final paper TE 250 - Brandon P. Williamson TE 250: Human...

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-1 Brandon P. Williamson TE 250: Human Diversity, Power, and Opportunity in Social Institutions Service Learning Paper “Reflections on the Plights of the Special Needs Child in Today’s Education System” My service learning for this class involved work with disabled students, specifically the visually impaired. I worked closely with members of the Michigan State University honor society known as the Tower Guard to help make documents, textbooks, and tests more easily accessible for visually impaired students attending and/or teaching at MSU. On a typical day at my service learning, I would either scan documents into a computer in order to be translated by the computer to audio text, help various students by reading and/or scribing the answers to a test, or, on rare occasions, help a visually impaired student get to and from an unfamiliar destination safely. This experience has proven to be very rewarding for me, not to mention the students who I helped. Although I only regularly worked with a few students, the gratefulness with which every single one of these students respond was really quite amazing. To know that I helped so many students perform tasks which otherwise would have been difficult or impossible to perform really makes me feel good, and I am glad to have chosen to work at the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD) to fulfill my service learning requirement. My feelings about working with or around special needs students have completely changed, and I am now comfortable with the idea. I have even thought about continuing my current service learning placement through my next semester, instead of leaving off where I stopped. I
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had a really great time working with these students and I hope that I can do something else like this in the future. In keeping with the themes of this course, I believe that the attention provided for these disabled students at the university level is the exact thing that is needed for children at a much lower level. While visual impairment may be something that is more obvious in a child and therefore more readily diagnosed, other impairments or difficulties in children’s lives are not as well diagnosed or cared for. These can include mental impairments such as ADD that aren’t taken care of until later in life or emotional problems that manifest themselves through bad behavior or poor attention span. The fact remains that something has to be done with these children at an early stage to allow them to continue learning at reasonable level, instead of coasting them through the grades with mediocre marks that reflect their inability to follow along at the same pace as other children. Programs that act upon the same basis as the RCPD program need to become more widespread, in that they slow down or adjust the curriculum to suit a particular students needs. Too often, children do poorly in class because they are afraid to ask a teacher who teaches only to those “ideal” kids that are able to
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2008 for the course TE 250 taught by Professor Burke during the Fall '07 term at Michigan State University.

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final paper TE 250 - Brandon P. Williamson TE 250: Human...

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