Making Art Accessible for Students with Physical, Visual, Severe and Multiple Disabilities Mari Beth Coleman, Ph.D. Elizabeth Stephanie Cramer, Ed.D. University of Tennessee Importance of Art for Students with Significant Disabilities • Art is a visual language that provides another means of communication • The openness of art instruction (many solutions, not single answers) naturally allows the expressions or voices of multiple learners. • How can all students become empowered and engaged in learning experiences? What Makes an Individual Well Rounded? • Just passed in the Senate is an amendment that states that the arts are essential to a wellrounded person and healthy future • Providing opportunities where all of our students participate in the arts is paramount to assisting our students to becoming more well-rounded • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requires that the abilities and needs of all students are considered in the learning environment so that all learners are included in the classroom as much as possible: Classroom, co-taught classroom and special education teacher, and special education teacher Art • Art is a conduit to experiencing life long learning in ways that are creative and encourage problem finding and solving • Art also provides opportunities to observe, participate in and strengthen aesthetic awareness and critical thinking (likes and dislikes) • Built into art classrooms are ways our students can participate in a community of diverse learners since the art teacher sees almost all students in the school (usually within the week) and has them for the entire time that they attend that school (elementary, middle and/or secondary) Art • One way to provide empowerment to all of our students is through educating ourselves to learn how to provide and model best practices of accommodating and improving accessibility to learning and participating in the rich visual language of art • To make this happen there needs to be collaboration between the special needs educator and the art educator Art Teacher Survey • We recently collected data on a survey regarding accommodating and providing accessibility to students with physical, visual, severe and multiple disabilities • 88 art teachers responded to the survey – Mean years teaching 13.31 – Most (56%) teach 1-10 students with physical, visual, severe, or multiple disabilities per year Results: Preparedness • Ratings of knowledge and skills for teaching art to students without disabilities ranged from somewhat extensive to extensive • Ratings of knowledge and skills for assessing and teaching art to students with physical, visual, severe or multiple disabilities fell between somewhat minimal to medium Types of Assessment Adaptations • For students with physical, visual, severe, and multiple disabilities: – 73.8% assess based on participation – 67.5% assess based on effort – 57.5% assess with modified rubrics – <20% assess with unmodified rubrics, or unmodified quizzes or worksheets Results: Types of Instructional Adaptations • 87.5% provide peer or adult assistance with materials management • 62.5% provide extended time to complete projects • 57.5% provide peer or adult hand-over-hand or hand-under-hand assistance • <50% use: – Special equipment – Modified materials – Projects partially completed by someone else Results: Technology Solutions • Only 52.6% reported having limited knowledge about assistive technology but…. – No technology solutions were reported as being used more than sometimes – Adaptive scissors, large-handled implements, and larger-sized materials were used rarely to sometimes – All others were used between never or rarely. Terminology • Types of Disabilities We Will Discuss – Vision Impairment • Low vision • Legal blindness – Complex Communication Needs – Physical Disabilities – Intellectual Disabilities – Multiple Disabilities • Adaptations (Accommodations, Modifications, & Assistive Technology) Adaptations • Accommodations – Adaptations that do not result in changes to the number or level of standards achieved – Most students with mild disabilities will only receive accommodations – Students with visual or physical disabilities may need significant accommodations to meet all standards • Modifications – Expectations for standards achievement altered – Generally for students with moderate to profound intellectual disabilities • Assistive Technology AT • Assistive technology is defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act as, “…any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.” Levels of AT • No Tech – accommodations or modifications • Low Tech • Middle Tech • High Tech Basics of Working with Students who have Disabilities • People First Language & Disability Etiquette – Disabilityisnatural.com – Language places person first (e.g., “a child with a disability” instead of “a disabled child”). • Understand differences in background knowledge and concept development • Partial Participation Vision Loss Vision Loss: Levels of Participation • • • • Independent Independent with materials assistance Independent with alternate materials Partial assistance - partially prepared materials such as cutting with scissors • Partial physical assistance (HUH) • Alternate mode (e.g., express through clay instead of paint) Strategies for Students with Visual Losses Vision Adaptations • Students with low vision – Contrast – Color (e.g., black text on yellow background) – Brighter colors (fluorescent colors work well for some). – Light box – Enlarged text or graphics • • • • Copier Magnifiers CCTV Computerized (backlight helps) with or without magnifier (located in control panel) Vision Adaptations • For students with more severe visual losses – Auditory access to text: CD, MP3, text-tospeech software such as ReadPlease Free (PC) or Natural Reader (Mac). – Tactile rather than visual materials – Different medium to use other senses (e.g., represent art elements in clay rather than paint) Complex Communication Needs Communication Impairments: Levels of Participation • Student communicates verbally • Student communicates every message with communication device • Student communicates most thoughts independently via communication device • Student makes most choices via pointing, gesturing, or using a communication device • Student participates in only some choicemaking by gesturing, pointing, or using a communication device Strategies for Students with Communication Impairments Communication Strategies • WAIT! • Build in opportunities to communicate • Have boards with specific vocabulary available and ask the special education staff to train the student how to use them AT: Communication Devices • Low tech – Created with specific software or images pasted into a word processing document – Different boards with vocabulary for each primary form of art: painting, clay, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, collage, fiber, etc. – Number of items should be consistent with student’s cognitive, physical, and visual abilities • Middle tech – One message – program something that can be used frequently (I want more paint) – Multiple messages – vocabulary specific Low Tech: Created with Boardmaker Software • General Art Page Low Tech: Images in Word Table • Simple page for painting activity Low Tech: Boardmaker • Interactive phrases Mid Tech Devices • One message – something that can be repeated to provide more interactive experience (e.g., “I need more”) • Multiple messages: Help special educator decide vocabulary / phrases AT: High Tech Communication Devices • Help the special educator design boards for each type of activity • Make sure there are items that allow the student to get needs met in class (e.g., requesting materials) and have social interactions (e.g., questioning, commenting) • Art educators need to talk with your special education teachers and describe your needs for the classroom High Tech: Computerized Communication Board for Painting Activity Physical Disability Physical Disabilities: Levels of Participation **Physical disability does not mean intellectual disability – regardless of severity or inability to speak** • Independent with accommodations such as more time and adapted tools • Assistance with materials • Verbally directing others to assist • Partial physical assistance (hand-underhand or partial completion) • Full physical assistance • Alternative activities (if they provide a more meaningful experience through art) Strategies for Students with Physical Disabilities • Nonslip material • Slantboards! • Positioning equipment (even rolled up towels can make a big difference in ability to access and use materials) Strategies, cont. Physical Adaptations • Adapted implements – Shorter – Large handles – Rounded • Adaptive scissors / cutting – Spring open – Double loop – Platform – Pre-cut materials Physical Adaptations, cont. • Clay alternatives – Use of tools instead of hands – Creating parts and directing others to put together • Painting/drawing alternatives (only if more meaningful) – Use of pictures from other sources as part of product (e.g., magazines, internet) – Stamps instead of writing or drawing – Battery-operated (switch adapted if needed) scribbling or painting devices – Computerized drawing or painting software (e.g., TuxPaint). Tux Paint Intellectual/Multiple Disabilities Moderate to Profound Intellectual Disabilities: Levels of Participation • Foster independence in any way possible through adaptations previously discussed. • Modifications (alterations to number and/or level of standards achieved – but still standards-based!) Strategies for Students with Intellectual Disabilities • Modifications: Students with ID – Instruction • Mountain peaks Most Students Students with Gifts/Talents • Students with severe/profound ID: Consider the addition of alternate activities (e.g., switch painting program) – Decision point: What is more meaningful - an art project completed by a paraprofessional or the student learning a concept through art (e.g., communication skill such as “more” or cause & effect)? Students with MoID/SID/PID • Example of modified objectives and assessment • Elementary school student with MOID – Derrick will demonstrate an understanding of one of the art elements by pointing to examples when asked 4/5 opportunities. • High school student with SID – Juanita will actively view examples of impressionism by clicking a switch to activate a PowerPoint presentation containing the art of famous impressionists at least 5 independent clicks in a given session 4/5 sessions. • Assessment – Data collection, including writing and filming – Modified rubrics – student is accountable for partial acquisition of standards or rubric indicates amount of Example of Cause & Effect PowerPoint Presentations for Art History for a Student with a Severe Intellectual Disability • Student hits a switch to advance slides. • Teaches causality and provides control over environment • One way to address teaching standards • Used in addition to other art activities Impressionism: Claude Monet • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a4/Claude_Monet_1899_Nadar_crop.jpg/200pxClaude_Monet_1899_Nadar_crop.jpg Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge (1897-1899) http://www.visitingdc.com/images/claude-monet-picture.jpg Example of a PowerPoint that could be used with students who have moderate to severe intellectual disabilities • Provides extra practice on fewer standards • Used in addition to other art activities Elements of Art •Line •Shape •Color LINES A line is the path of a point moving through space. Let’s look at some lines Straight lines Wavy lines Working with Paraprofessionals • Training & rationale! • Concept of process over product may need to be explained • Provide the paraprofessional with a list of task steps with levels of partial participation specified • Communicate with the paraprofessional about your expectations. Ask them to help you engage the student in participating as fully as possible Task Analysis Task Analysis Steps: 1. Select materials 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Level of Participation Expected: Verbal direction Resources • Coleman, M. B. (in press). Successful implementation of assistive technology to promote access to curriculum and instruction for students with physical disabilities. Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services. • Coleman, M. B., Cramer, E. S., & Bell, S. M. (in preparation). Art educators’ knowledge, attitudes, and experiences working with students who have physical, visual, severe, and multiple disabilities. • Coleman, M. B., & Heller, K. W. (2009). Assistive technology considerations. In K. W. Heller, P. E. Forney, P. A. Alberto, S. J. Best & M. N. Swartzman (Eds.), Understanding Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities (2nd ed., pp. 139-153). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. • Gerber, B. L. & Guay, D. M. (Eds.). (2006, 2007). Reaching and teaching students with special needs. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. • Gerber, B. L. & Kellman, J. (2010). Understanding students with autism through art. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. • Guay, B. L. (2003). Paraeducators in art classrooms, issues of culture, leadership, and special needs. Studies in Art Education, 45(1), 20-39. • Nyman, A. L. & Jenkins, A. M. (Eds.). (1999). Issues and approaches to art for students with special needs. Reston, VA: National Art Education Association. • Vize, A. (2005). Making art activities work for students with special needs. Arts and Activities, 138(4), 17, 41. • Zederayko, M. W. & Ward, K. (1999). What to do when students can’t hold a pencil. Art Education, 52(4), 18-22.