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Lesson Plans

Re: art classroom design for special needs children

From: Melissa Enderle (melissae)
Date: Fri Jul 21 2000 - 17:58:13 PDT

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    > I have been asked to design an art room for the special needs children I
    >work with at a local art center. The children have physical, developmental
    >and emotional disabilities. A prominent local foundation has agreed to
    >provide the capital if I can design a room in our new art center. If anyone
    >has any ideas for an exciting and nurturing environment I would love to
    >brainstorm with you. My e-mail address is LArt Express Thank you for
    >your time and expertise.

    You sure do have a great opportunity. The main thing that I focus on
    (especially with the students with physical disabilities) is to
    provide maximum independence. What others have suggested - adjustable
    tables (also have some that will provide tilting, as some students
    have limited mobility and need the work right up to their body),
    sinks and chalkboards that you can roll right up to, etc. Also think
    about access to the art supplies. Have cabinets or drawers on
    wheelchair level so all students can have access to needed supplies.
    Think about the type of handles in the doors, have wider doors and
    aisles so wheelchairs can get close to them. Have cupboards that lock
    up, so items that students (especially those with emotional
    disabilities) should not have access to can be kept out of harm's
    way. Make sure that you have good adaptive supplies - especially
    scissors which are nearly impossible to make or adapt yourself. I
    would ask for some money to spend on supplies once I got to know the
    students - what special supplies would fit their needs. Get adequate
    lighting that is adjustable, especially for the students with visual
    impairments and even for the ones with emotional disabilities (they
    might want lower lighting). As far as the computer, I'd be happy to
    discuss with you what you might want. I just finished my Master's in
    Assistive Technology and made a CD that is full of stuff that would
    help introduce art teachers to items and software that would be
    helpful to them in the area of assistive technology in art.

                        |          Melissa Enderle         |
                      /)|        melissae       |(\
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                  __(  (  art teacher/ adaptive art   /_)   ) )__
                 ((( \  \   /_)                      /  /  /  ) ))
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    Melissa Enderle


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