Adaptive Daily Living Skills (ADL)
ADL instruction allows ASDB students who are blind or visually impaired to gain functional skills to live independently. ADL prepares students to perform daily living tasks safely, efficiently, and as independently as possible. The curriculum is determined by a formal student-centered assessment and may include: personal care, food shopping and preparation, time and money management, organization skills, writing skills, laundry and clothing care, home care, social interaction skills, technology, communication, and recreation and leisure skills.
Students can learn to use adaptive techniques and devices to accomplish such goals. Ideally, a multi-disciplinary team of family, teacher, and paraprofessionals help reinforce opportunities to practice ADL skills in a variety of school and community settings. ADL specialists can videotape examples of a student working on independent living skills in order to highlight skills, successes, and areas of need. Teaching independent living skills is critical for students with visual impairments to achieve the highest levels of independence and quality of life.
Audiological services provided to all students enrolled at ASDB campus programs include:
- annual audiological examinations
- cochlear implant services
- monitoring of fluctuating and/or progressive hearing levels
- monitoring of middle ear involvement
- coordination of audiological services with other agencies involved in servicing ASDB students
- coordination with cochlear implant teams
- assistance with mailing hearing aids for warranty repair work
- opportunity to purchase batteries at a reduced rate
- >opportunity to have ear molds made at school for other agencies
- auditory trainers (in some classes) set specifically for each student’s hearing levels
- special audiological management services as needed
- Audiologist assistance to parents and teachers
Upon referral, a student may be assigned a case manager to assist with coordinating services among medical, behavioral and/or other community agencies as necessary.
Students can receive individual and/or group counseling based on the presenting problem. Group counseling may focus on issues of: friendship, bullying, social skills, anger management, disability-related concerns and classroom behavioral problems. Every effort is made to have as little impact upon the academic instructional time as possible. As part of the referral process for counseling, the parent will be notified.
The counselors at ASDB are proud to provide a variety of unique and supportive services to students in grades K-12. Elementary, middle, and high school department counselors are available to assist with students’ individual needs. Counseling is one of ASDB’s related services and identified within the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) when appropriate. Counseling services are provided in individual and group settings, focusing on problem solving skills, self-esteem building, identification and recognition of personal feelings/emotions, and awareness of healthy life-style choices. In addition, counseling services for high school students focus on transition and career planning, assisting students with future employment and post-secondary educational goals.
The counselors’ primary focus is the well-being and support of students; assisting students in their daily academic classes, and success in social interactions with their peers and adults. The ASDB counselors approach each student with respect and caring, challenging him/her to achieve his/her utmost potential of being a contributing citizen in his/her community.
In high school, students may receive assistance with applying for post-secondary education programs, career planning, referral to Rehabilitation Services, summer programs, and registration for appropriate testing (i.e. Pima Community College assessments, ACT, SAT.)
Counseling and Case Management
AT ASDB Character Counts!
The counselors and case managers at ASDB coordinate and support the Character COUNTS! program for all students. The mission of the program is to encourage students to act and live with positive character values. The framework of the program is based on 6 pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.
For more information on CHARACTER COUNTS!, please go to www.charactercounts.org.
Preventative Programs, Educational Workshop & Community Services
Throughout the school year, the counselors provide workshops and classroom support that may relate to:
- drugs and alcohol education
- bullying and harassment
- suicide prevention
- self-esteem building
- personal safety
- career awareness
- college recruiting
- character education
Student volunteer opportunities within the local community, students have an opportunity to volunteer at:
- Casa Maria Soup Kitchen
- Ben’s Bells
Occupational And Physical Therapy
School-based physical and occupational therapy is governed by federal and state laws. Services are provided under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to and can participate in the educational process. Therapy may be provided individually or in small groups.
The physical therapist addresses sensory-motor, neuromuscular, or developmental issues that may limit access, safety, or participation at school. The therapist may also collaborate with the educational staff to modify the child’s environment or routine to enhance the child’s ability to benefit from his or her education. The physical therapist participates in the development of the IEP along with the other members of the IEP team, including the student and the family.
Occupational Therapy is provided to students who have been identified by the IEP team as needing OT support in order to access their educational program. Occupational therapists address functional needs that are necessary for the student to participate in the educational environment including sensory-motor processing, fine motor coordination, daily living skills and oral motor skills. The goal of therapy is to help children lead as independent, productive and satisfying lives as they are able.
Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
Orientation is the process of using sensory information to establish and maintain one’s position in the environment; mobility is the process of moving safely, efficiently, and gracefully within one’s environment.The ultimate goal is to be able to travel in any environment as independently as possible. Such instruction is available for preschool through post-grad aged students who are blind or visually impaired, including those with multiple impairments. After a Certified O&M Specialist (COMS) completes a formal assessment of individual needs and goals for each student, the following formal instruction may be included:
- skills in movement with a sighted guide
- protective techniques and personal safety
- indoor cane skills
- outdoor cane skills and community travel street crossings
- use of public transportation or para-transit systems address numbering concepts
Teaching sensory skills, concept development, motor development, consumer skills, self-advocacy, and community awareness are also integral components of the orientation and mobility process. Instructional models may include individual, small group, and class groupings and ideally involve a multi-disciplinary team of classroom teachers, para-professionals, dorm staff, family members, and Low Vision, Occupational, Physical, and Speech Therapists who provide consultation and reinforcement of the O&M teaching goals in a variety of settings, as needed.
Each ASDB campus, Phoenix and Tucson, has a school library providing services for students, staff, teachers, parents, and community members. For ASB students in Tucson there is an extensive large print, audio, and Braille collection. Each campus also serves as a community resource center for information about deafness, deaf education, American Sign Language, and Deaf culture.
All ASDB students have access to communication support services when needed for:
- accessing their education
- improving social and interpersonal interactions
- preparing for life after graduation
- auditory skills development
- global language and concept development
- phonological/phonemic awareness and phonics
- pragmatics and conversational skills
- fluency-related disorders
- augmentative/alternative symbols and devices
Augmentative-Alternative Communication (AAC) is an important part of the overall communication program at ASDB. The American Speech and Hearing Association’s (ASHA) definition of an AAC system is “an integrated group of components, including the symbols, aids, strategies and techniques used by individuals to enhance communication.” A range of high- and low-technology AAC systems can be used across school, community, and vocational settings to accommodate a variety of language and motor needs. Educational teams at ASDB can implement an individual’s current AAC system into the curriculum or work to develop new AAC systems to maximize overall independence and academic skills.
Language and Communication Development
ASDB values language fluency and efficient, effective communication for all students.
Students who are deaf or hard of hearing enter school at ASDB at various ages and with varying levels of American Sign Language and English proficiency. Campus programs offer the opportunity for immersion in a language-rich ASL environment. Students who are still developing ASL language skills may receive individual or group instruction from an ASL teacher.
Written English literacy is an integral part of all instruction at ASDB. Additionally, spoken English development is a key component of the educational plan, depending on individual student needs and abilities.
Spoken English support services occur individually or in small groups. Sessions may take place within the classroom, in the communication lab, or in functional community settings. Classroom content and other developmentally appropriate materials are incorporated when working on specific communication and language goals.