Question #5

#1  As you are considering which adaptive tools, support materials, etc. that you would like to order, we are sure that you are ALSO considering, “what if?”  By this, we mean that as you have worked in your varied artistic careers, haven’t you had thoughts about a device, a material, a “thing” that would just be perfect for a person with a particular challenge?  Have you thought about, that if you just had enough money or someone to make it, that it could be made available?  Well, this week’s prompt is about just that….What is the one thing that would just be perfect for someone with a specific challenge to have access to for their own artistic engagement? Consider someone that you either are currently working with, or have worked with in the past. What were their strengths? What were their challenges that got you really thinking about how to assist them? What is it?

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15 Responses to Question #5

  1. Sarah says:

    The one thing I would LOVE for my students who are hard of hearing to have is the ability to hear their peers all go the time and participate in incidental learning. We have an FM system with a microphone the teacher can speak in and pass around to peers, however the student with a hearing loss continues to miss additional comments from a student down the table in art or a student with a solo part in music or a student who has a minor part in a play. I continue to tell parents and students,”Technology is becoming so good, this has to be coming.” Presently with an FM system, the teacher’s voice can go directly to the student’s hearing aid or CI decreasing background noise and distance. If I had a discrete microphone placed in the room to pick up the peer voice and send the signal to the student’s hearing aid or CI, the student with a hearing loss would receive that incidental learning students without a hearing loss gain impassively.

  2. Pat Stevens says:

    Funny you should ask! I had an idea for a hand support for an ipad mini. I have drawing programs on my ipad and it gets uncomfortable holding the edges which are hard and not flexible. If a person with a handicap could hold their ipad with one hand gripping a device that suction cupped? onto the back of the ipad, all they would have to do is slide their hand in and, voila!

    • Tim Marsden says:

      I believe I’ve seen things like this that will attach to music stands and will hold an ipad or an ipad mini. But I can certainly see where that would be very helpful.

    • Sue says:

      Interesting! I am working with an Industrial Design class at a local university and they are designing adaptive equipment for students in one of my high schools. We have been doing this project for about 15 years, and the college students have created some pretty creative things. This year, one of the students is working on an Ipad stand for students with one handed access or access with minimal movement from a wheelchair. One of the designs that I saw in a mock up was attached to a microphone stand that had a gooseneck on it so that the Ipad could be adjusted to meet the student where is visual tracking and hands could reach! I like this idea of a suction cup-like device to hold the Ipad on the table. It could work for so many different needs!

      • curt says:

        I was thinking about a specially designed, table/easel that is adjustable so it can be perfectly sized for a wheel chair has clips to hold paper and art materials, places to put markers, paint, whatever, kind of an art station. What if it was made to fit onto the chair so art can be done anywhere….like outside.

        • Sarah says:

          I like the idea of connecting it to the wheelchair so it is portable and doesn’t fly off if you need to move to a different place.

        • Aaron Riley says:

          Thats a good idea. I used to do landscape plein air drawing with students and this would work well with students in wheel chairs.

      • Marguerite says:

        It’s really neat what working with students being trained to develop new technology can bring forth! With electronic devices being used as regular learning tools these days, we have to keep raising the bar as far as making the adjustments for the challenged student. Be sure to check out the links below in my post… they will show you that dreaming can be actualized!

        • Sarah says:

          I couldn’t see the links. I wonder if I can’t see them with my iPad.

          • Marguerite says:

            Quick question… can anyone see my long post, the one about movement? I seem to be having troubles with my responses posting.. does anyone’s posts ever say “Your comment is awaiting moderation”? I’ve been in contact with Fran about this…

    • curt says:

      Great idea, better get on that sounds like a winner.

    • Sarah says:

      There are those holders now to hang on to the iPad with one hand. I wonder if you could sew or glue on a suction cup to the holder and give it a try? Then patent it immediately!

  3. Tim Marsden says:

    Oh yeah, and it would be on an ipad or on a laptop that is on a music stand in front of the students so they don’t have to worry about holding the music.

  4. Marguerite says:

    My apologies for taking so long to post this week. I’m fighting the crud (I thought I could avoid it but it snuck up on me) but more important is that the question stumped me for a while. I had to do some thinking.

    I am not a classroom teacher, nor do I work where I have any input on curriculum or have much exposure to students with disabilities… BUT… I am a theatre director and choreographer and so that got me thinking about working with the challenged student in an artistic piece.

    Students (with or without disabilities) often struggle learning movement combinations. They think too much instead of trusting their bodies to learn without their constant checking in and analyzing. What if there was a harness or a vest or a suit that a student could put on that was coded with the movement combination that automatically moved the student’s arms or legs the way the choreographer wants them to? I’m thinking of the work done with holograms and animation (I think that’s what I’m thinking of…I can’t think of what it’s called!). Maybe there is a way to create the muscle memory of the movement electronically allowing the student to disengage their mind from the learning process, from trying to retain and remember the sequence of the movement. The vest or the suit is coded to guide them in the direction they need to go. The ‘brain’ of the machine does the work first and the muscle memory of the student takes over from there. That would be cool. I liken it to learning to serve a tennis ball. We struggle and struggle and have the hardest time getting our body to move the correct way to hit the ball. Then one day, it is just there. I think our bodies just take over and it’s there!

    As I was contemplating this, it made me think of a friend of mine and what she has done with dance and the wheelchair. I would be remiss if I didn’t share the links to her brilliant work here. She has been working on creating a Rolling Dance Mobility Chair that is controlled by the direction a person moves instead of using a joystick. She has been collaborating with the Engineering Department at the University of South Florida. The work has been covered in the news. I would highly recommend you look at the following links:


    She has created a wonderful tool for the disabled individual. I continue to be in awe of her drive to create it and make it available for use!

  5. Aaron Riley says:

    A few years ago, I had a student in art that had cerebral palsy. This affected her a few ways, but while in art, her vision was mostly affected. She carried around an antique looking glass to enlarge things to see. I would envision a device that could be worn like glasses with enlargement capabilities.