I spent this morning in the special school talking with staff and watching the children so I want to use this post to link up with the teachers there and make some constructive comments on something I saw. Of course what I say will hopefully be relevant to all who read this blog but especially so to the teachers I work with. Anyway here goes and it is all positive by the way.
I watched a VHS video (I didn’t know people still used those!?) of that quite old children’s programme, the Teletubbies, in one classroom. What struck me was the way the kids were captivated by this video. I think they still have re-runs on CBeebies. But this is what I thought. Everything I would suggest to teachers (and parents) regarding modifying visual material, especially material on the television, is demonstrated perfectly by the Teletubbies. Let me list the ways as I see it that it meets the needs of CVI children.
(1) The action is slow. The characters move slowly; their arms and legs move slowly. Everything in the programme is slow moving, which is actually wonderful for a slow processor like your CVI child.
(2) Events are sequential. The narrator speaks and after that the TTs speak and move. Then the narrator speaks again. Events are thus sequential, one thing happening after another. Things don’t merge into one continuous single action stream. This is great for our kids as they can’t process information simultaneously. It has to be sequential.
(3) The characters are VERY large, bright and colourful. The faces are large, big eyes and big mouth (nose a bit invisible but never mind). They are big and easy to see. The spaces between the figures are big and this reduces any crowding there might be.
(4) The huge sun face appears at the beginning and as we all know children love faces, especially smiling faces. The brain of a baby is hard-wired to look at faces. This immediately gets the kids into the show.
More of this please you inspired teachers!!!