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Activity and strategy

Supporting and Encouraging Friendships

Tips on promoting inclusion with children who are blind or deafblind in mainstream settings

My son Liam is a kindergartner who is deafblind.  He attends a mainstream school and inclusion is very important to me (and to Liam☺).  Liam is very social and loves interacting with people.  This is something I want to encourage and support in every way possible especially when it involves his peers.
 
Liam has a great group of kids in his class and he really likes his friends. They are already learning some basic ASL signs and how to communicate with Liam.  A few little girls in particular have drawn him pictures and notes at school that have come home in his back pack.  The pictures they drew were in crayon and, although the notes were very sweet and thoughtful, Liam couldn’t see what they had drawn for him.  I seized the opportunity to help this exchange continue.  I created a “Notes for Liam” box.  If students want to write Liam a note or draw a picture for Liam they could use the items in the box to create a “tactile” note.
 

materials of friendship box

Contents of the box:

  • Individual braille letters that also include print (on self-adhesive label paper) organized in a fishing tackle type box.  Students can use the letters to form words on their note to Liam.
  • Fun stickers that have interesting texture for the students to create ‘pictures’ with on their notes for Liam. 
  • Whole words (on self-adhesive label paper) that the students can use to form sentences (including Liam’s name).  
  • 5×8 notecards and envelopes.
 

Purpose of the box:

  • Support student’s efforts to be good friends to Liam in a fun and motivating way.
  • Include Liam, make notes from his friends accessible.
  • Opportunity for students to experience braille and the way Liam reads and enjoys pictures. 
 
supporting friendships collage

 

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