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ERIC Number: EJ1008210
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
A Field Study of a Standardized Tangible Symbol System for Learners Who Are Visually Impaired and Have Multiple Disabilities
Trief, Ellen; Cascella, Paul W.; Bruce, Susan M.
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v107 n3 p180-191 May-Jun 2013
Introduction: The study reported in this article tracked the learning rate of 43 children with multiple disabilities and visual impairments who had limited to no verbal language across seven months of classroom-based intervention using a standardized set of tangible symbols. Methods: The participants were introduced to tangible symbols on a daily basis during a seven-month field study. The tangible symbols were embedded into the curriculum during daily classroom routines and were used in addition to any other forms of expressive or receptive communication that were already in place in the classroom. The data were collected daily from teachers and therapists. Throughout the seven-month period, data were recorded for 30,220 opportunities to use tangible symbols. The participants had 2 to 9 recorded opportunities to use tangible symbols per day throughout the study. Results: Over a four-month period, the participants identified 46% of the tangible symbols to which they were exposed, and cognitive, language, play, and symbolism skills were not factors related to the successful acquisition of tangible symbols. The strongest predictor of outcome was independent ambulation, and seven symbols were the most often identified. In addition, decontextualized pre-and posttesting proved less effective as a measurement tool than did daily classroom probes immediately following activities. Discussion: The results suggest that even children with the most severe impairments were able to identify the use of many of the tangible symbols. Implications for practitioners: One implication of this research is that data collection allows teachers or therapists to measure progress in the acquisition of tangible symbols objectively and that it fosters the development of goals for the students' Individualized Education Programs. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A