The idea of educating the youth started from the 16th century, according to “Psychology Today,” but disabled people could not benefit equally through this standardized system, suggesting a change for a better method of delivering learning content and engagement. There are many disabilities thus, each individual requires special attention based on their needs. Each of our students have both their personal and educational goals they want to accomplish, so building upon small amounts of content everyday makes it easy to digest and learn from. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” By the end of the program at “Learning Without Limits”, each child will develop skills outlined by the Government of Canada’s Education requirements while developing social skills, and building confidence in living with a disability.
Let’s look at a persona of someone who may use our services: Lilly Brown is an energetic twelve year-old who has poor dexterity. This comes in the way of solving problems using fine-motor skills. She rushes through personal issues with friends and bases decisions off of feeling rather than rationale. Her personal goal is to improve those fine motor hand skills and her educational goals are to improve her reading and writing skills, as she did not do so well in public school compared to the other kids in class, and show evidence of her using thinking skills. Other students like Kiara, a curious and detail-oriented sixteen year-old who is blind or Benny, a passionate yet noisy thirteen year-old dyslexic child, can join us to be given the right opportunities to succeed
Due to the pandemic, we’ve transferred to a digital base but are still assessing students' learning styles and making changes to our teaching method to assist them. A ten year-old student similar to the problem that was outlined in Lilly’s scenario was a part of our test program earlier and was assessed as a kinesthetic learner. We provided him with technologies that would force him to physically move his body, which aided in him learning new concepts. For example, when memorizing the times table he used a giant musical dance pad with numbers on it where we would ask him the answer to a multiplication problem by dancing/jumping onto the correct number.
Additionally, the technologies we use are meant to enhance the learning experience for the child. Some of the modern devices we use include: VR sets for
the ability to explore regions outside of their current location and to take virtual “class field trips,” as we’ve moved online this year, audio sensory sets for those with vision impairment (we’ve partnered with National Geographic to help us capture sounds), and specialized activity packages sent to each student every month. The activity packages keep them excited to learn
more as they wait for the personalized gift, which will help them get closer to both their personal and education goals. Having an activity package sent to your child is exciting for them just as waiting for that new shirt you ordered online to arrive is.
We make sure there is no communication gap between students, teachers and parents/guardians. Working with small groups of 10 students and a teacher is key to make this possible. Throughout the course, we will organize small socially distance meet-and-greets for the students to interact with each other (with parental consent) from a safe distance, keeping health advice in mind. Holding a virtual parent summit will take place at the start of the program so parents can help facilitate a positive environment for learning. At the end of the program, an online version of “speed-meeting” is hosted for the students to interact with other children from different groups/courses for a short period of time. The UX/UI design enables a button for the user to click, (can also
be activated using Google Home/Alexa/Siri) which pops off a chat icon letting the user on the other end know that they would like to get to know them better and be possibly be friends after the event and program is over. The button will appear at the bottom left hand of the screen and can be activated as long as the call is running (which will be presented by a timer on the top of screen to let them know how much time is left before the next conversation).
To end off, every child is unique and we understand the method used in public school does not always accommodate for the learning environment and techniques that some disabled people require that’s why we want to help your child understand the content and stay engaged using new technology, small yet social environments and a clean UX design to help facilitate that. As I mentioned earlier, investing in the right education for your child will always pay off.