May 31, 2016

Awesome Self Advocacy Tool for Students: PowerPoint Presentation

One of the many things I enjoy about my job is collaborating with colleagues. I talked with a Deaf and Hard of Hearing teacher about a high school student I work with. I wondered how I could get him to talk to his teachers about his hearing needs and how they can help him in the classroom. He was very resistant to the idea of using a script to talk to his teachers. He told me, "I'm not talking to them about this stuff. It's boring. They already know about it." 

We understand how important it is for students to self advocate and we are always discussing how we can get them to do it effectively. She suggested that I make it fun and interesting. He can make a movie or a poster; something creative that he would want to do and have some control over. She made some excellent points. It does not have to be just the student and teacher talking to each other. Having a visual makes it more interesting but also useful for the student and teacher. Reading from a script or trying to remember what to say without any sort of visual guide would be tough and very dull. 

Why did I not realize this before?

I thought it would be best to start with him making a PowerPoint Presentation. He is very comfortable with using the computer and loves learning how to use different programs. First, I created an example, a PPT about myself, that he can use as a guide. I think most people learn best looking at examples, I certainly do. 


video


When I shared with him the idea of making a PPT and showed him my example, he was interested. I told him to have fun with it and to really take this opportunity to express his sense of humor. 

He had so much fun making his PPT! I was surprised at how much information he shared with me. He was able to demonstrate what he understands and he understands a lot more than I previously thought! He talked about what he needs in the classroom and what his teachers can do to help. He did a fantastic job. I was pleased at how well it went and wished we had done this sooner. 

The goal is for him to sit down with his teachers in the Fall when school starts again and show them his presentation. I am hoping it will encourage a discussion. I know the teachers will enjoy it and get more out of it than me giving them information about the student. 

I started doing this with some other students and got the same positive results. 

My colleague used my example to help some of her students get ideas on how to make their own PowerPoint presentations. They loved it! She was also surprised at how much information they willingly shared. Two of her students have already shown their PPTs to their teachers. She said that the teachers told her that they wish they had known, even though she had shared the information with them verbally and and through writing in the past. Having it come from the student is much more powerful! 

Again, I wished we had done this sooner! 

I look forward to doing more of these. :)

When looking online to see if other students have done something similar, I found only one example on the Hands and Voices website. A parent encouraged her son to make a PPT for his teachers. Great stuff, check it out:

http://www.handsandvoices.org/matthew/index.htm


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