Kathleen Powell, Lauren Barrett, Gretchen Granica, Laura Maslar
“Mission Possible – I Can Talk” is Powell and her colleagues’ winning program designed to give more than 100 students, who have communication impairments, at the Madison School, a voice of their own through the incorporation of new technology. Opening a world previously unavailable to these students because of the lack of technology can now be realized because of the ING grant. The Apple iPad will engage students using the Unique Learning System Curriculum; to have conversations with other students, staff and their parents, while extending speech to their daily lives outside the classroom. Educational applications like Proloquo2go includes text-to-voice, up-to-date symbols, a default vocabulary, and much more that can assist these learners. Because the iPad is multi-sensory, it gives immediate feedback for the visually impaired students. Ultimately, the integration of the new technology and its applications will allow students with a much faster, more effective avenue to actively participate in the classroom. It will also lead to more engagement while improving social skills and decreasing frustration associated with not being able to talk.