Empowering our students through Assistive Technology

The classrooms in Rainbow Centre offer a world of learning opportunities for 9-year-old Nur Aliyya Qisya Binte Muhammad Fazrin, particularly in terms using of assistive technology as a form of communication. Last year, she learnt how to use TouchChat, an iPad application, to communicate with her teacher Daisy Khng and respond to questions. In addition to the iPad, Aliyya, along with her classmates, regularly explores different ways of expression and communication with the use of other assistive technology, such as the Magic Carpet interactive system and Kinect. Despite the limitations that she may have, the freedom afforded by such technology has increased and enhanced the ways she interacts and plays with her teachers and classmates. Aliyya has moved from depending on gestures and passive participation. She now thrives by using the application as her voice.

Aliyya has also grown to be more open in trying new things. This year, the art workshops by Superhero Me centering on explorative technology have introduced her to the wonders of eye-gazing software, body movement tracking programmes and music-making through touch. The eye-gazing software, for example, enabled her to shape ideas conceived about animals. Responding to the encouragement of artist Fong Yee and the facilitators, Aliyya would gently sway her head in different directions and dart her eyes around. The programme detects even the slightest movements and records them down so that with each progressive stroke, she could see her designs coming to life on the screen. Through this enriching and empowering experience, she undeniably had a lot of fun in creatively and independently expressing herself. Once that is done, all of our students’ designs are saved and printed out to make the final product. Catch the final artwork here at our Peekaboo! I See You inclusive arts festival going on from 9 – 30 March 2019!