You are here: REHACARE Portal. Up-to-date. Archive. Braille.
Improving Schools for Disabled Students
Small changes to school can have
big effects; © sxc
Research Architect B. Lynn Hutchings believes that by making a few practical, effective and relatively inexpensive changes to school buildings, they can become better environments for students with physical, intellectual, and sensory disabilities.
"Not surprisingly, we found that most of our design recommendations developed for students with disabilities work better for all students, and allow teachers to work with students in settings that better meet everyone's needs," Hutchings said.
Building design should foster social interaction and cooperation by eliminating stigma and segregation. Students with physical disabilities should use the same entrances to the school and interior rooms as other students.
"Don't group specialties such as speech, occupational therapy or physical therapy in a special education wing, but integrate them throughout the school," Hutchings said.
Auditoriums should have ramped aisles and stages and wheelchair spaces intermixed with fixed seating, to enable students with mobility devices to sit with peers. If these students must use an elevator, allow them to choose one or more peers to accompany them so that the trip becomes a privilege, rather than stigmatizing.
Building signs in Braille and easy-to-read lettering, known as redundant cuing, should be used. Also color-coded wings, floors or pods and landmarks would be useful, which could feature art displays or photographs or a bright color for walls or moldings. Alcoves for small group activities should be set up. "Anything to distinguish one hallway from another is helpful," Hutchings said.
REHACARE.de; Source: New Jersey’s Science and Technology University
- More about the New Jersey’s Science and Technology University at www.njit.edu