Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

A Visit to the Drum Store

A boy who is deafblind goes to the drum store with his teacher, Matt Schultz.  He writes an experience story with his Speech Language Pathologist when he gets back to school, which reinforces language and concepts.


Jarvis was a teenager when this video was taken. Both of his eyes were enucleated as an infant. He has a profound, bi-lateral, sensorineural hearing loss. He can hear lower frequency speech sounds when aided with BTEs or FM system. Jarvis loves physical play, hooting, laughter, music, rhythm, running down hills, walking into the wind and spending time with trusted adults. He was a strong advocate for information around what was on the day's agenda. He was always thinking ahead and loved learning new vocabulary and concepts. He took a leadership role in his education, always guiding his teachers in his areas of curiosity and interest. 


We took him to the drum store because drumming was something he enjoyed within a regular school routine.  Community outings were challenging. The idea of leaving campus and exploring a new building and activity elicited high levels of stress and fear.  We wanted to develop a pattern of explorative outings that would be successful and enjoyable. We used the word "explore" paired with the location for all community outing locations. We wanted him to capture the understanding that "exploration" could be a little stressful and fun at the same time.  We also wanted to provide Jarvis with an opportunity to report information to others, motivated by meaningful experiences.  Jarvis was such a strong communicator, but not a strong reporter.  I had never seen him "tell" someone who had not been present for the experience about an experience.  When he felt understood by Tish and later his TA, the shift in his perspective and understanding was palpable. It was as if his understanding of language went from one to three dimensions.  He immediately began to initiate conversations more frequently and more confidently. It awoke something within him. Amazing guy, that Jarvis. 


A teacher plays the drum with a student

Reflections on Instruction

Matt Schultz shares his reflections on the visit to the drum store.

Reflections on A Visit to the Drum Store

Return to Playing with Words Introduction and Essential Components.