Deborah Schuitema

Hillcrest Special Education
Grand Rapids, MI

Project Description:

Schuitema’s “Assistive Technology” winning project is designed to address the need for physically and emotionally impaired students at Hillcrest Special Education to express their potential and to manage their disabilities in the classroom and other learning environments. Because severely physically challenged students are unable to use a keyboard or mouse, they will use electronic devices with voice activation purchased with the ING grant. Emotionally impaired students tend to be unable to focus on class work. They will use equipment to jump, roll and receive input from their muscles, tendons, joints or inner ear, which activates the brain structures that improve concentration, organization and a state of calmness. The addition of the mid and high technology interventions will help to increase academic skills and independence of performance that will in turn transfer to other aspects of their lives. Schuitema believes that addressing the issues of poor performance from merely a behavioral or environmental perspective does not address the source of the problem, but the integration of critical technology-based tools like the assistive technology mentioned does. Schuitema lives in Byron Center.