of short digits, she experiences some difficulty with fine motor tasks.  Poe is preparing to graduate high school in a few weeks.

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) was called in to help place Poe into work, and to provide interventions to allow her success.  Poe's job placement will be with a house and office cleaning agency.  The immediate difficulty anticipated include communication with her supervisor, fellow staff, and even clients.  Based on the recommendations of our wonderful local community-based Assistive Technology Program, Poe will be using an iPad.  She is currently in a trial program using a few specific apps, including Visual Impact Pro, iBurmese, and So Much 2 Say.

A video page from VIP
Visual Impact Pro (VIP) is a nifty app from the makers of Task Builder, one of my favorite pieces of computer software.  VIP will let us create multimedia task instructional sequences, and visual modeling vignettes for the cleaning tasks Poe will be responsible for. Think - Power Point presentation for your iPad, with text and video for each page. The best part, is you can make your video right on the iPad. The hope/expectation is that between the verbal directions, and the visual modeling, Poe will be able to comprehend what is needed of her in each task, despite the language barrier.

translation page
iBurmese is an app that proved to be more fun then any of us expected. Poe quickly begin navigating the app independently and teaching us Burmese (though we were poor students).  iBurmese is the first ever app for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad providing common useful Burmese (Myanmar) language phrases, both spoken and in Burmese language script.  The purpose of this app is to provide Poe and her colleagues with a simple way to communicate.  We recognize that it may have some practical limitations, but it should be a decent place to start.

Simple Communication Page
A third special app that we will be trying is called So Much 2 Say (SM2S).  SM2S is a picture communication AAC iPad app that is designed specifically for individuals with cognitive and language impairment. With flexible page layout options ranging from a single card per page to multiple pages of categories, So Much 2 Say is well suited to adapt and grow right along side with the Learner. Intuitive configuration options and fast card creation allow for virtually anyone to quickly update and tune SM2S to best fit the needs of the Learner in multiple settings.  Using the built-in camera Poe will be able to make cards of new objects on the spot.

In addition, we hope to get the VR staff and Poe's work supervisor to setup a Google calendar on the iPad so they can set important dates with the built in reminder features setup.

We have really just begun introducing the iPad and apps to Poe. Until she's had time to use them at work, bump into problems, and solve those problems we won't know how successful this will be.  I hope to post again regarding her adventures when we have more to share.

As usual, your thoughts are welcome!

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