Change Makers: A Podcast from APH

Staying Active

August 26, 2021 American Printing House Episode 36
Change Makers: A Podcast from APH
Staying Active
Chapters
Change Makers: A Podcast from APH
Staying Active
Aug 26, 2021 Episode 36
American Printing House

On this episode of Change Makers, we’re detailing ways you can keep children active, especially during the coming winter months. We’ll learn about various APH products that help keep kids moving and hear from an educator about the ways children benefit from physical activity. We'll also learn about AudioJack with Partners with Paul.

Podcast Guests (In Order of Appearance)

  • Sara Brown, APH Public Relations Manager
  • Tristan Pierce, APH Product Manager, Educational Product Innovation
  • Paul Ferara, APH Communications Accessibility Editor and Partners with Paul Host
  • David Tobin, AudioJack Founder and CEO
  • Ashley Emmons, VIPS, TVI, COMS and Early Childhood Special Educator 


 APH Products and Sites

Additional Links

 Camp Abilities


Show Notes Transcript

On this episode of Change Makers, we’re detailing ways you can keep children active, especially during the coming winter months. We’ll learn about various APH products that help keep kids moving and hear from an educator about the ways children benefit from physical activity. We'll also learn about AudioJack with Partners with Paul.

Podcast Guests (In Order of Appearance)

  • Sara Brown, APH Public Relations Manager
  • Tristan Pierce, APH Product Manager, Educational Product Innovation
  • Paul Ferara, APH Communications Accessibility Editor and Partners with Paul Host
  • David Tobin, AudioJack Founder and CEO
  • Ashley Emmons, VIPS, TVI, COMS and Early Childhood Special Educator 


 APH Products and Sites

Additional Links

 Camp Abilities


Jack Fox:

Welcome to change makers, a podcast from APH. We're talking to people from around the world who are creating positive change in the lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. Here's your host.

Sara B.:

Hello, and welcome to change makers. I'm APH is Public Relations Manager, Sara Brown . And today we're talking about how to keep children active. We'll also have a check-in with Partners with Paul here to talk about some of the adapted PE products APH offers. We have APH Product Manager, Educational Product Innovation, Tristan Price. Hello, Tristan , and welcome to Change Makers.

Tristan P.:

Hi Sara, thank you for having me.

Sara B.:

So this podcast, we're focusing on physical activity and the importance of staying active, especially since fall is on the horizon. So first off, do you have any tips to keep children active?

Tristan P.:

Well, my number one tip is to always keep it fun. You know, think about it. There is a reason why so many toys and games exist on the market today. You know, children will participate if they're having fun and have a sense of inclusion and accomplishment. So , um , one of the reasons I like using APH is Tangled Toy as a relay race tool is because children practice sound localization skills, matching, sorting. They get to do sequencing and , and just the comradery while playing that game. And it's an all-inclusive game that children can play by color and texture as they run to the basket locate that next tangle segment run back to their team tag, the next kid. And then they attach their segment to the big tangle loop in the proper sequencing order. So they are learning the whole time. They're having fun. My tip is provide accommodations. So children with disabilities can always participate and not be a spectator or just always the scorekeeper . You know, it could be as simple as providing a sound source to , uh , uh , running base or wearing brightly colored pennies for the child with low vision to identify a team member from the competition. Those tips are to have fun and to provide the accommodations and modifications if necessary we're coming out of summer.

Sara B.:

We think, typically in fall there aren't a lot camps in the fall or in the winter for children, but apparently there are. Can you tell us about the camps that are for children that are on the horizon for the fall and winter months?

Tristan P.:

Well, there, there are, there are not as many in the winter as there are in the summer. There there's just a plethora of camps in the summertime , but there are some winter oriented camps. Um, I read about one camp it's up in upstate New York. The kids actually walked across the ice to get to a secluded camp, you know, in the woods. And I got done reading about it and it was like, "I want to go to that camp." I think it may have been associated with Camp Abilities. I'm not quite sure about that, but yes, there are just so many camps for kids who are visually impaired , um, like the previously mentored , uh , Camp Abilities. They are all across the country. Um, Camp Sparks is up in the Pacific Northwest, so I'm sure they've got fall activities going and oh, see camp adventures in North Carolina, that CSEE all caps , um, North Carolina. That's, that's a really good, I know they do like what, what a whitewater rafting and stuff like that. So then there's always the , um , foundation of the junior blind camps and there's just many, many others, but you know, like , um, there's the sky high ski camp. There's a lot of , um , you know, north American ski camps that go along and events, summer camps, and others are like just events that they hold every year. And a lot of kids who have attended a , uh , a ski camp, they then go back to these events and they just, you know, you age up into each age bracket as you go. So , um, that's, that's just a lot of fun, but, you know , uh , sometimes it might be challenging to locate a camp at your state and not every state has a camp. So I definitely recommend maybe checking with your state school for the blind, if your state still has a residential school for the blind. And if you're interested in starting a camp in your state that your, your, your, your state does not have a camp, and you're interested in starting one, you can go to the Camp Abilities Brockport website, and , um, it has a step-by-step instructions telling you how to do a camp, how to build a camp and to , to keep that camp going. So it cancer just so absolutely amazing. I have witnessed kids learning to stand up paddle board and do elevated adventure rope courses. Um , besides doing those typical camps, you know, those activities you typically have at a sports camp for the blind, such as your COBOL and your beat baseball and, you know, tandem, bike, riding and stuff, but, you know, activities which can be done just about in any season is in the evening go fishing. You know, a lot of camps that fishing in the evening, if they're located on a body of water and then the kids can always organize power showdown tournaments , um, in the evenings, every kid, she can an opportunity to go to camp and with a majority of the students and the public schools, not in residential schools for the blind go into a sports camp, may be their only opportunity to meet other kids who have a visual impairment and to make new friends. So I truly, truly encourage , uh, experiencing , uh , Camp Opportunity. Gosh, it's so much act so much fun and so many physical activities to do at camps and APH offers products to also to keep kids active.

Sara B.:

What are some of the products that you can talk about with us right now?

Tristan P.:

Well , um, APH has three signature that I call our signature physical activity products, and those are a Walk/Run for Fitness Kit, the Jump Rope to Fitness Kit and the 30-Love Tennis Kit. And these three kids each come with a large print and a braille guide book describing the activities, modifications and adaptations. So the Walk/Run kit includes a 20 meter and guide wire and a looped rope with a carabiner that you clip onto the guide wire . And so you can slide along the guide wire and use your arms and the correct emotion. Think about it. If you grab your hand and you just hold on to that, guide wire with a rope, you can pump your arm in the correct manner you should, and that can affect your gait when running. So if you put a carabiner on that, guide wire then put a looped rope in the Caribbean, or you just hold on to that loop rope . You can move your arms freely and pop in order to improve your running skill. So it also comes with a tether that is long enough to use with a wheelchair user, but if you don't need that link, you can then shorten it if you're running with a guide. So now the next one, the Jump Rope to Fitness Kit , um, besides including the different kinds of cord ropes or beaded ropes, it includes two key items, and that is the anti shock and , um , orientation mat and the talking cordless jump rope. So whether you're sighted or not everyone migrates when jumping rope. So the orientation mat helps to prevent migration and possibly prevent, you know , hitting another jumper with your rope . You know, so if you're jumping and you migrate and all of a sudden, you know, you go from feeling that cushion under both your feet, all of a sudden you feel the heart floor on one foot and the cushion on the other, you know, you need to kind of hop a little back in the opposite direction cause you know, you're getting off your mat. So , uh, that's, that's very, very important. And a lot of people like that talking cordless jump rope, because if you program it just like a pedometer , um, the walk run for fitness has that talking put arbiter , the Jump Rope to Fitness Kit has the talking rope lists are cordless. If you program it with your height, your weight, it can tell you how many you've jumped, how many minutes you've jumped and how many calories you've burned. So a lot of people like to have that , that feature, you know , um, uh, let me see the, our third one, our third one is the 30-Love Tennis Kit. And that includes two rockets , two eye shades , and a set of six sound adapted tennis balls that are developed in Japan. So you can play singles and like many international sports for the blind. There are different classifications depending on your level of vision, which corresponds to the number of bounces the ball is allowed to make before you're required to, you know, hit it back. Um , you can also play doubles when that would be where a person who is visually impaired partners with a sighted player to form a double team. APH also has two electronic sound balls, which are about seven inches in diameter and are meant to help teach and practice gross motor skills. So they're not evolved designed for a specific sport. You know , it's not a soccer ball or a basketball. It's just a generic child's ball to learn those gross motor skills. Um , the locomotive skills I'm like, you know, running and stuff like that. Then let's see here, the yellow ball, it has a sound, a similar to " boing, boing, boing." The red ball is more like a techno dance beat kind of evolved. So let me think here. Um, we also have a portable sound source and , um, it allows the user to change the rate of the sound, the pitch and the volume of the sound , um, either on the sound source itself or with using a remote. And that remote control is a game changer for those who use this outsource to play basketball or need to change the sound emitting from one base to another base, you know, quickly, you know, in , in a variety of games and sports like that, you know, particularly, you know, what PE teacher wants to have to drag the ladder out between every class to get up there and turn the sound source off the basketball goal this way they just have that remote. So like I said, that was a game changer for , for a lot of people. Now, APH week , we also have a variety of toys that can be used for physical activity. Um , but with the early childhood , uh , population, and that would be things like our rivet ball and that tangled toy I talked about earlier. So , um , those are two, two toys that we have for the early childhood population that we also consider for physical activity. Wow. Okay. So there's a ton of options in ton at diff tons of different items. Keep, keep children in to keep everybody moving and physically active. One last question I have, is there anything else you'd like to add? Well, yes I would. Okay. So , um , um , I would like to share that for accessibility or perhaps , uh , a product maybe age APH posts, the publications as free downloads. Um, I think people will be amazed too , to know how many written materials are available for free. So , um , Sara, I will, I will send the link to what we call the legacy , uh, download page and , um, the offerings in physical education at this time or physical activity and recreation are games for people with sensory impairments. You can just download that whole book for free. That includes games and , um, visual impairment and other disabilities as well. Then we have going places and in the title places, those are the titles of chapters for the book. Um, it's, it's still till this day. I think my favorite book I've I've ever been involved in , uh, getting published. So , um, that is now , um , available as a free download. We also have the sound, a localization guide book, which is the guide book that accompanies that portable sound source I was telling you about. And it actually has a lot of activities in it that teach sound localization skills, but in the back, there are games that you can play as well. And then we also have the gross motor development curriculum online. There's also a video online that that's quite extensive on the gross motor development curriculum. And so that's going to teach both those local motor skills and those , um , um, object control skills, you know, handling the ball, you know, throwing under him pitch and all that kind of stuff. So , um, I would , um, I will also put that link. Um, I'll send that link to you because I think many people are just not aware at all of how many , um, how , how many materials APH APHS that are for free. And I will, I will send the links to the Institute of movement studies for individuals with visual impairments and to the camp [inaudible] camp abilities. Um , when we lost our PE website and our camp listing, we have a capabilities , um, copied it over and they've been trying to list some camps for us. Um, and , um, people may not know that's where they migrate it to, but they may find it definitely, you will find all the capabilities on that website, but I think they may have a couple others listed on there as well. And then I have the links to any of the products that I mentioned so I can send you all those links most definitely. And we will be sure to include all of that in the show notes too. So any listeners interested, confined get more information.

Sara B.:

All right . Thank you so much for joining us today on Change Makers.

Tristan P.:

Well, thank you so much for inviting me. I always always , cherish and opportunity to get to talk about physical education and sports in general. And you know, one thing I did not mention, but anyone online, just Google "blind alive," and , uh, Mel, the woman who does that, she has amazing exercise workouts. Um , um, for anyone who is visually impaired or blind, it's, it's really a great, great resource for people to access.

Sara B.:

If you were at our annual meeting last year, we had Paralympian Tyler Merren. He was the keynote speaker and he is participating again in the Paralympics and Hand Ball. So I'll be sure to put the global schedule as well in the show notes.

Tristan P.:

Yes. Do that, do that. Cause my friend, Matt , Matt, since then is on that same Goal Ball team. Ah , yes, yes. Uh , prior to them going to Rio and winning silver , um, they were training at the Turner center up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and that's where they held the , uh, National Championships for Goal Ball. So I took a day off from work and I went up there to watch that play. If there was a lot of fun,

Sara B.:

We'll be rooting for him and we'll have the link to that whole schedule in the show notes interest in again, thank you so much for coming on. Today's show.

Tristan P.:

Anytime.

Sara B.:

Now we're going to check in with Partners with Paul.

Paul F. :

Thanks again, Sara. And welcome back to Partners with Paul. Glad to be with you today and excited to have with me a first time guest to this particular program. This is David Tobin. He's the founder and the CEO of AudioJack. Welcome David.

David T.:

Hey, thanks for having me.

Paul F. :

Can you help me and start by telling us what an Audio Jack is?

David T.:

Absolutely. An AudioJack is an audio based movie. There's no words, there's no video and there's no music. It's hundreds of sounds that are edited together to tell a story for your imagination. So for instance, you might hear the wind in trees start to fade in, and then you hear feet start to walk across grasp , and then they stop and a door opens, well , your imagination and memory is going to converge and start to create a narrative based on what you're hearing. And because it's all sound design, there's no language barrier, it's this, everyone can connect to it. And there is a story behind each audio, Jack, but it's revealed that way. There's never a wrong answer.

Paul F. :

That sounds great. And , um, are there any new AudioJacks that have come out and if so, can you tell us about those and how they were created?

David T.:

Yeah, absolutely. So we make new AudioJacks all the time and they're in the AudioJack app that you can get your subscription through APH with, and they're in a variety of categories , um, history, historical ones. So you feel like you're different moments in time, there's day in the life, which is actually great for orientation and mobility. Um, and a lot of TVI has used that. Um, and we just released a new AudioJack and some new features actually in the app. Uh, one of the things is a new feature that allows for offline listening. So if you're in an area with poor internet or Wi-Fi or whatever, you can download the audio jacks to your app and have them stored. So when you go to those locations , uh, you don't have to worry about that. You can play it just fine. And we just released a new audio Jack in the life category called EIG . And , um, I can't tell you too much about it, but it gives you the experience of , um, I will say tattooing would be a great way to do it, but also I hate to say that because it opens your interpretation. If other people listen to this and they have a different experience. That's great. Um, but I worked with a very famous tattoo artist named Friday Jones. She , uh, is a big part of a lot of different charities as well. Um, they do a lot of tattoo work for people who are , um, you have had women who have had mastectomies. They do tattoo work over that. They do a lot of tattoos for , uh, army and military vets , um , to make those scars and other elements come to life in ways. So you're not just kind of stuck with that. And so we had her , um, do a very special thinking session. She didn't tattoo me , uh , but she was tattooing. So when we got some authentic sounds of that, and then we took those sounds and built a whole story in a narrative around it. Um, so you're actually hearing some very authentic things happening inside it, but how you get into that and how you leave it, that's up to your imagination. Um, it's a really neat one and that's in the life category and

Paul F. :

What's really cool about all of these is all of the sounds that are together and how they fit together. It's just very well done. And I think if you haven't heard an AudioJack, and you get to hear one for the first time, you'll, you'll understand that dynamic. So you talked a little bit about how you play AudioJacks, but where are they played and how can you listen to them?

David T.:

Yeah, absolutely. And you're right. I mean, I even still get excited when I listened to this because essentially, you know, you're closing your eyes. There's no dialogue, it's your imagination taking on this world and letting you visualize with no visual construct. Um, there is a , um , the best way is to go to the link. That's going to be included in here , um, to go to the APH page then on there, there's a link that I'll take you to AudioJack, and that's where you can get your subscription. Um, and when you do that, you can use your subscription to log into the web version of audio Jack, or download the app on any device and then use that subscription to unlock the content. And it works on every, every, you know, Google, Android platform and all the apple iOS platforms.

Paul F. :

So I can play them on my phone. I can play them on my tablet, on my computer, no limit to any of those. Correct. And finally tell us the best way to purchase the audio Jack then.

David T.:

Okay. The best way is to go through the APH link. It's wonderful to be working with APH, a portion of the proceeds from your downloads, go back to APH, to help with resources and other awesome programming that they create. So , um , the link that's included in here, if you hit that, it'll take you to the APH page that has some information about audio Jack, and then there's an option to click and it will take you to our website and that's where you can pick up your subscription. Okay .

Paul F. :

All right , David, thanks for giving us the information about audio Jack and how it works. Hope everybody enjoys it. Thank you for joining us, David.

David T.:

You're welcome. That was great. Thanks.

Paul F. :

And don't forget everyone. Check the show notes. That special link is going to appear in those notes. Please use that link to benefit AudioJack and APH, and we hope you enjoy it. Thank you for listening to the episode today and back to you, Sara.

Sara B.:

Thanks so much, Paul, and here to talk about some awesome physical activities for younger children. We have Visually Impaired Preschool Services, otherwise known as VIPS, Early Childhood Special Educator, Ashley Emmons. Hello, Ashley, and welcome to Change Makers.

Ashley E.:

Hi, thanks for having me.

Sara B.:

Oh, good. So we're talking about physical activity and I'm sure you have plenty to offer about the importance of keeping children active, but first and foremost, can you tell us what you do at VIPs and how long you've been there?

Ashley E.:

Sure. Yeah. So what could they say? My name is Ashley Emmons and I've been with VIPs for about 15 years. Um, during that time I've worn many different hats and often wear the same hats at the same time. Um, I have my Early Childhood Certification. I also have , um, I'm also a Certified Orientation Mobility Specialist and then I also have my teacher of the visually impaired certification. So a lot of times I'm wearing all three hats at one time, especially , um, most of the time I'm housed here at our Louisville location in our preschool. So oftentimes you'll find me here in the classroom working with hers , um, kiddos here, but we have, it's also served first steps, which is our birth to three population. Um, and I serve them as well. But with that, I'm really just wearing one hat and that's not orientation mobility hat when I'm serving our first steps kiddos. So, but even then, it's hard to take off the other hats when you're so used to wearing all three, of course, of course.

Sara B.:

How does blindness affect physical activity?

Ashley E.:

Well, it's the loss of vision. It can affect many different areas of development. Um, the loss of vision can impact your social motor skills, sensory integration is one we see quite a bit. And then of course your overall physical development , um , for students with vision loss, for them, it's difficult for them to pick on things that typically developing sighted peers may pick up. So through incidental learning, a lot of us pick up on different skills, but when you have a vision loss, it's really hard to learn incidentally. Um, with our little ones, we see a lot that there's not too much motivation for them to want to move in space. It can be fearful, it can be scary. They kind of have their safe zone, whether it's like a rug , um , in the living room and getting them to branch out off that rug can be tricky at times, but it's really important to work on, encourage them to do that. Um, as well as with our students and vision loss, it's difficult for them to pick on the nonverbal cues that those with sight are able to pick upon. And then they have difficulty with spatial awareness is where as well, knowing where they are in space, what's around them. It can be a scary thing if you're unsure of what's around you. So encouraging movement and physical activity to just explore, gain exposure can really help build their competence and their skills. Um, so I always tell my family that it's very important to encourage moving in space, getting them out of that comfort zone. And it's important, not just for their motor development, not just for physical activity, but they also gain a lot of concepts as well through that. Whether it's putting things in and out of a container, turning things on and off like a light switch, getting them to walk over to that, a lot of concepts can be built in into that one physical movement activity, even it's just as simple as taking a few steps.

Sara B.:

Okay. So we know being active is important for students, but what are they learning? You kind of touched on it. Can you expand a little bit more?

Ashley E.:

Yeah, of course. Um, so being active and participating in physical activity is very important for the development of many different areas. Um, even things just as simple as building up endurance, building up strengths coordination is a big one because a lot of times with our little ones learning to walk, their posture and gait can , um , be a little off and , um, flexibility. And then of course the fine and gross motor skills. Those are all things that are important for being active. And for our young population here at VIPS, especially our birth to three, when we're going into the homes and helping the families, we're really working a lot with those kiddos, especially as an O&M from an O&M standpoint, working on sitting and crawling and rolling and walking, we encourage lots of active play, whether it's rough and tumble, play, you know, wrestling on the floor, tickling , um, starting in their area that they feel most comfortable in, but then transferring that skill over to maybe areas of the home where they're not as comfortable. And to know we can still have fun in here too. Um, we do a lot of encouraging of movement games, things just as simple as that, we grew up doing, playing ring around the Rosie is a great one for working on the skill of standing up and sitting down. A lot of times I changed the words to "we don't fall down." We sit down , um , playing games as easiest Simon Says to work on the body parts, body awareness, knowing where they are in space. Um , then of course, just simply just exploring playground equipment or going out into the community, exploring different playgrounds, maybe even indoor jumping, see a lot of those indoor trampoline parks or things, just getting out in the community, exploring, practicing, swinging, and sliding and climbing, running and jumping just because you're visually impaired doesn't mean you can't do those skills. It just might take a little bit more creativity and getting comfortable performing those skills and breaking it down and making sure overall that the child feels safe when learning those new skills does being active, improve the reflexes for children who are visually impaired. And if so, how I would assume so maybe they're , I don't have any like research-based evidence on it , on this at all, but I would say absolutely physical activity is important just for all areas of development, including your reflexes. Um , for kiddos, with vision loss , we see a lot of times that they do have difficulty with their posture. They have difficulty with their gait patterns, how they walk in space. Um, just even simple things as motor planning. How am I going to get from the floor to a standing position? Um, it takes a lot of motor planning. Um, and then there's also the reaction time of when things are for kiddos, especially with low vision. This can be a little scary and triggering with things coming right at them and knowing the protective responses and learning those responses. But once those things are taught and kind of learn , then they get more comfortable and willing to explore more. Whether it's even like playing sports, like things like go ball or bowling, basketball, baseball, there's all kinds of, especially it'd be find creative ways to adapt those sports, to meet their individual needs. I think it definitely improves overall reflexes.

Sara B.:

Okay. So you just mentioned sports. So when teaching a new game or sport, how do you do that? Do you, are you physically guiding the student through motion or I may need some, sometimes you can only explain so much. You just have to, you know , show. So how do you do that?

Ashley E.:

Well, years , creativity and flexibility, you kind of got to meet the needs of the students. All of our students that I've worked with have such individual needs. And when I'm in my preschool classroom here, you know, I have three, four, and five-year-olds with all different types of visual impairments, some may have low vision, some may have no light perception. So it's important to kind of meet their individual needs and does thinking on this question and different strategies I've used within time, there's all kinds of things you've done. You can break down the skill that's being taught in two pieces or chunks. So they're not learning it all at one time. You can allow the student to actually explore , um , another person performing emotion, whether it's like the swinging of an arm to throw a ball, have them feel your arms swing back. I think that's okay to do , um, physical use of physical cues, whether you're helping the student, you're physically guiding their arm back to practice rolling a ball. Um, of course you want to use lots of verbal descriptions to describe the actions you're doing. I have in the past used different types of models. Um, I can't think of what exactly what they're called calling , you know, like the little wooden art models that you can kind of move their body into different positions. And then the student can feel that and kind of make their own connections on how their arms supposed to bend for a certain skill. Um, I haven't used that a whole lot with our young young population, cause it does take up quite a bit of cognitive spills to process what they're feeling on a model to how they're going to do their body. But not saying it can't be done for the young, but I have used that in the past to some of our older ones. Um, we've also have used , um, like tactile maps or diagrams of different , um, let's think about maybe baseball, it's a shape of a diamond and there's bases that you run kind of creating a tactile map of that to kind of lay out what it would feel like. Um, and then perform that action. And as they're running to the first base and show them on the map where they are on the diagram , um, getting creative, using lots of auditory and sensory cues, finding ways to adapt it. Um, here at VIPs, we use quite a bit a portable sound source available at APH to kind of guide them to maybe a basketball goal. We have a toddler go out in our toddler-sized bowl out in our playground. So we'll kind of sit the portable sound source there. And as the students carrying the ball over, then they kind of helps guide them to the direction of where to put the ball into the basket and then just finding other creative ways to adapt balls , um, to provide sound source, a simple one that I share with my families quite a bit is even just wrapping a plastic grocery bag around a ball and tying it cause as it rolls, it kind of gives that auditory feedback constantly. Um, but there's all kinds of different products out there as well. Just kind of can get a little pricey at times. Um, so finding ways to kind of adapt it on a cheaper scale is always kind of fun and exciting. Um, also one of the big things for teaching a new game in sport is allowing for wait time and processing time for them to understand and acknowledge what , um, the skill needs to be done and give them time to perform that skill. So if it takes them a while to roll the ball, that's fine. As long as they eventually roll the ball, they've kind of developed that in the more they do it, then the more faster they may proceed in the future. I hope that answers your yeah, that did. That was just interesting. Now, have you seen students improve in other areas because of their physical activity? You know , have they oh yes, absolutely. Yeah. Um, when thinking about this question, some of the things that come to mind is a lot of times with our young kiddos, they may have delays in multiple developmental areas, whether it's , um, you know, physical, gross, motor gross and fine motor area or cognitive language. And a lot of times we see our young kids, they kind of focus on one developmental area at a time. So once one is achieved, then they might be able to move on to the next one. So something that comes to mind is once a child becomes comfortable crawling or walking in space, then their language may start developing more. They might start communicating more, their social skills get improved. And now I'm thinking back to like all the components of the expanded core curriculum. Um, just because they're doing a physical activity that you think falls under rec and leisure, but that physical activity is also going to promote things like social interaction, skills, self-determination skills, and even independent living skills. I don't know about you, but I think putting dishes in a dishwasher is a chore and a sport in itself. So learning those skills definitely improves all areas. I think just physical activity overall improves multiple areas at one time and you don't even really think about it, but once you do think about it, then you're like, oh wow, just through that one thing I worked on this , this, this, this, and this.

Sara B.:

So overall, is there anything else you'd like to add or anything you want to say before, before we end?

Ashley E.:

Yes. So thinking about physical activity with this whole topic being addressed, it leads me to here at VIPS in the classroom or in the preschool, we do a developmental screening tool called the brute grants quite a bit. And that screening tool addresses different developmental areas, whether it's physical, cognitive, self-help, social, emotional, cupboards , all kinds of areas , but something we've noticed when we're doing this , um , screening tool on our kids is that we've seen low scores on the physical development with our kiddos with visual impairments. So when we got to thinking about why is that and how can we best improve that? How can we see those scores go up, focus on that a little bit more. So here over the past couple of years, we've been working on developing a PE specific curriculum that we're going to use here at bips. And this will simply just be tied into the daily preschool curriculum, expanded core curriculum, all that, but it's different. It's a curriculum we're developing that provides all the teachers here, different games or activities they can do to work on different developmental areas, whether it's hopping balance skills, rolling a ball, throwing a ball, catching a ball, jumping all kinds of different developmental areas. And then we're also having a monthly sport focus. So where we're each month we'll have a different sport focus . And we'll kind of break down that sport into different areas to teach the kiddos, just to kind of really work on some more of those developmental, physical developmental skills that we've seen kind of a weakness on in the beginning . And some of those skills is standing on one foot for five seconds, walking into a heel toe pattern on a straight line. And that in itself is kind of a visual and this brigands is not geared towards students with visual impairments, but it's something we see, especially with our low vision kiddos. They still kind of struggle with that area. So with this PE curriculum and it kind of embedding it to activities that we do in the classroom everyday , we're hoping to see those scores start to skyrocket and see an overall improvement. So that's just something I wanted to address while in here is that we've been really working on developing this PE curriculum to help advance those physical developmental skills.

Sara B.:

Okay. Well, Ashley, thank you so much for joining me today on Change Makers.

Ashley E. :

Thank you for having me.

Sara B.:

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