The INSPIRE campus (The Integrated School Program for Independence, Relationships and Entrepreneurship) is spread out over 165 wooded acres outside of Brattleboro, Vt.
INSPIRE has been giving new hope to children and young adults with autism for more than 14 years. Providing enriching educational experiences for this diverse student body, ranging in age from 7 to 22, has not been easy, to say the least.
OneScreen created for INSPIRE a customized technological solution that has opened up a much bigger world for these unique and endearing students.
The full spectrum of autism disorders presents in different ways for each individual. For these students, the confines of a traditional classroom are counterproductive to learning. Federal 504 plans often leave children behind, parents frustrated and schools in an impossible situation.
INSPIRE changed all that. The school was founded by parents of children with autism and educators who saw a better vision of how to reach them.
Inside the INSPIRE AV Installation
INSPIRE was built as a refuge, a warm and welcoming place for children who saw the world differently. The problem was that technology had not yet caught up with the vision of the school.
Students had to share devices, autism-teaching resources were scarce and teachers had only comparatively limited technology.
“Our teachers didn’t have ready access to educational apps and specialized learning materials,” said Dr. Ray Stevens, executive director of INSPIRE. “Now, they have a lot more flexibility in tools for teaching and easily switching between lessons, such as going from math exercises to a video.”
OneScreen’s interactive flat panels up on the walls can display all kinds of learning games with an intuitive, touch-friendly display that keeps students focused and engaged. Specialized autism-sensitive lesson plans are ready in an instant thanks to free resources at OneScreen ZUNI Learning.
“Our teachers and kids immediately went up and started using it,” said Stevens. It’s so much easier for a teacher to work with a student at a smart board than at a tiny computer screen.”
Students on the autism spectrum who previously had limited access to the world are reaching out with guidance from INSPIRE staff and hands-on lessons using OneScreen smart boards.
According to INSPIRE’s Ray Boulay, having the smartboard in the classroom “allows students to participate with interactive programs while having fun and learning at the same time.”
INSPIRE’s new influx of adaptive technology is setting these students on a path of greater success for their entire lives.
The smartboard, said case manager Olivia Llewelyn, “is simple and easy to use and is a great addition to help further our students’ education.”