• Making Sense: Inclusive and Multi-Sensory Activities at Pathfinder Village School

      Boardman, Kathryn; Booth Trudo, Thaddeus; DelDuca, Nick; Johnson, Mary; Jordan, Wilkes; McGee, Megan; Magan, Shyia; Snyder, Cait; Tubbs, Sybil (2022)
      Pathfinder Village School, part of the Pathfinder Village in Edmeston, NY, aims to support children, teenagers, and young adults with Down syndrome and developmental disabilities teaching them about community while gaining independence. As part of our coursework in Applied Education and Interpretation—a course focusing on creating inclusive informal education programming in a nonprofit setting—we created and facilitated three educational activities for the school’s 22 students. Divided into three classes, the students’ ages range from 6 to 21. Each student has different cognitive and physical capabilities, so the activities had to engage multiple senses, while being adaptable to different ages and physical ability while being. The activities were not only supposed to be a fun break from their school day, but also reinforce what they were practicing and learning in class. With such a unique audience, we needed to experience what learning techniques were most effective in the classroom, as well as what the students loved to do for fun. After visiting with the students, observing their day-to-day learning in the classroom, and speaking with teachers and faculty about their students’ needs and interests, we created the three distinct activities based on the school’s theme of the month: play.