ERIC Number: EJ1092948
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Reference Count: 24
Switch on the Learning: Teaching Students with Significant Disabilities to Use Switches
Schaefer, John M.; Andzik, Natalie R.
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v48 n4 p204-212 Mar-Apr 2016
Students with significant disabilities often struggle to communicate their wants and needs but can be taught widely recognizable communication with the aid of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) supports. Simple speech generating devices (SGDs) such as Step-by-Step switches or GoTalk can be used by students to send specific messages. However, teaching a student with a significant disability how to use and independently initiate switch use can be a challenge. The first step to helping students is providing teachers with a step-by-step switch training plan in "switching on the learning." In this article, John M. Schaefer and Natalie R. Andzik offer a step-by- step training plan with examples from learning to activate a single toy with a single switch through discriminating and making choices. They also include monitoring for important benchmarks along the learning journey. As with any skill, effective instruction dictates that is it the student's performance (i.e., the data) that informs when to move on to the next step because the eventual goal is the student's independence.
Descriptors: Assistive Technology, Severe Disabilities, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Toys, Teaching Methods, Accessibility (for Disabled), Reinforcement, Skill Development, Decision Making, Generalization
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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