I'm in the midst of getting ready to present at our Natioanal Art
Convention in Chicago in April. My presentation is the use of computers to
enhance visual learning for group of students who have had little contact
with creating visual images throughout their lives.
My project is to offer actual projects to a wonderful 16 year-old young
lady who has CP (Cerebral Palsy). She has no control of her arms and her
total world is controled by a head switch on her electric wheelchair and
other periferrals connected to this system. Her exposure to art, up to
last year, was to observe art classes and direct an aid what to do for her.
Last year we configured a "homemade" halo system to hold a magic marker
and she was able to make her first "marks" in her life!!!! We also used
this "system" to hold a digitizing tablet pen to use a computer for her
work. What a joy it has been to watch her progress in her ability to
control this primative system.
Through a long and very frustrating period I have been able to apply for
and receive a series of large and small grants to equip a fully handicapped
accessible computer station to go further than my early system would allow.
My district supplied no money for this project!
My question is have any of you involved this segment of the population in
your classes? Do they have direct access to computers to enhance their
visual world beyond what an aid can provide? If so, have you been
frustrated with the results because of a lack of technology, or perhaps a
lack of time to devote your energies to these students? I firmly believe we
as art teachers can make a huge difference in the world for this segment of
the population Any response would be greatly appreciated. I believe I'm
on the edge of a discovery which can help art education nation wide.
The title of my presentation is "Opening the Visual World to Those Who Have
Never Entered". I will be presenting on Wed. from 5:00- 5:00PM PDR3.
Please come if your going to the convention. My presentation is at the
same time as Eiser's talk, so I need to drum up people to come and be
involved in this project!!!!!
Thank you so much for what ever help you may be able to supply.
Menomonie High School
1715 5th St. West
Menomonie, WI 54751