Assistive Technology in Action
Welcoming teachers from The Netherlands
On Thursday 30 and Friday 31 March, Charlton Park Academy (CPA) & CENMAC welcomed two groups of special educational needs teachers from The Special Education Group, Onderwijsgroep Buitengewoon, based in The Netherlands. This group is an umbrella organisation of seven schools for secondary special education offering children and young people extra support and guidance. This is the first time the group has been able to visit us since before the pandemic. The aim of the day was to show some of the fantastic assistive technologies that Charlton Park Academy has to support, educate and motivate students in action.
The power of Soundbeam
James, CPA’s music teacher demonstrated the power of Soundbeam with some of our students showing how they interact with the software by using switches to produce sound and light.
It was a great chance for our visitors to get involved and see how much the students enjoy making music.
Preparing students for life beyond school
CPA’s Vocational and Career Lead, Berenger Allee, gave a talk about preparing students for life beyond school. He spoke of the importance of teaching students life skills using platforms such as Talentino which provides careers guidance through specialist SEND careers programmes. CPA also has some great equipment in the Design & Technology classroom where the students learn vocational skills. Some of his students came along to show our visitors the products they have made such as key rings using professional tools.
Abdi Omar’s AAC Chat Group
Abdi Omar, CENMAC’s AAC Consultant, gave a wonderful demonstration of how he teaches the students at CPA to use their AAC devices to communicate with a fun quiz.
The visiting teachers were all given AAC devices so they could play along. Abdi encourages our students to use their devices as much as possible, as the more they use their devices, the more confident they become and are far less likely to abandon their devices.
Giving students a sensory experience with Magic Room
CPA student Danny demonstrated how he can control Magic Room by Sensory Guru.
With Magic Room the classroom can be transformed into the ocean, a farm or even outer space with moving images beamed onto the walls of the room and surround sound all controlled by the students using eye gaze, switches, or even through their AAC device.
Turning signs into spoken language
Ed Hill, Founder and CEO of BrightSign came along to demonstrate the amazing glove that they have developed that can translate any sign into spoken language instantly.
The glove even enabled Ed to speak to our visitors in Dutch!
Finally Advisory Teacher David demonstrated OrCam Read which is an amazing device that reads aloud printed text for people with reading difficulties including dyslexia.
David also showed off the ever popular QTRobot an expressive social robot particularly helpful for communicating with children and young people with autism.
Reserve your ticket to Communication Works 18th May
Our annual event Communication Works is taking place on Thursday 18th May. Many assistive technology companies including BrightSign, OrCam, Luxai, Sensory Guru and more will be there so you can see and try out these amazing assistive technologies for yourself.
Our seminar programme for the day will feature many of our students demonstrating the assistive technologies live. Find out more and reserve your free ticket.