Environmental Considerations Materials Bibliography

by DB-LINK on Jul 1, 2009
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This is a partial list of materials on this topic available from the DB-LINK Catalog Database.  If you have additional questions, please contact us via email:

Updated 7/2009


Activity and Environmental Survey --Mar, Harvey H.; Sall, Nancy; Rowland, Kathy M. New York: St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center. (2000) This is a survey to assess students in the classroom or other setting to interpret their needs. It includes questions on activities, opportunity for interaction with peers, participation in the core activity, peer assistance to students’ needs, the role of the teacher or paraprofessional, the physical environment, and adaptation of materials and equipment to the students’ needs. Available from: St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 1000 Tenth Avenue, New York, NY 10019.


Adaptation of the Physical Environment : Accessibility and Mobility --Ellersfsen, Anni Lise; Sandviken, Ragnhild. Brantford, Ontario: Canadian Deafblind and Rubella Association. 13th DbI World Conference on Deafblindness Conference Proceedings, August 5-10, 2003, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. (2003) This is the text of a workshop presentation given at the 13th DbI World Conference on Deaf-Blindness. The paper describes goal oriented mobility training in a functional context.


Analyzing the Communication Environment (ACE) : An Inventory of Ways to Encourage Communication in Functional Activities --Rowland, Charity, Ph. D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: OHSU Center on Self-Determination. (1993) This videotape was developed to accompany the ACE manual. The tape provides examples to illustrate each item on the ACE inventory. The illustrations are unstaged footage taken from classrooms engaged in everyday activities for students with disabilities. There is no commentary, but a viewers guide at the end of the accompanying ACE manual is available to refer to as you view the tape. The guide points out the different ACE items and explains the significant features of each scene. Available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 3608 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 800-410-7069 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: Publisher's web site:


Analyzing the Communication Environment (ACE) : An Inventory of Ways to Encourage Communication in Functional Activities --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Tucson, AZ: Communication Skill Builders, Inc. (1993) This manual accompanies a videotape by the same name which provides footage of the ACE examples. Analyzing the Communication Environment (ACE) is a communication assessment designed primarily for use by teachers and speech-language pathologists who serve children with severe communication impairments. The manual describes procedures to analyze the communication value of a particular activity for a child. The inventory may be used to identify how you are encouraging communication and help to point out ways to change the activity to better target communication. Includes the ACE inventory and explanation of each statement on the inventory in detail. Available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 3608 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 800-410-7069 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: Publisher's web site:


Assessing and Modifying the Environment to Enhance Visual Functioning --Comprehensive Low Vision Consulting Services. This paper, presented at a workshop, offers general principles that need to be borne in mind when making adjustments in the environment to enhance visual functioning for individuals with visual impairments. It then examines the application of these principles in specific settings (i.e. education, recreational, vocational, residential, etc.).


Assessing Happiness for Very Special Learners --Longhorn, Flo. THE SLD EXPERIENCE, #33, Summer 2002, pp.21-23. (2002) This article looks at emotions, and how to assess them by observation. Describes the six major areas of emotions and provides examples of how to assess which type of emotion is being observed. Provides examples of how to assess the environment surrounding the learner to encourage optimum happiness, and how to extend environments to formal curriculum.


Classroom Environment Checklist for Students with Dual Sensory Impairments --Rikhye, Catherine H.; Gothelf, Carole R.; Appell, Madeline W. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, Fall 1989, pp. 44-46. (1989) The checklist is intended to provide a means whereby school personnel can evaluate the quality of environmental design and incorporate information about it into instructional programs and procedures. Its use can help staff identify critical environmental features that promote student anticipation of events, communication, independent mobility, and self-initiation of activities. ERIC EJ 399154


Creating a Visually Accessible Environment: : Classroom Adaptations made by a Legally Blind Teacher of Deaf Students and Deaf Students with Special Needs --Runyan, Marla. --San Diego State University. CA: Graduate Student Project, 1994, San Diego State University, 29 pp. (1994) This paper was done by Marla Runyan as a student at San Diego State University. The paper discusses adaptations and strategies utilized by a teacher who is visually impaired for her students who are deaf and who may have additional special needs.


Creating an Environment Conducive to Communication : Communication Skills and Strategies for Individuals Working with Young Children Who Have Sensory Impairments --Newman, Todd (ed.) --SKI*HI. Logan, UT: HOPE Inc. What Do I Do Now? - Unit 16. (1997) This video is the 16th in a series of 24 that provides inservice training for staff in preschool and elementary school settings on the communication needs of children with sensory impairments. The purpose of the program is to provide basic instruction for paraeducators that focuses on the unique communication needs of these children. This unit describes how the environment affects our level of interest and our ability to participate. Encourages incorporating the child's special needs and abilities when setting up the communication environment by having toys, books, and games visible and physically accessible. Describes the importance of having age-appropriateness and considering the positioning needs of the child. Includes a printed packet which contains the summary of the main points of the video, discussion topics, space for notetaking, and exercises for classroom application. Also includes an evaluation form for the paraeducator to use in coordinating with the supervising teacher before and after implementing training ideas, and a laminated card to be taken into the classroom for a quick reminders of the unit. Available from HOPE, Inc., 55 East 100 North, Suite 203, Logan, UT 84321; PH/FAX: (435) 752-9533. Publisher's web site:


Creating Classroom Environments that Nurture Independence for Children who are Deafblind` : Final Report --Rowland, Charity; Schweigert, Philip. Portland, OR: Oregon Health Sciences University. (2000) This final report describes activities and accomplishments of a four-year federally supported project to develop independence in 12 young children (ages 3-5) with deaf-blindness enrolled in the Portland Public Schools Early Intervention Program. The project focused on helping teachers learn to target communicative and cognitive learning opportunities across the entire spectrum of everyday classroom activities and thus increase students' independent behavior. The project model involved assessment of both child skills and the social and physical environment, intervention by embedding instruction into routine activities using logically occurring antecedents and consequences, and a targeted outcome of child mastery of the social and physical environments as evidenced by interactions with people and objects. The project produced an inventory and manual to help teachers identify natural cues for certain behaviors and arrange the social and physical environment to facilitate learning.


Design To Learn: An environmental inventory to help teachers design learning opportunities for children with disabilities --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Design to Learn Projects. (2003) An environmental inventory used to determine the learning value of a specific activity for a specific child who has PDD, autism or other severe disabilities. It may be used by teachers to identify and create opportunities for active participation and steady learning in typical classroom activities. Available from: OHSU Design to Learn Projects, 707 SW Gaines Rd., Portland, OR 97239. E-mail: Phone: 888-909-4030. Publisher's web site:


Does the Acoustic Environment Make a Difference to Children with Multi-sensory Impairments? --Graham, Joan; Fraser, Brian. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, Volume 19, No.3, September 1992, pp. 112-115. (1992) This study examines the significance of acoustic conditions on the reception of sound signals in children with multi-sensory impairments, using distraction/behavorial observation audiometry techniques. The important factor in initiating a response proved to be the + 10dBA signal over background noise level. The researchers discuss these findings with reference to educational practice and classroom design, with the aim of improving conditions for the development of residual hearing in children with multi-sensory impairments.


Effective Classroom Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments --Cox, Penny R.; Dykes, Mary K. TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN, vol. 33, #6, July/August 2001, pp. 68-74. (2001) This article discusses strategies for including students with visual impairments into general education settings. The article provides a starting point from which general educators can begin to learn about visual impairments and build skills that will benefit all their students. Discusses orientation and mobility, designing effective learning environments, collaborating with vision specialists, and visual learning accommodations. Includes a checklist for outdoor and indoor orientation and mobility adaptations to assist in identifying areas of need.


Environments That Encourage Communication --Crook, Carol; Miles, Barbara. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. Remarkable Conversations: A Guide to Developing Meaningful Communication with Children and Young Adults Who Are Deafblind. Barbara Miles & Marianne Riggio (Eds.), pp. 76-93. (1999) This chapter includes information about the following characteristics of environments that encourage communication: respectful, responsive, mutually interactive, provide opportunities for choice-making, compensate for sensory losses by adapting physical and social circumstances (includes specifics about visual, auditory, and tactual modifications), provide opportunities for generalizing communication across settings, encourage a variety of communicative functions, provide a balance of structure and spontaneity, recognize the importance of mutual enjoyment.


Hands-On Learning at Home : A tool for examining cognitive and social skills through interactions with objects --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Design to Learn Products. (2003) Designed to assess the cognitive skills of nonverbal children as demonstrated through their interactions with the physical environment to promote cognitive and social skill development. The instrument contains 39 skills organized into four strands: Obtaining Objects, Practical Uses, Representational Uses, and Social Uses. Available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 1600 SE Ankeny St., Portland, OR 97214. Phone: 888-909-4030 (Voice/TTY). Publisher's web site:


Home Inventory of Problem Solving Skills for Children With Multiple Disabilities --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Dseign to Learn Products. (2002) This is a more extensive version of a publication with a similar title published in 1997. It is an instrument designed to assess the early cognitive development of children who have severe disabilities (including deaf-blindness) and who are not able to speak. The purpose is to determine how well children with multiple disabilities understand the physical environment and whether they know how to solve the problems that arise in it. It is especially appropriate for children who can't see, hear, or manipulate objects in a typical fashion. There are 3 forms of this instrument. This one is designed to be administered in the home either by family members or by a professional who interviews family members and observes the child at home. Available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 3608 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 800-410-7069 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: Publisher's web site:


Outcome Measures for Evaluating Progress in Learning Skills and Environmental Supports --Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed.; Rowland, Charity, Ph.D. Portland, OR: Design to Learn Projects. 2002 Annual Project Directors' Meeting, Projects for Children and Young Adults who are Deafblind, October 10-12, 2002, Arlington, VA. (2002) This article describes the Learning to Learn project which is a model of skill development for 3-8 year old children who are deafblind that target the fundamental skills necessary to understand and master the social environment, and the physical environment. The approach is individualized so that intervention harnesses the intrinsic motivations of each child in the pursuit of learning. The approach is systematic, and learners include not just the child, but family members, who need to understand the child's behavior and how the home environment influences learning, and professionals who need to understand how the social and physical make-up of a classroom influence the child's ability to learn. Currently in the field-testing and evaluation stages. Publisher's web site:


School Inventory of Problem Solving Skills --Rowland, Charity; Schweigert, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Design to Learn Products. (2002) This is a more extensive version of a publication with the same title published in 1997. These materials are designed to assess the early cognitive development of children who have severe or multiple disabilities and who are not able to speak. It is appropriate for nonverbal children with multiple disabilities that may include severe mental retardation or sensory impairments, including deaf-blindness. These assessment tool is used to examine a child's everyday interactions with the physical environment in order to determine cognitive ability. This information will help educators and parents to target problem solving skills that will promote cognitive development. It is designed to be administered in school or child chare settings by a professional. Available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 3608 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 800-410-7069 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: Publisher's web site:


Self-Determination Environment Scale : Student Edition --Abery, Brian; Ryan, Michael; Docken, Kristin. University of Minnesota. (1998) This is a tool to use to evaluate self-determination in young adults with deafblindness. The scale evaluates how much support one gets to take personal control over one's life. Evaluates individualized supports, positive reinforcement, individualized programming, respect and acceptance, participation and social inclusion, role models/mentors, and basic needs.


Sensory Diet Applications and Environmental Modifications: A Winning Combination --Nackley, Victoria L. OTR/L. MD: The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. SENSORY INTEGRATION, SPECIAL INTEREST SECTION QUARTERLY, Volume 24, Number 1, March 2001, 4 pp. (2001) The author used common classifications of sensory integrative disorders as a framework for the sensory diet and the suggestions of the environmental modifications that can be made to afford the child greater opportunities for success.


Social Recognition, Participation, and the Dynamic Between the Environment and Personal Factors of Students with Deafblindness --Moller, Kerstin; Danermark, Berth. American Annals of the Deaf, Spring 2007, Vol. 152, No. 1, 42-55. (2007) The study describes environmental and personal factors that, from the student perspective, impede participation in education in secondary upper schools by students with postlingual deafblindness. The discussion is framed by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health. The researchers use the theory of social recognition as a theoretical tool in understanding the dynamics between personal factors and environment in the context of secondary upper-school education. Thirty-four students with deafblindness responded to a questionnaire; the survey's findings indicate experiences of barriers in the natural and social environments that restrict participation. Experience of considerateness - such as concern for the special requirements of students with deafblindness - and experience of the lack of considerateness are the most important factors. Negative roles adapted by some students for themselves may be interpreted as resulting from a lack of recognition, in the form of denigration or insults.


Structuring the Environment --Best, Anthony. DBI REVIEW, #22, July-December 1998, pp.4-9. (1998) Discusses the significance of a structured environment to meet the communication, mobility and learning needs of deafblind children. The three elements of an environment that need to be structured and controlled are examined; these are people, space, and time, with a focus placed on the physical environment. Describes how to use an ecological audit of environments and sub-environments to analyze and identify skills needed by children for successful interaction and for developing precise learning programs to enhance learning.


Suggestions for modifying the home and school environment : A handbook for parents and teachers of children with dual sensory impairments --Brennan, Vickie; Peck, Flo; Lolli, Dennis. Watertown, MA: Perkins School for the Blind. (1996) The handbook was created for parents and service providers of children who have dual sensory impairments and various other physical difficulties. In it are practical, inexpensive and feasible suggestions for improving the child's learning and independence by making herhis environment more visible. Revised addition includes photograph examples.


Time to Learn : An Environmental Inventory to Help Teachers Design Learning Activities for Children Who Are Deafblind --Rowland, Charity, Ph.D.; Schweigert, Philip, M.Ed. Portland, OR: Charity Rowland and Philip Schweigert. (2005) This DVD shows examples of the 70 items that are detailed in the Time to Learn print curriculum. Uses the same 70 statements related to the eight variables of Transitions, the Activity, Adult's Interaction, the Student's Communication System, Peer Interaction, Opportunities to Use Objects and Materials. Available from Design to Learn, OHSU, Oregon Institute on Disability & Development, 3608 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202. Phone: 800-410-7069 (Voice/TTY). E-mail: Publisher's web site:


Usher Syndrome: Strategies for the Classroom --Russo, Joyce E. Proceedings of the Sixth Canadian Conference on Deafblindness, Let's Celebrate Our Harmony Together, Mississauga, Ontario, August 12-15, 1998. (1998) This is a presentation outline. It contains basic information about the three types of Usher Syndrome. There is also a list of educational environmental considerations such as, lighting, color contrast, seating arrangements, printed material, etc.

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