We are committed to developing our students into ICT literate citizens who are well prepared for life in the 21st Century. Some of the pupils at the school require an alternative communication system to assist their social, emotional and educational development.
The pupils use communication books based on either Mayer Johnson picture communication symbols or Rebus. Some pupils also use voice output communication aids, computer-based devices to enable them to learn more complex language skills and to communicate independently with a spoken output. The school actively encourages the use of technology to support communication and independence, for example the use of Eye Gaze technology.
The school has designated support who is responsible for ensuring that the most severely disabled students are able to take full advantage of the latest switch control technology with everything from simple cause-and-effect software to scanning predictive word processing systems which incorporates audio feedback.
Computers form a large part of all of our lives and for young people with disabilities this is especially true, whether this be to communicate using a talker or to find out about accessible leisure activities. We have a very practical approach to ICT that involves reviewing what the pupils want and need to learn. For example, computer based communication can be liberating for young people who find it hard to get out and about, so we not only teach them the skills involved, but also help them to physically access the computer. We teach them about using switches, scanning onscreen keyboard, eye gaze technology, voice activated systems and mobile phones. Where appropriate students are taught about computer science and how to code. Internet safety is very important to us and we ensure all our young people know how to stay safe and what to do if there is a problem on the computer.
Technology is a means for our students to access the world around them. This is in addition to following the National Computing programme of study.